Notre Dame falls to ACC opponents to close out season
Observer Staff Report | Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Notre Dame wrapped up its season with a pair of road losses in the ACC, falling to both Syracuse and Boston College.
After grabbing just their second conference win last weekend in their home finale against Clemson, the Irish (7-25, 2-18 ACC) were unable to carry any momentum into the Thanksgiving stretch of games.
Wednesday, Notre Dame took the first set from the Orange (23-8, 14-6 ACC), but fell in the next three sets to drop a 3-1 decision (27-29, 25-12, 25-17, 25-16).
Sophomore outside hitter Sam Fry led the Irish against Syracuse with 14 kills and a .357 attack percentage as well as two blocks. Meanwhile, sophomore setter Maddie Dilfer added a double-double on 45 assists and 11 digs while sophomore outside hitter Maddie Plumlee led the team with 15 kills.
The Irish had one final chance to close the season on a high note, but they dropped a close match to the Eagles (12-20, 4-16) in five sets (25-19, 14-25, 23-25, 25-18, 15-13).
After dropping the first set to Boston College, Notre Dame came roaring back to take the next two sets for a 2-1 lead in the match before the Eagles closed strong to take the 3-2 win.
Boston College and Notre Dame were virtually equal in every statistical category, as the Irish led in both blocks (10-8) and attack percentage (.259-236) but trailed slightly in kills, assists, aces and digs.
Fry again led the team, this time with 18 kills, eight blocks and a .571 attack percentage. Dilfer posted another double-double with 51 assists and 14 digs, and this time she was joined in the double-double club by sophomore outside hitter Sydney Kuhn, who had 12 kills and 12 digs.
Before the final match of the season, both Fry and freshman middle blocker Meg Morningstar were honored by the ACC, as Fry was named a second team all-ACC member and Morningstar made the all-freshman team in the conference as well.
The two losses mark the end of the campaign for Notre Dame and the end of head coach Jim McLaughlin’s first season at the helm. McLaughlin and the young Irish, who started freshmen and sophomores throughout the majority of the year, will now begin looking toward next season.