Nov. 14, 2013
Notre Dame @ No. 22 Florida State
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Winners of three of its last four matches, the University of Notre Dame volleyball team hits the road this weekend for its final road trip of the season as the Irish fly to the Sunshine State for a 7 p.m. Friday match with Miami and a 12 p.m. Sunday contest with No. 22 Florida State.
"We know we are going against two very good teams and will play at two hostile environments this weekend," said head coach Debbie Brown. "Our attitude is a little different than the last time we played them. We know Miami will probably have a little edge to it, might have revenge on its minds from us winning at home. FSU certainly played a great match against us the first time, but we felt like we didn't play like we are capable of playing. We have a lot more to prove and we are ready to take on both challenges this weekend."
The meetings with the Hurricanes and Seminoles will complete a home-and-home series for the season as both programs played at Purcell Pavilion in mid-October.
Against Miami, Notre Dame picked up one of its most impressive wins of the year as the Irish carried momentum from their first Atlantic Coast Conference win of the season at Georgia Tech to knock off the then-first place Hurricanes, 3-1, behind a combined 44 kills from senior Sammie Brown and juniors Toni Alugbue and Jeni Houser.
Two days later, the highly ranked Seminoles rolled past the Irish, 3-0, by pounding home 47 kills on offense and blocking 12 Irish attacks on defense. The Irish didn't help their cause, as they had just 26 kills and hit .042.
Notre Dame is coming off a thrilling 3-2 win over Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass., last Saturday. The Irish played themselves into a 2-0 deficit before roaring out of the break to win the final three sets to earn their second victory of the season and fourth in two years where they overcame an 0-2 hole to win the match. After registering just two blocks in the first two frames combined, the Irish totaled 10 over the final three sets to help fuel the comeback.
Miami (15-10, 8-7) has lost seven of its last nine matches after opening 6-0 in ACC play. Most recently, the Hurricanes have lost three straight matches at Virginia Tech, at Virginia and home vs. Florida State by 3-1 margins.
In the last matchup between the two teams, Savanah Leaf (17) and Alex Johnson (14) led the Hurricanes in kills. On defense the U totaled 17 blocks, the second most against the Irish all season, to help hold Notre Dame to a .161 attack percentage.
Florida State (19-7, 12-3 ACC) has only lost one match at Tully Gym this season and is a perfect 5-0 in ACC play. The Seminoles play their last five conference matches of the year at home, starting with the Irish Sunday.
In the last meeting between the two teams, FSU hit .379 as a team and had three student-athletes with double-digit kills and a plus-.350 attack percentage. The Seminoles remain near the top of the ACC rankings in many statistical categories including blocking (1st), hitting percentage (1st), kills (3rd) and assists (3rd).
A live stats link for the match against the Seminoles can be found on UND.com.
As we near the end of the season, a handful of Irish student-athletes are working their way up the Notre Dame career rankings.
For more information on Notre Dame volleyball, check out the Irish on Facebook (/NDVolleyball) and on Twitter (@NDVolleyball).
-- Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director