Oct. 15, 2005
CHICAGO, Ill. - The 10th-ranked University of Notre Dame women's volleyball team (15-1, 6-0 BIG EAST) turned in one of the top offensive performances in program history en route to a 30-20, 30-19, 30-10 victory against DePaul (3-15, 0-6 BIG EAST) Saturday afternoon in the DePaul Athletic Center. The Irish had a .522 attack percentage for the match - the second-highest mark in school history - including .812 hitting in the final game, the top mark in any game in the 15-year Debbie Brown era.
Sophomore setter Ashley Tarutis (Long Beach, Calif./Los Alamitos H.S.) - who had 38 assists and a pair of kills - continued to lead an offense in resurgence. On Saturday, she orchestrated an attack that posted 53 kills and made just six attack errors on 90 attempts. Notre Dame had 20 kills and three errors on 40 swings for a .425 mark in the opening game, which would actually prove to be its most ineffective from an offensive standpoint. The Irish had 19 kills and two errors on 34 attempts for .500 hitting in game two and then turned in historic numbers in a dominating game three. ND took just 16 attack attempts in the final frame, converting 14 for kills and making one error. It was the 1,700th game played since Brown first stepped foot on campus in 1991, and none has seen the Irish post a higher hitting percentage. The previous high was .750 (9 kills, 0 errors, 12 attempts) against the same Blue Demons in the first game on Sept. 26, 1995.
In all, seven Irish players finished with kills and all of them had percentages over .330. Senior All-American MB Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood H.S.) led all players with 15 kills, while taking just 22 swings (.681 kill percentage) for a .545 hitting mark that set her season high in the category for the second consecutive match. It was the 15th time in her career that Brewster hit over .500.
Senior OH Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.) had 14 kills on 22 errorless attempts for a .636 attack percentage. It was her second outstanding offensive match in the city of Chicago this season, after posting 24 kills on .688 hitting at Loyola Chicago on Sept. 27. She has now hit over .500 on 14 occasions and over .600 seven times.
After not hitting double digits in kills up to that point in the season, sophomore OH Adrianna Stasiuk (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South H.S.) did so for the sixth consecutive match, ending with 12 and just one error on 19 attempts for a season-high .579 hitting mark.
The only time Notre Dame has ever hit better in a match came on Oct. 3, 1986, against Marquette, when the Irish had 52 kills and four errors on 89 attempts for a .539 attack percentage.
Saturday's 41-point margin of victory is the third-largest in Notre Dame history, behind a 44-point triumph against Loyola College in 2002 and a 42-point win vs. La Salle in 1992. The game-three win is the second-largest victory margin in a single game ever for the Irish, who won 30-8 in game one against St. John's in 2001. The match took just 70 minutes, making it the second-fastest affair since the current 30-point scoring format was adopted. The only quicker one was a 65-minute match with Southwest Texas State in 2001.
Notre Dame used 10 blocks to hold DePaul to just .071 hitting. Brewster took part in half of them, while Kelbley and Cooper both had solo blocks. Senior co-captain and libero Meg Henican (New Orleans, La./Isidore Newman H.S.) led the team with 10 digs while Stasiuk had eight.
The Irish served well, with six aces and eight service errors. Kelbley and Stasiuk had two aces each.
It was the first match between the schools - formerly rivals in the North Star Conference and now again in the BIG EAST - since 1995, but Notre Dame has now won three straight and leads the all-time series 7-4.
The Irish improved to 7-0 in matches on the opponent's home court this season, putting them just one shy of the school record for consecutive victories in true road matches. That mark was established in 1991 and '92. Notre Dame will try to match that streak on Monday when it plays at Illinois State at 7 p.m. (CDT).
#10 Notre Dame (15-1, 6-0) 30-30-30 DePaul (3-15, 0-6) 20-19-10