Bearcats Take Down Irish in South Bend|
Oct. 1, 2011
South Bend, Ind. – The University of Cincinnati volleyball team proved the BIG EAST preseason rankings wrong with a 3-1 win over Notre Dame Saturday afternoon (27-25, 26-24, 16-25, 25-22).
The Irish were picked to finish second in the conference compared to the Bearcats’ preseason pick of third. Cincinnati was led by the offensive efforts of senior Missy Harpenau, who recorded 25 kills and a .345 percentage. Harpenau also had 12 digs for another double-double on the season.
Sophomore Emily MacIntyre led the back row again with 22 digs. Freshman Caylin Mahoney set up the attack with 58 assists. Junior Becca Refenes was a dominant force at the net with 7 block assists, with fellow junior Jordanne Scott close behind with 5 block assists.
The entire match was exciting for the fans with long rallies, defensive plays, and many blocks at the net. The win was also historic for the Bearcats, marking the first time Cincinnati has beaten Notre Dame in South Bend.
Refenes started the fourth set working hard and travelling along the net to block four hits, in which the Irish kept in play. Finally her fifth block of the rally went down for a point for a score of 3-2. She then tied the score with an ace at three points each. Harpenau secured the Bearcats’ first lead since the second set with two kills for a score of 8-6. She then recorded another kill, and along with a Refenes ace, the Bearcats were on top 15-14. Refenes and Scott teamed up for their fifth block assists of the match at 19-16. With defense from MacIntyre and another kill from Harpenau out of the back row, the Bearcats were closer to the set win 21-17. Turner brought the Bearcats set point with a kill 24-21. Hayden ended the set and locked up the match win 25-22.
The Irish came out fighting in the third set as they went up early with a 7-4 lead. That lead remained three points with kills from Harpenau, Turner, and Hayden for a score of 10-7. Scott then got a kill around a triple block in the middle for a score of 15-10. Out of the media timeout, the Irish score two points in a row to continue their run 17-10. Hayden finally ended that run with a kill from an Irish overpass at 19-11. Harpenau then ran a play in the middle which she executed a kill for a 22-13 score. A Bearcat hitting error sealed the Irish set win 25-16.
The score was reflected by the hitting percentages of the teams. The Irish hit a match high .485 while the Bearcats struggle with a .195 percentage. The second set began like the first set ended with the teams fighting for each point and long rallies. Even with kills from Scott, Turner and Refenes, the Bearcats found themselves behind 8-6. Hayden ran a play behind Mahoney to put down a kill for the same deficit of two, 12-10. A kill from Refenes and a solo block from Hayden in the middle shortened the Irish lead 17-16. Turner then recorded an ace to tie the score at 19. Scott and Refenes teamed up for a block and Refenes recorded a kill for a score of 23-22, the Bearcats two away from the set win. That momentum was quickly stopped with a Bearcat ball-handling error and an Irish kill, bringing the set point to Notre Dame. The Bearcats fought back though and finished the set with a kill from Refenes and an ace by Harpenau for a score of 26-24.
The match started with several long rallies with the defensive efforts of MacIntyre, a block from Scott and Refenes and kills from Scott and Harpenau for an early Bearcat lead 4-1. A booming Scott kill right in front of the Irish libero kept the Bearcats ahead 12-10. A Hayden kill brought the Bearcats energy, but the score was still tied up at 16. The Irish got their first lead at 19-18 with a block. Harpenau then came flying out of the back row for a kill to keep the score close 21-20 in favor of the Irish. The teams fought for several set points, but it finally ended with a quick Scott switch to the outside, where she teamed up with Refenes for a straight-down block 27-25. Both teams did well offensively, the Bearcats hit .400 while the Irish posted a .333 hitting percentage. Cincinnati had three players hit over .450 in the set, led by Hayden’s .750 percentage.
With the win, the team remains undefeated (3-0) in the BIG EAST. The Bearcats play again right away tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. CT against the Demons of DePaul.