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Hurricanes Fall to No. 17 Notre Dame, 3-1 at the BIG EAST Championships

Nov. 22, 2003

Box Score

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The University of Miami volleyball team fell to No. 17 Notre Dame, 3-1 (30-19, 30-23, 23-30, 30-20) on Saturday night at the BIG EAST Championship semi-finals.

The No. 2 seed Hurricanes (22-9) were held to a .040 hitting percentage in the first game with the Irish (23-4) turning in eight of their 17 total team blocks to take the first game 30-19.

Miami took a 4-3 lead in the second game on a kill by Francheska Savage (Ft. Myers, Fla.) in the midst of a 7-1 run over the third seeded Irish. UM and Notre Dame would tie the match up seven different times before the Irish pulled away to win, 30-23.

The Hurricanes answered in the third slate. Trailing 17-15, Miami rallied for three straight points taking the lead, 18-17 when outside hitter Elizabeth Tyson (Jacksonville, Fla.) blasted a shot into Notre Dame’s court on a set by Mallorey James (Tucson, Ariz.). Miami never turned the lead over again. With the score 29-23, UM’s Robin Lewullis (Allentown, Pa.) and Valeria Tipiana (Lima, Peru) teamed up to block a shot by Notre Dame to win the game, 30-23.

Miami’s comeback fell short in the fourth game with Notre Dame taking the game, 30-20 to win the match.

“I think we started out a little too slow,” Head Coach Nicole Lantagne Welch said. “We came out in game three with a great lineup and executed perfectly, which resulted in a win. We just couldn’t sustain that in the fourth game. They put a lot of pressure on our passing game which gave us trouble.”

Tipiana finished the game with a team-high 14 kills. Coming off a recent foot injury, the junior outside hitter also added 10 digs for the Hurricanes.

“Val had her best match since her injury. It was exciting to see her play with such fight,” Lantagne Welch said.

James, also returning from a foot injury, lead the Hurricanes with 33 assists with 11 digs off the bench. Lewullis, splitting time in the middle and on the outside, finished with six total blocks (one solo, five assists) in the match along with 12 kills.

“Mallorey came off the bench and did a superb job having just a little practice time under her belt,” Lantagne Welch said. “Robin was solid in whatever role we put her in tonight.”

With the win, No. 2 Notre Dame will go on to face No. 1 Pittsburgh, who downed No. 4 Villanova, 3-0, in the BIG EAST Championship match on Sunday.