Irish earn one win, one loss in North Carolina road swing
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, November 7, 2016
Notre Dame came away with a victory in straight sets followed by a loss this weekend on a road swing in North Carolina.
The Irish (19-7, 10-4 ACC) bounced back from their first pair of consecutive losses of the year, to Miami and No. 10 Florida State, with a sweep of Wake Forest (9-15, 5-8 ACC) on Friday, taking both matches in the season series for the first time in program history. Notre Dame tallied 12 blocks on the night and held the Demon Deacons to a .092 hitting percentage.
Senior outside hitter Katie Higgins led the team with 11 kills on a .500 percentage. Junior setter Taylor Zwickl led the team with a season-high 19 assists.
On the other side of the net, Demon Deacons freshman outside hitter Caroline Rassenfoss contributed a team-high eight kills, but only on a .111 percentage. It was not enough, as Wake Forest sustained its third loss in a row.
After taking down Wake Forest in Winston-Salem, the Irish traveled to Durham, North Carolina, where they took on Duke (18-6, 12-2 ACC). The Blue Devils got out to a convincing lead in the match, winning the first two sets, before dropping the third to the Irish. Notre Dame showed the resilience they have been displaying all season in the third set when they came back to win after starting out down, 11-5. Notre Dame was able to start the third match tied 7-7, but Duke got hot and ended up winning handily, 25-11, sealing the victory in four sets.
Irish sophomore libero Ryann DeJarld led the team with 23 digs, while Zwickl continued to show improvement with a team-high 21 assists.
As a team, Notre Dame had a .103 attacking percentage, down from the .275 it had against Wake Forest. Only sophomore outside hitter Meg Morningstar was able to notch a hitting percentage above .185, earning six kills on a .333 percentage.
It was the third loss in the last four outings for the Irish.
Notre Dame stays on the road for its next game, traveling to play Louisville on Wednesday at the KFC Yum! Center at 7 p.m.