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ND Volleyball: Irish look for first ACC victory against Wake

Meri Kelly | Friday, October 4, 2013

With the home-court advantage, the Irish hope to obtain their first conference win and top ACC opponent Wake Forest tonight.

The Irish (6-8, 0-3 ACC) fell to ACC foe Duke on Wednesday night, mainly because of defensive problems. But defensive issues are not usual for Notre Dame, and Irish coach Debbie Brown said different matches always arise different weaknesses. Brown said the Irish worked on strengthening their defense this week in practice.

“But if we correct the defense, we need to make sure our passing stays strong, or that our hitting stays strong,” Brown said. “We need to have consistency and play the whole game, and most importantly play it well.”

The last time Notre Dame played Wake Forest (11-3, 0-2) was in 1982, when the Irish took home a 2-0 win. And although the Irish have not faced Wake Forest for many years, Brown said they know what to expect.

“Looking at film and looking at the scouting report, they play an untraditional lineup, so we will have to play attention to that,” Brown said. “They are led by an outside [hitter] and a middle [hitter], some of their two strongest offensive players that play opposite each other in the lineup.”

Brown said the Irish will not have to change their game plan to counteract Wake Forest’s untraditional lineup, but they will have to be aware of it.

Brown said she has a high level of respect for Wake Forest, especially its winning record.

“But I think that if we keep care of the ball on our side, we should be fine,” Brown said.

The Irish are calling fans to participate in “White Out Wake” tonight. Free white t-shirts will be handed out before the game.

“Any time you’re playing in front of a home crowd that is rowdy and raucous, its good, and we’ve had some great crowds here,” Brown said. “When the students have come out, they have been great at providing a home-court atmosphere for us. “

The Irish face the Demon Deacons at 7 p.m. tonight at the Purcell Pavilion.

Contact Meri Kelly at mkelly29@nd.edu