Volleyball Loses Five-Game Heartbreaker to Notre Dame
Sept. 4, 2005
NOTRE DAME, Ind. (www.thesundevils.com) -- Arizona State sophomore libero Sydney Donahue recorded a near-record-breaking 43 digs, but a valiant team effort by the Sun Devils came up shot in a five-set loss to the University of Notre Dame Sunday afternoon in the final day of The Inn at St. Mary's Shamrock Invitational. The Irish earned the win with scores of 30-20, 28-30, 21-30, 30-23, 15-10.
Arizona State lost its third straight match to fall to 1-4 on the season. Notre Dame continued its perfect season at 3-0 and should enter the national rankings after also beating 11th-ranked Texas in the Invitational.
Setting a career high and ASU rally-scoring record, Donahue (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) fell one dig short of matching the ASU single-match record of 44 set by All-American Christy Nore in 1988. She earned a spot on the all-tournament team after averaging 7.75 digs per game over the weekend.
Junior outside hitter Nicole Morton (Fallbrook, Calif.) led the Sun Devils with 17 kills and added eight digs. Junior Nina Reeves (Gilbert, Ariz.) came off the bench to contribute a season-high 15 kills on a .419 hitting percentage. She also had three service aces and three blocks for a team-high 19.5 points. Sophomore outside hitter Kristen Trayser (Crystal Lake, Ill.) recorded a season high with 12 kills. Senior setter Giovana Melo paced the ASU offense with 54 assists.
The Irish were led by 28 kills from tournament MVP Lauren Brewster. The 2004 third-team AVCA All-American also had three blocks and one service ace for a match-high 31.0 points. Setter Ashley Tarutis led all players with 65 assists.
Despite holding an early lead, ASU dropped the first game 30-20. The Sun Devils were out-hit .357 to .140 and were led by three kills each from Smith and Morton. Donahue led all players with nine digs.
In the second game, ASU rallied to overcome a six-point deficit (trailed 15-9) to even the match at one game apiece. Reeves came off the bench to fuel ASU's comeback with seven kills on a blistering .700 (7-0-10) hitting percentage. Donahue continued her stellar defense with 14 digs.
The Sun Devils continued the momentum from the second game with a convincing 30-21 win in the third frame. Led by a balanced offensive attach that include four kills from Kristen Trayser and Tierra Burnley, ASU hit a blistering .310 en route to the win.
The Irish bounced back to tie the match with a 30-23 win in the fourth game. After pulling even at 14-14, the Irish went on a 16-9 run to push the match to a decisive fifth game. Morton led the Sun Devils with five kills on a .312 hitting percentage. Brewster paced the Irish offense with eight of her match-high 28 kills.
Notre Dame took control in the middle of the fifth game by going on a 6-1 run to take a 11-6 lead. ASU fought back to pull to within four points at 14-10, but Brewster put the match away with her 28th kill.
ASU returns to action next weekend when they host the Wyndham Buttes/Sun Devil Volleyball Classic at Wells Fargo Arena. The Sun Devils will host Northern Arizona, Auburn and Texas State in the two-day event.
Match Notes: Sophomore defensive specialist Alison Lund made her first career start... in five matches this season, Sydney Donahue is averaging 6.32 digs per game... she has recorded double-digits in digs in each match and has two matches with 20 or more digs.