The University of Cincinnati volleyball team opened Big East play over the weekend, falling to Notre dame 3-2 Friday and defeating DePaul 3-1 Sunday at Fifth Third Arena.
UC lost to Notre Dame in an extremely close match, which ended with an extremely rare red-card.
“I thought we played phenomenal tonight. As we grow and get better, we need to capitalize on opportunities sooner,” said UC head coach Molly Alvey.
UC utilized an early 7-point run to defeat the Irish in the first set, 25-17.
Cincinnati and Notre Dame were tied for the majority of the second set, but a late three-point run by the Irish gave Notre Dame the set, 25-21, and evened the match.
UC took a 2-1 advantage after the third set, winning 25-21. The set started off with an early five-point UC lead, but Notre Dame tied the score at 20 and three straight kills from UC senior Jordanne Scott at the end of the set proved to be the deciding factor.
The fifth set played out relatively even, but ended abruptly when the down-referee charged one of UC’s players with a red card.
With the score tied at 14, UC senior Megan Turner was whistled for an attacking error. The error gave Notre Dame a 15-14 lead, but Turner was shown the red-card before the next point began and Notre Dame was awarded the set, and the match, 16-14.
“There are multiple things that can happen for a red card,” Alvey said. “It’s basically just a penalty card where the other team is awarded a point.”
Seniors Jordanne Scott and Emily Hayden led the Bearcats in kills with 21 and 17 kills respectively.
UC rebounded from the loss, defeating Depaul Sunday for its first conference win of the season.
Scott followed up her solid performance against Notre Dame with her second double-double of the season, registering 24 kills and 16 digs.
DePaul won a high scoring first set, which finished 28-26 in favor of the Blue Demons. UC had two opportunities to serve out the set, but couldn’t capitalize.
UC rebounded well, dominating a quick second set, 25-13.
The third set was far more competitive, with UC using 3 straight kills from Scott and an ace from senior Rachel Rohlfs to complete the come from behind victory, 25-23.
Cincinnati comfortably handled the fourth game, 25-20, to seal its first home win of the season.
Alvey was happy to get the win on the heels of UC’s heartbreaking loss to Notre Dame, she said.
“We’re happy to have played well together and come out on the winning side,” Alvey said. “I thought we responded really well”
The Bearcats will be back in action Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. against Pittsburgh, in Pittsburgh, Pa.