Wisconsin 3, Notre Dame 2 Dec. 9, 2005

COLLEGE STATION, Texas- The 11th-seeded Wisconsin Badgers (26-6) advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championships with a 30-25, 28-30, 30-25, 25-30, 15-9 victory over No. 6-seed Notre Dame (30-4) Friday evening at G. Rollie White Coliseum on the Texas A&M campus.

With the win Wisconsin, Big Ten runners-up, moved into to the round of eight for the second straight year and awaits the winner of Friday's other regional semifinal between No. 3-seed Washington and No. 14-seed Purdue. The Irish, Big East champions, end the year after making their first trip to the round of 16 since 1997.

Wisconsin, who has beaten Notre Dame in all three of the schools' previous NCAA meetings, took the initial lead in the match with a 30-25 game one victory.

The Badgers used an 8-1 run early in the game to take a 14-5 lead. Wisconsin maintained the big lead late into the game before Notre Dame fought back.

Trailing by five and two points shy of losing the game, the Irish used a kill by freshman Mallorie Croal and a smash of an overpass by senior All-American Lauren Brewster-one of her eight kills in the game-to climb within three at 28-25.

Wisconsin responded, reaching game point on freshman Audra Jeffers' fifth kill of the game, then won when Brewster was called in the net.

Notre Dame took a 16-10 lead in the second game before Wisconsin's Aubrey Meierotto and Taylor Reinecke teamed for back-to-back blocks. Following a timeout, the Irish scored the next four points to extend their lead to eight.

The Badgers battled back and pulled within one at 24-23 but could not take the lead, despite posting nine blocks in the game.

Meierotto teamed with Sheila Shaw to block UW's Lauren Klebley and tie the game at 28, but the ensuing serve by Jackie Simpson sailed long and gave the Irish game point. Croal found the back line on a roll shot on the next rally for a 30-28 Notre Dame win, tying the match at one.

The Badgers used a quick start in the third game to propel them to a 30-25 victory and a 2-1 match lead.

Meierotto and Maria Carlini served Wisconsin to a quick 11-4 lead out of the locker room. The Irish would get as close as one at 16-15 before the Badgers eventually extended their lead to five on a block by Meierotto at 26-21. The teams would side out the rest of the way with Carlini providing the final point on her 15th kill of the night.

Trailing 14-9 in the fourth game, Wisconsin scored six straight points to take a 15-14 lead. After Carlini's sixth block of the match put the Badgers up four, 21-17, Notre Dame began its own comeback.

The Irish went on a 10-3 run to take a 27-24 lead. After a kill by Jeffers cut the lead to two, Notre Dame scored the final three points to win the game, 30-25. Irish outside hitter Adrianna Stasiuk accounted for the final two points, notching a kill off the back row before blocking a Badger tip attempt on the next point.

Wisconsin took a quick 7-3 lead in the fifth game and did not allow Notre Dame to get closer than three points the rest of the way. The Badgers put the game away when back-to-back Irish errors gave UW a 12-6 lead and forced a Notre Dame timeout. Carlini followed the timeout with her 21st kill of the night to put the Badgers up 13-6. With Wisconsin leading 14-8, Brewster notched a kill to keep the match alive but the ensuing serve by Meg Henican went into the net to end the match.

For the match Wisconsin out-hit Notre Dame, .264 to .179, and out-blocked the Irish 18.5 to 12. The Badgers placed five players in double-figure kills led by Carlini's 22. Wack led the defense with a career-high 36 digs.

Notre Dame was paced by Croal and Kelbley with 18 kills apiece.

Postgame Notes

  • All four of Notre Dame's losses in 2005 came in five-game affairs.
  • Notre Dame is now 4-2 this year when losing the first game.
  • Notre Dame is now 14-15 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and 1-5 in the round of 16.
  • Notre Dame has lost to Wisconsin in both of its last two round of 16 appearances (1997, 2005).
  • Notre Dame is now 4-4 this season in five game matches.
  • Notre Dame is now 2-4 in NCAA tournament five-game matches
  • Notre Dame had its six-match winning streak against nationally-ranked teams snapped, losing to a ranked team for the first time since Sept. 4, 2004, vs. #2 Nebraska (also a five-game match). ND was 5-1 vs. ranked teams in '05.
  • Notre Dame Sophomore OH Adrianna Stasiuk finished with 15 kills and 20 digs. It was her sixth consecutive match with a double-double, and her eighth in the last nine matches.
  • Notre Dame Senior L Meg Henican had 27 digs. It is the 12th time this season and 29th time in her career that she has had 20+ digs. She has had 10+ digs in 29 consecutive matches.
  • Notre Dame Sophomore S Ashley Tarutis had a career-high 19 digs.
  • With the 30-28 win in game two, Notre Dame finished the season with a 9-2 record in two-point games against nationally-ranked teams.
  • Notre Dame's Carolyn Cooper is the lone Texan in the regional, hailing from Houston's Lutheran South Academy, about 1 ½ hours away from Texas A&M's campus in College Station.
  • Wisconsin now leads the all-time series, 5-1
  • Wisconsin is now 24-2 this year when winning first game
  • Wisconsin is now 24-12 all time in the NCAA Tournament and 5-4 in the round of 16
  • Wisconsin libero Jocelyn Wack set an NCAA record for consecutive matches with double figure digs (63)
  • Wisconsin has beaten Notre Dame in all three meetings between the schools in NCAA play.
  • Wisconsin advanced to the quarterfinal round for the second straight season.
  • Wisconsin is now 5-1 in 5 game matches.
  • Wisconsin is now 4-4 in NCAA Tournament five-game matches

-- Courtesy Texas A&M