Nov. 6, 2013
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Leading by at least three points in sets two and three, the University of Notre Dame volleyball team couldn't maintain its advantage as Syracuse rallied in both frames to finish off the sweep of the Irish, 3-0 (25-19, 25-23, 25-23), in Atlantic Coast Conference action Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome.
Leading 22-15 and 20-17 in sets two and three, respectively, the Irish couldn't close out the Orange as Syracuse used an efficient attack to bring home the victory. `Cuse had just one more kill than the Irish (44-43), but hit much more effectively, using only 99 swings to claim the 44 kills in comparison to 112 for Notre Dame. The result was a .313 attack percentage for the home team compared to .188 for the visitor.
Leading the charge for the Orange was sophomore Silvi Uattara, who had a match-high 14 kills to go along with six digs and three blocks. Also in double figures was junior Nicolette Serratore, who totaled 12 kills, nine digs and a team-high three service aces.
For the Irish, junior Toni Alugbue was the lone member of the team with double-figure kills (11). Senior Andie Olsen had eight kills and tallied team-highs in attack percentage (.538) and blocks (4). Setter Maggie Brindock had 32 assists, six digs, four kills and three blocks, while senior libero Andrea McHugh led Notre Dame with 12 digs and two service aces.
Notre Dame falls to 10-14 and 4-9 in the ACC and continues its four-match road swing at 5 p.m. Saturday in Boston, Mass., against long-time BIG EAST foe Boston College (8-16, 0-12).
The Orange opened the match on fire as they hit .400 by totaling 13 kills and only one error in a 25-19 set one victory. They also had two service aces and three blocks to counter Notre Dame's 17 kills. The Irish were hurt by nine attack errors as they hit just .195. After the Irish took an early 3-1 advantage, Syracuse went on a 5-0 run to take the lead, forcing the Irish to play catch up for the rest of the set. Later in the set, Notre Dame trimmed the lead to 13-12, but the Orange went on a 3-0 run to extend the margin back out to four. The score never got closer than a two-point margin from there on out and a Uattara kill closed out the set and gave `Cuse a 1-0 lead.
Up 22-15, all seemed to be going according to plan for the Irish as they looked to tie the match at one entering the locker room. Syracuse had other ideas, however, as the Orange went on a 10-1 run to end the set to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. Included in the run were six Orange kills and three unforced attack errors on the Irish. Syracuse continued its impressive run on offense as it pounded home 17 kills to just four errors as it hit .382 for the set.
It was almost déjà vu for the Irish in set three, as they held a 20-17 advantage, but couldn't close out the pesky Orange as Syracuse finished off the match with an 8-3 run. After the `Cuse tied the set at 20, the two teams went back-and-forth for the next few points as each held a lead. With Syracuse up 23-21, Notre Dame produced a kill by senior Nicole Smith and a combo block by Olsen and Brindock to knot the score at 23. However, the Orange wouldn't be denied a chance at the sweep as Uattara pounded home her 14th and final kill of the night and the Irish committed an unforced attack error to give Syracuse the 25-23 set win and a 3-0 match victory.
-- Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director