Oct 22, 2012, 2:35 PM EDT
Notre Dame volleyball has now won six straight BIG EAST matches following a pair of road victories against Georgetown and Villanova over the weekend. During the streak, Debbie Brown‘s club has only lost one set (to St. John’s on Oct. 7). The Irish stand strong with an overall record of 15-6 and a conference record of 8-1, which is good for second place in the BIG EAST. The Irish only trail No. 15 Louisville in the standings, a team they beat earlier this season away from Purcell Pavilion, with six regular season matches left on the slate.
Key for Notre Dame this season have been sophomore outside hitter Toni Alugbue and junior outside hitter Andrea McHugh. Both players bring an incredible level of versatility to the Irish attack each night, in addition to leadership skills on and off the court. Alugbue leads the team in kills and has been recognized by the BIG EAST conference multiple times for her explosive hitting and consistent play. On Sept. 24, she was named BIG EAST Player of the Week for the first time in her career, and has been a part of the conference Honor Roll on three separate occasions this season.
Under the radar on most accounts is McHugh, arguably Notre Dame’s most valuable player because of what she does that seemingly goes unnoticed. You might call her the “glue” that holds the Irish together through thick and thin. Her strong defense, offensive prowess, and craftiness as a player have given the team necessary boosts in close matches throughout the year. It’s exactly what you might expect from a wily veteran who understands the concept that team play always trumps individual play.
This weekend, Notre Dame will host Pittsburgh on Friday and South Florida on Sunday as it looks to build on its current winning streak. Be sure to check out both matches in person or via live video streaming on und.com (NOTE: Friday’s game will be played in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse, due to the Pacers vs. Bulls NBA preseason game, and will therefore not be streamed). Sunday’s tilt against the Bulls will be the annual Dig Pink match to raise awareness for breast cancer at Purcell Pavilion.
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