Oct. 19, 2010
Box Score | Box Score
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Junior libero Frenchy Silva scooped a career-high 29 shots, tying the 14th-best single-match performance in school history, as the Notre Dame volleyball team dropped a 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 25-18) non-conference decision to Western Michigan Tuesday evening at University Arena. It was the second straight 20+ dig performance for Silva and her third of the season.
Western Michigan evened the all-time series with the Irish at eight matches apiece following on the heels of its 3-2 comeback win at Notre Dame in 2008.
Notre Dame returns home this weekend for BIG EAST Conference matches versus Syracuse (Oct. 23) and Marquette (Oct. 24).
A pair of Broncos (16-6) in Ashley Turnage and Ali Gossen had 13 kills, as Notre Dame (12-8) received 10 from sophomore Hilary Eppink and 11 from senior Kellie Sciacca.
Eppink, Sciacca and freshman Sam Brown each totaled five blocks (all had one solo and four assists) as the Irish out-blocked Western Michigan, 12-8.
Freshman Andrea McHugh had eight kills and 14 digs with junior Kristen Dealy aiding in the backrow with 18 digs.
Freshman Nicole Smith came off the bench to post six kills and two blocks.
The Irish hit .143 with freshman Sammie Brown dishing out 24 assists.
Western Michigan hit .180 and had four players with 10+ digs, with Lena Oliver's 23 leading the way.
The Irish gave up four straight to start the match on a quartet of errors. In fact, Western Michigan led 12-9 while only converting three attacks for kills, aided by three blocks and six Irish errors. Notre Dame closed to within 15-14 on a Western Michigan attack error, 16-15 on Eppink's crosscourt rifle and 17-16 on a Sciacca slider. Sciacca then teamed with Sam Brown for a block at 19-18, but a quick 3-0 spurt by the Broncos put the set out of reach.
The two teams were tied six times before either squad hit the 10-point mark in the second set. A 3-0 run gave Notre Dame a 12-9 lead which grew to six (17-11) on a block by Eppink and Sam Brown. The largest lead was matched courtesy of Sciacca's hammer at 22-14, and a scrappy Bronco 3-0 run was stopped by Sciacca's solo block in the middle of the net.
Two kills by Sciacca put Notre Dame ahead in the third, 4-3, when the Broncos decided to hit the gas pedal with a 6-3 run. The Irish clawed back as Sciacca aced the defense at 22-21 and a Bronco error on set point gave Notre Dame a chance at 24-23. Turnage's fourth kill of the frame came on Western Michigan's third set point.
Scoring the first three and seven of the first nine in the fourth was Western Michigan, who led wire-to-wire in the final stanza. Freshman Maggie Brindock had three kills in the set and found Sam Brown in the middle to bring the Irish within one, 11-10. The Irish were within a single score at 13-12 when three straight points from the home side secured a large enough cushion to ride the wave to a seven-point win.