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    Fighting Irish Clinch BIG EAST Regular Season Title

    FIGHTING IRISH Twelve kills from Kellie Sciacca helped the Irish defeat Georgetown, 3-0, and claim the BIG EAST regular season title.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Twelve kills from Kellie Sciacca helped the Irish defeat Georgetown, 3-0, and claim the BIG EAST regular season title.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Nov. 13, 2009

    Final Stats |  Photo Gallery 

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. - One week after securing the No. 1 seed for the upcoming BIG EAST Conference Championship, the Notre Dame volleyball team powered past Georgetown to clinch the league's regular-season title for the 11th time in program history. It is the first outright title for the Irish since 2004 after tying for first in 2005. Along with the 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-19) victory Friday at Purcell Pavilion, the Irish improved to 13-0 against BIG EAST opponents and extended the nation's fifth-longest winning streak to 13 matches.

    Notre Dame (19-4) received 12 kills from junior middle blocker Kellie Sciacca and overcame deficits in each of the three periods to sweep the Hoyas (13-16 overall, 3-10 BIG EAST) for the eighth consecutive time.

    Georgetown posted better hitting numbers in the first (.300 to .276) and second (.306 to .270) sets, but its overall average pummeled to .182 for the night after a third-set performance of -.061. Notre Dame hit .286 as a team, led by Sciacca's average of .588.

    Adding to the attack from the outside was sophomore Kristen Dealy with nine kills and 11 digs. Senior outside hitters Christina Kaelin (8) and Serinity Phillips (8) also steadied the Irish offensive output.

    Senior setter Jamel Nicholas had a pair of kills with 33 assists and 10 digs. Sophomore libero Frenchy Silva added 10 more scoops.

    Kortney Robinson led the visitors with 12 kills and Lindsay Wise posted five blocks.

    Five different Irish players delivered service aces with three recording solo blocks.

    Notre Dame needed all of Sciacca's five kills in the first set as the Hoyas scratched ahead to a 5-2 lead. Sciacca delivered at 7-7 for the second of 16 ties in the period. Junior libero Megan Dunne aced Georgetown at 9-7 and Dealy's solo stuff kept Notre Dame on top at 17-16. The last tie came on an Irish service error at 21-21, as Kaelin bounced down a kill (22-21) and Phillips sliced an ace (23-21) to keep things in Notre Dame's favor. Dealy hammered an untouchable backrow rocket on set point.

    Just when Notre Dame got comfortable with a 10-5 lead to open the second, Georgetown scored on 10 of the next 15 rallies to tie it at 15-15. Phillips notched a big kill and Nicholas stroked an ace as Notre Dame mounted a 23-18 lead, and eventually scored three of the next five points before intermission.

    Kaelin, Phillips, Sciacca and Dealy each had multiple kills in the third frame. Although Georgetown raced out to another early lead, 6-3, the Hoyas could not sustain the advantage as Notre Dame chipped away until knotting it at 10-10. Notre Dame dropped the next point but would rally back to go on top, 20-17. In fact, the Irish had just one block heading into the third set and recorded four after the 18-17 mark in the final stanza. Kaelin and Sciacca both had two over the final stretch.

    The Irish face USF in the final match of the regular season Sunday (Nov. 15) at 2:00 p.m. (ET). Live video, audio and stats will be available at UND.com. Notre Dame will honor its six seniors prior to the contest.

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