Nov. 1, 2007
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
(9-12 overall, 5-5 BIG EAST)
(5-21 overall, 1-9 BIG EAST)
Friday, Nov. 2, 2007 4:00 p.m.
Notre Dame, Ind. Joyce Center
Series vs. Georgetown: Notre Dame leads 16-1
Series Streak: Notre Dame - won 8
Last Meeting: Nov. 3, 2006 - Notre Dame, 3-0
Live Stats/Audio/Video: UND.com
South Florida Bulls
(15-7 overall, 6-4 BIG EAST)
Sunday, Nov. 4, 2007 2:00 p.m.
Notre Dame, Ind. Joyce Center
Series vs. South Florida: Notre Dame leads 2-0
Series Streak: Notre Dame - won 2
Last Meeting: Nov. 5, 2006 - Notre Dame, 3-0
Live Stats/Audio: UND.com
TV: Comcast Local
Last Time Out ... Junior Justine Stremick posted a .381 hitting percentage and was the lone Irish player to record double-digit kills as the University of Notre Dame volleyball team dropped a 3-0 BIG EAST Conference match to No. 23 St. John's on Sunday ... Stremick's 11 kills paced the Notre Dame (9-12 overall, 5-5 BIG EAST) offense, as the team finished the day with a .301 hitting percentage at Carnesecca Arena ... the Red Storm (24-3 overall, 9-1 BIG EAST) checked in with a .421 hitting clip and 10 aces - seven of those off the hand of Wioleta Leszczynska - and had five players complete the match with at least 10 kills ... Leszczynska also had a match-high 40 assists ... Stremick also had three blocks for Notre Dame, as did senior Adrianna Stasiuk ... senior Ashley Tarutis had 15 of her 22 assists in game one when the Irish hit .394, but were trumped by St. John's hitting percentage of .594 ... the Red Storm had 20 kills on 32 chances with only a single error ... both Stremick and Serinity Phillips had four kills in the period for Notre Dame ... a Stremick kill brought the Irish within four, 25-21, when St. John's pulled out with a 5-0 run for the win ... shelling out 10 assists on the day for the Irish was sophomore Jamel Nicholas, who helped her squad to a .361 hitting mark in game two ... ND had 15 kills and only two errors in the period, also finishing the match with one fewer hitting error (12) than St. John's (13) ... St. John's scored the first seven points of game three and would lead by as many as 12 (16-4) ... the Irish charged back to eat into the deficit and trailed by three when sophomore Kim Kristoff served up an ace and Megan Fesl converted one of her nine kills in the match to make it a 26-23 game.
History 101 ... Notre Dame ended a three-match losing streak in 2006 with a sweep over Georgetown (Nov. 3) in Washington, D.C. ... the Irish out-hit Georgetown .356 to .121 ... the Irish have won 48 of 59 games with Georgetown, including the last 17 ... this season's meeting in the Joyce Center will be the 18th overall between the two squads and 13th in as many seasons, with the Irish riding an eight-match winning streak over the Hoyas ... the teams have twice played five-game matches, with the Irish prevailing in both (1999 and 2001 BIG EAST Tournament semifinals) ... the lone victory for Georgetown was a 15-11, 15-10, 15-8 triumph in the title match of the 1999 BIG EAST Championship in Pittsburgh, which made the Hoyas the first team to defeat Notre Dame in the conference tournament ... the schools played twice before the Irish became a member of the BIG EAST ... the Irish won 15-1, 15-6, 10-15, 15-6 in Washington D.C. in 1986 in the first-ever meeting and were victorious again in four games during the 1992 William & Mary Invitational ... the teams have played three times in the BIG EAST Championship, with the Irish winning in 1998 (3-0) and 2001 (3-2, 15-11 in the fifth) ... Georgetown's 1999 win snapped an eight-match losing streak against the Irish ... last season, Mallorie Croal and Justine Stremick each tallied 15 kills as Notre Dame swept South Florida, 3-0, (Nov. 5) ... Stremick's 15 kills were a career-high, and her .750 hitting percentage was the highest mark for Notre Dame on the season and the highest for an Irish player that averaged at least four attacks per game since 2001 ... the Irish out-hit South Florida, .432 to .088. ... Notre Dame swept the Bulls in the first meeting between the programs in 2005 then again in 2006 ... the 20 point margin in the first game in 2005 is tied for second-largest margin of victory for Notre Dame in a game ... 2007 graduate Danielle Herndon was the second Tampa-area product to play for the Irish, following standout middle blocker Mary Leffers (1996-99) ... only two other natives of the Sunshine State have played for Notre Dame.
Calling Baton Rouge ... Looking back at Notre Dame's matchup with the LSU Tigers ... Notre Dame is now 1-2 against teams from the Southeastern Conference after splitting matches with Florida and Alabama earlier in the season ... the Irish will have a chance to even its record against SEC foes in a match at Tennessee on Nov. 23 ... Adrianna Stasiuk collected 21 scoops to move into third-place on the school's all-time digs list ... she also had 15 kills and was one of two Irish players to post double-doubles, with sophomore Serinity Phillips joining her with 20 kills and 17 digs ... leading the Irish in the digs category with 23 was freshman Megan Dunne, the most recorded by any member of the team this season ... the match marked the first time since 1989 that neither team held a national ranking entering the contest ... the Irish have battled in six five-gamers this season, going 3-3 in those matches ... consecutive tilts with Cal and Santa Clara earlier in the season were the first back-to-back five-game matches Notre Dame played since 2005, when they split a pair with Tennessee (L, 3-2) and Dayton (W, 3-2) ... the Irish played a total of four five-gamers in 2006.
Vintage Records ... Notre Dame was victorious against DePaul last weekend for the fifth-straight time against the Blue Demons ... the home sweep 3-0 (30-12, 30-13, 30-15) was the second-quickest match in the history of the Joyce Center, finishing in 1:04 ... Kim Kristoff tied a career-high total in the ace category with five ... the Irish coasted to post the widest margin of victory in the program's history, as the fifty-point spread was six more than the total number of points the Irish put on the board against Loyola in 2002 ... a stifling Irish defense limited DePaul to a -.034 hitting percentage for the match, including a pair of sub-.000 games ... it was the first time Notre Dame held an opponent under .000 hitting since Cincinnati finished with a -.057 mark in a 2005 match ... for the first time since Notre Dame traveled to DePaul during the 2006 season to pick up a 3-0 win, not a single Irish player recorded double-digit kills ... the match was played in front of 2,276 fans - the tenth-largest home crowd in Notre Dame history .
I Hit `Em High ... Justine Stremick turned in several career-best marks in ND's match at Syracuse ... she helped spark the Irish attack with 19 kills on 36 attempts, and was responsible for 24.0 points ... setter Ashley Tarutis coaled the offensive fire and dished out a 58 assists in the contest, which was a season-high for the senior.
You Hit `Em Low ... Adrianna Stasiuk totaled enough digs against LSU (21) to move into the No. 3 spot on the all-time digs list ... ahead of her is Christy Peters (1991-94) with 1,640.
Trading Spaces ... Heading into the Marquette match, Notre Dame had never dropped a decision to the Golden Eagles ... the Irish left Milwaukee with its first loss to the team in 10 tries ... previously, Notre Dame held a 9-0 all-time edge over Marquette ... on the latter side of the BIG EAST weekend, Syracuse - who had won the first of the 16 all-time matches between the Orange and Irish - fell to Notre Dame for the 15th-straight time since the series-opening win.
With Honors ... Junior Justine Stremick turned in an incredible performance against Rutgers by finishing the match with a .706 hitting percentage, which was the highest mark by any Irish player since she turned in a .750 clip last season against South Florida ... the average against the Scarlet Knights tied her for the 12th-best hitting percentage by a player in program history ... also against Rutgers, freshman Kellie Sciacca hit over .400 (.412) for the fifth time this season ... both players were recognized on the BIG EAST's weekly honor roll for their accomplishments ... Sciacca received that honor on Oct. 15 as well, and the BIG EAST also named her as its Freshman of the Week on Oct. 22.
Good Reason To Get Defensive ... In a 3-0 win over Rutgers, Notre Dame did more than just pick up its third BIG EAST Conference win of the season ... the team picked up the spirits and hopes of fans, friends, and family by raising $5,900 for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure grassroots network of Northern Indiana in its first-annual Dig for the Cure match, with the total amount going towards breast cancer research ... "the Dig for the Cure was a wonderful event for us, and I hope we got the annual match off to a great start," said Irish head coach Debbie Brown ... "we've already thought of ways to make the entire experience better in hopes of raising even more money next season" .... fans were challenged to equal or exceed Brown's pledge of $5 for each of her team's digs in the match ... the Irish defense scooped 39 digs in the three-game tilt to produce $1,848 in donations ... commemorative jerseys with pink lettering worn by the team during the conference showdown were donated by adidas ... the jerseys were then auctioned off to yield a total of $2,125, with the top earner bringing in $250 ... a trio of Dig for the Cure t-shirts autographed by the team were auctioned off during intermission, with each going for $200 ... "I was impressed with the number of people that bid on jerseys, bought t-shirts, and donated money by sponsoring digs," added Brown ... "this was a great starting point for us to build on in years to come."
Twice the Celebration ... With the Notre Dame football team's 20-6 win over UCLA and an Irish volleyball sweep over Rutgers, Saturday (Oct. 6) marked the first time this season that both the football and volleyball teams were victorious on the same day ... the volleyball team had previously won on three football game-day Saturdays ... the next time the two squads could potentially play on the same date is Nov. 17, when the football team wraps up the home portion of its schedule against Duke ... the Irish netters could be competing simultaneously in the second round of the BIG EAST Conference Championships hosted by Marquette.
Serene Killer ... One week after racking up a career-high 23 kills at West Virginia, sophomore Serinity Phillips exploded for 26 in a five-game match with Villanova ... she had only six errors on 63 swings for a .317 average ... Phillips leads the Irish with 261 total kills and 3.39/game.
Game Four Was a Bottomless Pitt ... Notre Dame downed conference foe Pittsburgh 15-straight times between 1992-2002, but since then Pitt has taken five of the last seven meetings, including a 3-1 home win for the Panthers in 2007 ... in that battle, Notre Dame combined to score 82 points with Pittsburgh in the fourth game of a match that was also both team's BIG EAST Conference opener ... there were 27 ties and 15 lead changes in the elongated period, and senior Adrianna Stasiuk contributed nine of her 14 kills in the game ... the Irish set a school record for most points in a four-game match (131), and tied the program's mark for the fourth-highest point total in an affair of any length ... their 40 points in game four was the most ever won in a single game, eclipsing the previous high of 37 in game one of a 3-1 victory over Eastern Washington in 2003.
If the Jersey Fits ... Adrianna Stasiuk started each of the matches during the opening conference weekend at the libero position, and even tied a season-high mark of 21 digs at Pittsburgh ... Stasiuk fired home 14 kills in the final two games against the Panthers after being relieved of libero duties ... she had 17 scoops at West Virginia and came one kill shy of recording her eighth-straight double-double ... it was the first time the senior had not notched 10 or more kills in a match since the season opener against Minnesota.
(Taru) Tis Better To Give ... Ashley Tarutis had 12 assists in game one against Pittsburgh to push her four-year total over 4,000 ... she became the third player in school history to record at least 4,000 in a career, joining Janelle Karlan (5,197: 1990-93) and Denis Boylan (4,687: 1997-2000) ... Tarutis' 47 assists against Missouri pushed her past Kristen Kinder (2000-03) for third-place on the school's all-time assist list.
Line Fusion ... A pair of shifts in the Irish starting lineup by head coach Debbie Brown to start BIG EAST play gave junior Mallorie Croal (at Pittsburgh) and sophomore Kim Kristoff (at West Virginia) their first starts of the season ... Serinity Phillips, Kellie Sciacca, Megan Fesl, Justine Stremick, Adrianna Stasiuk, and Ashley Tarutis have all started each contest this year ... two of Stasiuk's starts have been at the libero spot ... Croal, Kristoff, Megan Dunne, and Angela Puente have also received starting nods.
Take Five ... Serinity Phillips (14), Kellie Sciacca (14), Megan Fesl (13), Justine Stremick (10), and Adrianna Stasiuk (14) comprised the five-player group that had 10+ kills in a 3-1 loss at Pittsburgh ... the feat was a first for an Irish squad since Christina Kaelin (24), Mallorie Croal (14), Stremick (14) Stasiuk (13) and Fesl (13) did the same versus Missouri on Sept. 2, 2006 ... ND dropped that match, 3-2.
A Long Time Coming ... A run of four losses to ranked teams this season came to an end when ND downed No. 22 Santa Clara ... before doing so, the last ranked team Notre Dame dismantled was No. 24 St. John's during the 2006 BIG EAST Tournament (Nov. 18).
Rolling In the Conference Honors ... Middle blocker Kellie Sciacca was voted the league's Freshman of the Week (Sept. 17) after she posted career-best marks in every major statistical category for the Irish at the Bronco Invitational in Santa Clara, Calif. ... Sciacca became the first Irish player to record 10+ blocks - since teammate Justine Stremick did so last season against Idaho - when she registered 10 against No. 11 California in Notre Dame's 3-2 loss ... she turned in the team's highest individual hitting percentage of the season (.625) with a personal-best 16 kills against No. 22 Santa Clara while adding career-highs of three aces and six digs in the winning effort ... she finished the three-match invite with 37 kills and a .361 mark over 14 games.
Hoisting the Hardware ... Freshman Kellie Sciacca was recognized on the BIG EAST's weekly honor roll (Sept. 10) after posting 15 kills (.524) and nine blocks against Alabama in the Shamrock Invitational, which she followed with a 12-kill performance vs. No. 13 Ohio ... Megan Fesl was a part of the same list one week earlier (Sept. 3) after a 20-kill output at Missouri while earning all-tournament honors at the Tiger Invitational.
Hello...Is It Me You're Looking For? Coming off an injury, preseason all-BIG EAST choice Mallorie Croal saw her first action of the season in an Irish loss to No. 11 California ... Croal, who played sparingly, had a kill and two digs ... she put together a band of seven consecutive double-doubles to end the 2006 season, which is the second longest streak in the record books.
Join the Club ... In a five-game tilt with Alabama, Adrianna Stasiuk smashed the 1,000th kill of her career to tie game three at 25-25, and in doing so joined 16 other players in the program's history to reach that plateau ... she also became only the seventh Notre Dame player ever to register 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career, as Jamie Lee (1994-97) and Angie Harris (1994-97) were the last to do so ... not too much later in the frame with the Irish ahead 29-28, Stasiuk connected on kill No. 1,002 to put the finishing touches on the Crimson Tide.
Sweet Home (Win Against) Alabama ... The Irish were in a familiar - yet uncomfortable - spot during a 3-2 win over Alabama ... just two matches earlier against Florida International, Notre Dame lost the first game and was trailed, 2-1, going into the third frame ... instead of hitting the panic button, ND came back to win both matches to remain undefeated in five-game contests this season ... several program milestones were eclipsed, which include the last time: a Notre Dame player had 20+ kills [Megan Fesl (20)]; five Notre Dame players had 10+ digs [Serinity Phillips (10), Ashley Tarutis (15), Megan Fesl (19), Adrianna Stasiuk (16), Angela Puente (15); four Notre Dame players had 15+ digs [Ashley Tarutis (15), Megan Fesl (19), Adrianna Stasiuk (16), Angela Puente (15)]; Notre Dame had 80+ digs (80); Notre Dame player hit .500+ [Kellie Sciacca (15-4-21, .524)]; Notre Dame hit .500+ as a team in a game ... Sciacca's .524 mark is third-best in school history for a five-game match ... one week previous, the Irish set a school record by hitting .538 in game five against Florida International.
Gimme Five...or Four ... It's nice when two or three players connect on 10+ kills in a match ... but it's even better when five can pull it off ... that's just what then-20th Notre Dame did when they faced Missouri last season, who was ranked 13th coming into the Sept. 2 match ... Christina Kaelin (24), Mallorie Croal (14), Justine Stremick (14) Adrianna Stasiuk (13), and Megan Fesl (13) all had double-digit kill performances for Notre Dame ... in the 2007 matchup, four Irish players hit the double-digit mark in that category: Serinity Phillips (11), Fesl (14), Stasiuk (10), and Stremick (13).
What a Difference a Year Makes ... In game two against No. 13 Ohio, and attack from Tara Enzweiler got through the Bobcat defense to give ND a 16-14 lead ... she soon assisted on a Megan Fesl kill to put the Irish ahead by three at 18-15 ... it was not just a rare assist for the middle blocker, but a very rare assist ... her last dish came exactly one year prior to the Ohio match against Kansas State at the Northern Iowa Invitational in Cedar Falls, Iowa (Sept. 9, 2006).
Shining at the Shamrock ... Two Irish players earned spots on the Shamrock Invitational all-tournament team, as Serinity Phillips and Megan Fesl represented Notre Dame after career weekends ... Phillips had a (then) personal-high 18 kills against Alabama on 48 attempts, and her 12 digs in first-round action with College of Charleston was also a career-best ... Fesl's second 20-kill match of the season came against the Crimson Tide with a pair of aces ... a (then) career-high 5.0 blocks came against College of Charleston for the sophomore.
Volleyball's Cal Ripken ... Ashley Tarutis saw action in each of Notre Dame's eight games over the course of the Tiger Invitational, which then pushed her total of consecutive games played to a school-record 365 ... libero Meg Henican played in 363 straight games between Nov. 17, 2002 - Dec. 9, 2005 ... Tarutis is the only player in the history of the program to play in each game of every match (427 of 427) throughout a career ... next on the list is Lauren Brewster (.969 - 444/458) ... Tarutis is also one of four players to play in every career match.
Four Hands Are Better Than Two ... Ashley Tarutis and Jamel Nicholas passed out 35 and 20 assists, respectively, in an Irish loss against No. 7 Florida ... the occasion marked the second time in three matches that Notre Dame had two players record 20+ assists ... the same duo accomplished the feat in the 2006 finale against No. 10 Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament ... Tarutis had 45 assists with Nicholas adding 21 in the BIG EAST opener at Pittsburgh ... both handed out 20+ vs. Villanova.
They're Grrrrrreat! Both Megan Fesl and Serinity Phillips earned spots on the all-tournament team at Missouri's Tiger Invitational after posting career performances ... Fesl turned in a personal-best 20 kills against Florida International and a season-high 16 digs against Missouri ... with 19.0 points against the Golden Panthers, Phillips set a career-high in that stat column ... she also had a (then) season-high 15 kills and seven blocks in Notre Dame's win over FIU.
Are You Down for a Road Trip? Missouri's Tiger Invitational was originally slated to be a four-team tournament ... Florida A&M opted to withdraw from the event, leaving Notre Dame without a Sunday match due to the shifted schedule ... instead, the Irish left Columbia for St. Louis several hours before their flight departed town to take in some sights ... the squad made it to the top of the Gateway Arch and watched the St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Cincinnati Reds in Busch Stadium ... with the scoreboard chock full of zeroes, the Cards' Rick Ankiel led off the sixth inning with a solo homer and soon stepped out of the dugout for a curtain call ... but Irish manager Hy Pham may have drawn an even louder ovation from the patrons of section 367 for an earlier performance ... Pham took the spotlight by downing two hotdogs and a chicken sandwich - which was followed with a large soda - before the midway point of the first inning ... Pham claims he has never used performance-enhancing drugs ... Notre Dame also visited the University of Missouri Children's Hospital on Saturday morning before playing Florida International later that evening ... while there, they passed out Notre Dame volleyball collectables in addition to quite a few hugs, smiles, and laughs with patients.
Must Have Been Something She Ate ... When Notre Dame cracked open the lid on the 2007 season, Serinity Phillips had three kills on 14 attempts with two errors for a .071 average against Minnesota ... whatever she did on her day off between Friday evening and Sunday's match with Florida must have worked ... Phillips responded with a career-best .583 hitting percentage with 14 kills on 24 swats without an error ... previously, Christina Kaelin (12-2-18, .556) was the last Irish player to hit .500+ when she did so in a 3-2 win at Cincinnati in 2006.
Closing In ... Sophomore Christina Kaelin had five 20+-kill matches last season to finish tied for sixth in a single season ... Christy Peters holds the all-time single season mark of nine (1994) ... after one season, Kaelin is one spot shy Notre Dame's all-time top-10 list for career 20+-kill matches.
Spoiling the Party ... The Irish had never dropped a home opener under head coach Debbie Brown since she took over the program in 1991 until this season's loss to Minnesota ... the defeat also marked the first time an Irish team had not started a season - at home or away - with a win since they fell 3-1 to Montana in the 1990 opener.
Re-Joyce Center ... Notre Dame is now 21-7 in home openers and had won its last 17 before falling to Minnesota ... previously, the last time the Irish dropped an opener in the Joyce Center was in 1989 to Western Michigan, 3-2, in the Notre Dame Invitational ... before this season, no ND team has started play on its home court with back-to-back matches against top-10 teams.
And You Thought You Had It Bad ... Not only did Notre Dame face two top-10 squads in the season's first weekend, but seven of its 13 non-conference opponents were ranked among the nation's top 25 in the CSTV/AVCA Coaches Preseason Poll ... additionally, three more non-conference foes along with Louisville and St. John's received votes in the standings ... the RichKern.com Poll had eight future Irish opponents in its preseason top-30, with five more appearing within the following 10 spots.