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    St. John's, Connecticut To Visit Purcell Pavilion For BIG EAST Volleyball Showdowns

    FIGHTING IRISH Freshman setter Maggie Brindock has shown steady improvements throughout the season for the Irish.
    FIGHTING IRISH
    Freshman setter Maggie Brindock has shown steady improvements throughout the season for the Irish.
    FIGHTING IRISH

    Oct. 29, 2010

    Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Notre Dame welcomes St. John's (Oct. 30) and Connecticut (Oct. 31) to Purcell Pavilion this weekend for BIG EAST Conference volleyball action. Sunday's match against the Huskies wraps up a four-match homestand for the Irish, who will play four of their next five regular-season matches on the road.

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    Notre Dame Fighting Irish
    13-9 overall / 6-3 BIG EAST
    [und.com • bigeast.org]

    St. John's Red Storm
    15-10 overall / 2-6 BIG EAST
    [redstormsports.com • bigeast.org]
    Saturday, Oct. 30 • 10:00 a.m. (ET)

    Connecticut Huskies
    3-16 overall / 1-7 BIG EAST
    [uconnhuskies.com • bigeast.org]
    Sunday, Oct. 31 • 2:00 p.m. (ET)

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    • Purcell Pavilion • Notre Dame, Ind.
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    • Irish Alerts (text messaging service): und.com

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    Bump, Set, Spike ...
    • Notre Dame started the 2009 conference slate 2-0 with wins at Connecticut (Sept. 25) and St. John's (Sept. 27) ... the wins neutralized previous losses at both Connecticut and St. John's in 2007.
    • Notre Dame has lost just seven times on its home floor in the month of October since 1991 and only three times since 2000.
    • Senior middle blocker Kellie Sciacca, who recorded her 1,000th career kill earlier this season against DePaul (Oct. 15), needs one more block to reach the 400-plateau ... she will be the ninth player in program history with at least 1,000 kills and 400 blocks.

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    Series Notes ...

    St. John's
    Series history: Notre Dame leads, 14-3 (12-3 BIG EAST)
    Series streak: Notre Dame, W2
    First meeting: Nov. 3, 1995 - Notre Dame, 3-0
    Last meeting: Sept. 27, 2009 - Notre Dame, 3-0
    Notes: Christina Kaelin led Notre Dame to a 3-0 win at St. John's in 2009 with 13 kills and a .500 hitting percentage ... the sweep over St. John's was the first for Notre Dame since 2004 ... three straight set wins made up for an opening period setback as Notre Dame upended top-seeded St. John's in the semifinals of the 2008 BIG EAST Conference Championship ... the win neutralized a 3-2 regular-season loss to St. John's on Nov. 14 and secured the program's 18th consecutive winning season ... Notre Dame juiced the scoring column with three players reaching double-digit kill status as the team hit .349 ... Kaelin recorded her third 20+ kill performance of the season with 21 knocks on a .474 average ... the output tied her for ninth on Notre Dame's all-time list of matches with 20+ kills, as her total of seven evened her with Emily Loomis ... Kristen Dealy had a tremendous all-around outing with 14 kills and 17 digs ... Notre Dame's first-ever loss to St. John's came in the 2006 season, a 3-0 home defeat ... the two programs first met in 1995, a 3-0 Irish win in which Notre Dame allowed only 10 points (15-0, 15-6, 15-4) ... the largest single-set victory margin in Irish history under the 30-point format came against the Red Storm in 2001 ... Notre Dame won the first set, 30-8 ... the Irish won the first 11 matches of the series.

    Connecticut
    Series history: Notre Dame leads, 19-2 (13-2 BIG EAST)
    Series streak: Notre Dame, W3
    First meeting: Nov. 5, 1995 - Notre Dame, 3-0
    Last meeting: Sept. 25, 2009 - Notre Dame, 3-1
    Notes: This will be the 22nd time the Irish and Huskies have faced off on the volleyball court ... the Irish have won 60 of 65 sets ... the Irish rattled off 13 straight wins in the series before losing a four-set affair in 2007, but bounced back with a five-set win to end the 2008 regular season and a 3-0 sweep at last year's BIG EAST Championship ... Notre Dame started BIG EAST Conference play in 2009 at Connecticut with a 3-1 win ... the Irish rallied behind Serinity Phillips who was one block short of a triple-double with 16 kills, 12 digs and nine block assists ... Kristen Dealy chipped in 20 digs ... the teams have four times played in five-set affairs, with Connecticut gaining the first of its two victories over Notre Dame in 1998 ... that was Notre Dame's first loss to a BIG EAST school since becoming a league member, ending a 41-match winning streak (35 regular season and six tournament matches) ... in the semifinals of that season's BIG EAST Championship, Connecticut won the first two sets before Notre Dame won three straight to ignite a 12-match winning streak against the Huskies ... facing a four-point deficit in the fifth set against Connecticut in the 2008 regular season finale, Notre Dame rattled off eight unanswered points to deal the Huskies a 3-2 defeat at the Joyce Center ... Notre Dame trailed, 11-7, but was aided by five UConn errors over the final stretch to earn the BIG EAST win and the league tournament's fifth overall seed ... Dealy secured her 10th double-double of the season with 16 kills and 17 digs in that match ... the two teams then met in the first round of the 2008 BIG EAST Championship and the Irish pulled off their 11th sweep of the season while overcoming a late three-point deficit (21-18) in the third frame before storming back for the win ... Notre Dame dropped a 3-1 decision to the Huskies in 2007 despite Justine Stremick's 13 kills on a .306 clip ... Stremick had four blocks - including two solo stops - and Adrianna Stasiuk turned in 21 digs for the second time in as many contests ... Phillips had a team-high 14 kills to go along with 18 digs in the 2007 meeting ... in fact, Phillips also led an Irish attack with a match-high 16 kills in Notre Dame's 2006 win over Connecticut ... Christi Gordon had 31 kills in the 2000 match, the third-highest total ever by an Irish player and the last 30-kill match recorded at Notre Dame ... former Irish standout Emily Loomis, who was a volunteer assistant coach for Notre Dame in 2008, was an assistant coach for the Huskies in 2007.

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    Hitting Fire During a Five-Setter ...
    The Irish posted a .274 hitting percentage in the five-set loss to Marquette (Oct. 24), marking the highest hitting percentage for Notre Dame in a five-set match since 2009.

    Half and Half ...
    Hillary Eppink (10) and Andrea McHugh (24) combined for over half of Notre Dame's 46 kills in the win over Syracuse (Oct. 23).

    No Errors, No Problems ...
    Notre Dame lasted the entire Oct. 15 match with DePaul without committing a single service error to set a program record ... only three times in school history had the Irish finished a match with one service error (last at Florida in 1998).

    Lucky Strike ...
    Senior middle blocker Kellie Sciacca recorded her 1,000th career kill as Notre Dame pulled out a 3-1 win over DePaul (Oct. 15) ... Sciacca, who finished the night with eight kills and seven blocks, delivered kill No. 1,000 in the second set to become the 19th player in Irish history to reach the milestone ... she later ended the frame with one of her two solo blocks on set point.

    Rookie Racks Irish Record ...
    Freshman Andrea McHugh's offense on the pipes also helped the Irish defeat DePaul, as the outside hitter went for a career-high 23 kills on 50 swings (.340) ... McHugh had seven kills in both the second and third sets ... with the output, McHugh was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week for the fourth time.

    Here's the Scoop ...
    Junior libero Frenchy Silva scooped a career-high 29 shots at Western Michigan (Oct. 19) to tie the 14th-best single-match performance in school history ... it was the second straight 20+ dig performance for Silva and her third of the season.

    Streak Comes To An End ...
    Notre Dame once sported the nation's sixth-best regular-season conference winning streak, which was snapped at 19 matches after a loss at Louisville (Oct. 9) ... the Irish had won their last BIG EAST contest of the 2008 season, went 14-0 in 2009, and swept their first four league matches in 2010 ... the program is accustomed to such winning streaks in BIG EAST action, having once won 45 (Oct. 1, 1999-Nov. 9, 2002) and 35 (Sept. 30, 1995-Oct. 4, 1995) straight league matches.

    First Four ...
    Each of Notre Dame's first four BIG EAST wins were 3-0 sweeps ... it was the first time the program won its first four league matches by a 3-0 count since 1999.

    Advantage, Irish ...
    The Irish were not out-hit in 21 straight regular-season league matches until Louisville did so on Oct. 9 ... previously, Marquette was the last team to out-hit the Irish, which happened during the 2008 campaign (the Golden Eagles won the battle of attack percentages, .251 to .191).

    McHugh Ties Record With Latest BIG EAST Honor ...
    For the third time this season, outside hitter Andrea McHugh was named the BIG EAST Conference Freshman of the Week on Oct. 4 ... McHugh is now tied with senior Kellie Sciacca for the most Freshman of the Week honors earned by an Irish player, as Sciacca also notched three during her 2007 rookie campaign ... McHugh set a new career high with 19 kills - the most by an Irish player in a three-set match since 2006 - at Georgetown (Oct. 3) on a .562 clip, which was her best hitting pct. on the season ... the effort came on the heels of posting 13 kills and five aces at USF (Oct. 1), making her the first Irish player with five aces in a contest since 2007 ... on the weekend, she hit .475 with 5.33 kills/set and 0.83 aces/set while leading the Irish to a pair of wins.

    The Sun Helps ...
    Notre Dame's 11 aces at USF (Oct. 1) marked the second time in school history the Irish had at least 11 serves drop for scores in a three-set affair (Notre Dame recorded 17 during a 3-0 win at Valparaiso on Sept. 12, 1984) ... Andrea McHugh had a career-high five aces against the Bulls, becoming the first player to do so since 2007 (Kim Kristoff accomplished the feat against DePaul on Oct. 19, 2007).

    It's Been a Grand ...
    Notre Dame played in the 1,000th match in program history when it took the court at USF (Oct. 1), and won the contest in three sets.

    Beginning the BIG EAST ...
    With wins over West Virginia (Sept. 24) and Pittsburgh (Sept. 26), Notre Dame went 2-0 on the opening weekend of BIG EAST Conference play for the third straight year and 15th time in 16 seasons since joining the league in 1995 ... the Irish are 15-1 in BIG EAST openers, with the lone loss coming at Pittsburgh in 2007 ... the win over the Panthers was also the first sweep against Pittsburgh for the Irish since 2004.

    Something About South Florida ...
    Kellie Sciacca hit .412 with nine kills at USF (Oct. 1), which was surprisingly her lowest output ever against the Bulls during the regular season ... Sciacca is now hitting .556 in four career matches against the Bulls (.500 in 2007, .643 in 2008 and .667 in 2009).

    Make It Two for McHugh ...
    Outside hitter Andrea McHugh was named the BIG EAST Conference's Volleyball Freshman of the Week on Sept. 27 ... the honor was the second for McHugh in the first five weeks of the season ... Notre Dame rallied behind McHugh's arm during a 3-0 sweep of West Virginia (Sept. 24), as she came through with 16 kills and 13 scoops for the fifth double-double of her early career ... seven of those kills came in the third set when Notre Dame rallied from a 24-20 deficit to capture the win ... more importantly for the Irish, the win over the Mountaineers snapped a three-match losing streak ... McHugh went on to post nine kills and seven digs in a 3-0 win against Pittsburgh (Sept. 26) ... she wrapped up the weekend with 4.17 kills/set and 3.33 digs/set.

    The 500 Club ...
    Senior libero Megan Dunne shelved the 500th dig of her career against West Virginia (Sept. 24) in the BIG EAST Conference opener at Purcell Pavilion ... Dunne became the third player on the Irish roster with at least 500 career digs (joining Kristen Dealy and Frenchy Silva).

    Dealy Does It ...
    Junior outside hitter Kristen Dealy was named to the Notre Dame Invitational all-tournament team, which was hosted by the Irish Sept. 17-19 ... she averaged 3.64 kills/set and 4.36 digs/set in three matches and went for 24 kills and 25 digs against Delaware (Sept. 17), career-high numbers in both categories ... her final totals signified the 19th time in 31 seasons of varsity competition at Notre Dame that a player posted a 20-20 output (kills, digs or assists) ... the last to do so was Adrianna Stasiuk against Cincinnati in 2006.

    Start It Up ...
    Notre Dame's 7-2 record through the first nine matches was the team's best start since 2005 ... that season, the Irish won their first seven contests before falling to LSU at the Nokia Sugar Bowl Classic in College Station, Texas, before winning the next 15 matches on the slate.

    Brown Earns No. 450 ...
    Irish head coach Debbie Brown earned her 450th career win to start Denver's Pioneer Classic with a 3-0 sweep of Gonzaga (Sept. 10) ... Brown, now in her 20th season at the helm of the Notre Dame program, has a record of 452-175 (.724) with the Irish.

    Hit 'Em Hard ...
    Notre Dame posted a .488 hitting pct. in a 3-0 sweep of Denver (Sept. 12), the program's best single-match average since Nov. 4, 2001 (when the Irish hit .495 in a 3-0 win over Pittsburgh).

    Hit 'Em High ...
    Senior middle blocker Kellie Sciacca averaged 3.70 kills/set on a blistering .582 average across the three matches at the Pioneer Classic to earn her third straight all-tournament accolade ... she became the first player since 2007 to finish a match with a clip over .700 after hitting .722 against Denver.

    Quick and Easy ...
    Notre Dame's win over Denver (Sept. 12) spanned just 1:10, tying the program record for the second-quickest match played in the 25-point era.

    Three of a Kind ...
    Notre Dame posted 2-1 marks at each of the first two tournaments to open the season before going 3-0 at Denver's Pioneer Classic (Sept. 10-12) ... it was the program's first sweep of a three-match invite since 2005, when the Irish downed No. 8 USC, Oklahoma and No. 6 Florida at the UTSA Dome Rally in San Antonio, Texas ... the 2005 team finished 30-4 and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament ... the Irish won each of their two contests at the 2009 Notre Dame Invitational with wins over New Mexico State and Wisconsin.

    CVU.com, BIG EAST Deal Honors To Sciacca ...
    Senior middle blocker Kellie Sciacca missed out on the BIG EAST's top weekly award, but was recognized nationally as a Top Performer by CVU.com on Sept. 14 ... the award came on the heels of being named to Denver's Pioneer Classic all-tournament team after hitting .582 on the week and leading the Irish to three wins ... the BIG EAST placed Sciacca on its weekly honor roll ... Kristen Dealy was the last Irish player to earn recognition from CVU.com after doing so in November 2009.

    More All-Tournament Nods ...
    Senior middle Blocker Kellie Sciacca hit .582 across 10 sets in three matches at Denver's Pioneer Classic (Sept. 10-12) with 3.70 kills/set and 1.30 blocks/set ... sophomore Hilary Eppink wasn't too far behind with a .561 average, nine blocks and a pair of aces ... both were named to the event's all-tournament team.

    All-All-Tournament-Tournament ...
    Doubling up on all-tournament honors for the 2010 were senior Kellie Sciacca and freshman Andrea McHugh, who earned the distinction at the Nevada Invitational (Sept. 3-4) ... each were also named to the Shamrock Invitational all-tournament team to begin the season ... McHugh totaled 43 kills (3.31/set) in three matches with 2.00 digs/set and 0.69 blocks/set ... she led Notre Dame in scoring with 52.0 points ... Sciacca was her usual steady self with 2.46 kills/set on a .338 clip and 1.31 blocks/set ... against Weber State (Sept. 4), Sciacca tied a career best with three solo blocks in three sets.

    Reno Aces ...
    Freshman Nicole Smith did not take many risks from behind the service line during the Nevada Invitational in Reno, Nev., but her performance would have caused plenty of envy from the blackjack players down the way from Virginia Street Gym ... Smith fired in a match-high four aces in three sets against Weber State (Sept. 4), including back-to-back-to-back daisies to blow the match open in the opening frame ... she is the first Irish freshman to knock down four aces in a single match since Beth Wildermuth, who also had four against California during her freshman season in 2008.

    Early Five-Setters ...
    Through six matches to start the 2010 season, Notre Dame stretched it to the limit with three five-set affairs, winning two of the contests ... the three five-setters are the most since 2004, when that squad went the distance in three of its first five matches while dropping two of three.

    Sciacca Shreds Shamrock Invite ...
    Senior middle blocker Kellie Sciacca was named to the Shamrock Invitational all-tournament team for the second straight year after finishing the three-match weekend with 4.00 kills/set and a .429 hitting pct. ... she posted a career-high 21 kills on a .645 hitting clip - the fourth-best average ever by a Notre Dame player in a four-set match - on 31 swings with just one error against Marshall (Aug. 27) ... Sciacca then came back to help Notre Dame defeat Cal Poly (Aug. 28) with 17 kills and tacked on 10 more versus No. 18 Arizona (Aug. 29) for her third-straight double-figure kill total.

    McHugh Has Huge Opening Weekend ...
    Freshman outside hitter Andrea McHugh was named the BIG EAST Conference Freshman of the Week (Aug. 30) one day after wrapping up her first weekend in an Irish uniform ... McHugh registered a pair of double-doubles as her 11 kills and 16 digs against Marshall (Aug. 27) came before 14 kills and 18 digs against Cal Poly (Aug. 28) ... she blistered No. 18 Arizona (Aug. 29) with 12 kills and a solo block ... McHugh also had an ace in each of her three matches ... on the weekend, she averaged 3.08 kills/set and 3.17 digs/set with 3.42 points/set ... furthermore, McHugh is the first Irish player to earn the award after the season's opening weekend since Christina Kaelin did so in 2006.

    Wide Openers ...
    Notre Dame is now 24-7 (19-1 under head coach Debbie Brown) in home openers ... the Irish are 20-9 (.689) in the month of August and 18-6 (.750) at home in August.

    Preseason Honors ...
    Notre Dame was picked to finish third in 2010 BIG EAST Conference regular season play, according to a vote of the league's 15 head coaches ... for the first time since joining the BIG EAST in 2005, Cincinnati emerged as the favorite in the BIG EAST Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll ... the Bearcats were unanimously selected, receiving 196 points and all 14 first-place votes. Louisville, the defending tournament champion, was picked second ... since the inception of round-robin play in 1990, 19 of the last 20 preseason favorites have advanced to the finals of the BIG EAST Championship ... of those favorites, 15 have captured the tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Championship, while 13 have taken the regular-season title ... however, the last team to be selected first in the preseason poll and win the regular-season crown was Notre Dame in 2004 ... Kristen Dealy and two-time all-BIG EAST choice Kellie Sciacca both earned spots on the all-BIG EAST preseason team ... Sciacca led the conference in league play with a .429 hitting percentage in 2009.

    Freshman Class Regarded By PrepVolleyball.com ...
    Notre Dame's six-person freshman class - Maggie Brindock, Sam Brown, Sammie Brown, Andrea McHugh, Andie Olsen and Nicole Smith - was tabbed by PrepVolleyball.com as the nation's 13th-best recruiting class ... the newcomers will help replace six departing seniors which led the Irish to the 2009 BIG EAST Conference regular-season title and a national ranking ... Notre Dame received the highest ranking of any BIG EAST member ... USC, Penn State and Stanford held the top three spots, respectively, in the rankings ... Notre Dame's departed six-person class from the 2009 season was ranked fifth by PrepVolleyball.com in 2006.

    Brown Knows How To Win ...
    Entering 2010, Debbie Brown is first among BIG EAST head coaches with 562 career wins ... Louisville's Leonid Yelin is second with 457 wins in 20 seasons.

    --ND--
     

     

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