Notre Dame drops first two conference matches
Observer Sports Staff | Sunday, September 28, 2014
On the road for the second consecutive weekend, Notre Dame dropped a pair of matches against ACC foes, losing 3-0 to Miami (Florida) on Friday in Coral Gables, Florida, and falling 3-0 again to No. 6 Florida State on Sunday afternoon in Tallahassee, Florida.
The matches were the team’s first conference games of the 2014 campaign.
The Hurricanes (8-5, 1-1 ACC) were in full control on their home court Friday evening, winning the three sets with scores of 25-14, 25-17, 25-13 against the Irish (3-10, 0-2). They were boosted by a command performance from all-ACC senior outside hitter Savanah Leaf, who led both teams with 16 kills and added 10 digs. For Notre Dame, freshman middle blocker Sam Fry once again led the team, contributing six kills and a .600 attack percentage Friday evening.Miami rolled early and often against the Irish. It went on a 10-2 run in the opening set and opened its third match with an 8-1 run. The most competitive set was the second, in which the Irish hung with the Hurricanes, trailing 12-9 only to proceed to go on a stretch where they lost 10 out of the next 12 points. In the final set, Notre Dame earned a negative hit percentage, with a -.125 mark.
Against the undefeated Seminoles (13-0, 2-0), Notre Dame was much more competitive despite also being swept. The three sets saw 32 ties and 10 lead changes and finished with scores of 34-32, 25-22, 25-19.
The Irish actually bested the Seminoles in terms of assists and kills, with 42 and 46, respectively. The leader on the afternoon was junior setter Hanna Muzzonigro, who had a career day, earning 36 assists. Freshman libero Natalie Johnson also had a strong performance with a season-high 17 digs. This is familiar territory for Johnson, who has recorded 10 or more digs in nine matches this season.
Florida State won the day with a strong performance top to bottom, as six Seminoles earned five or more kills Sunday. The standout for the home team was all-ACC redshirt senior libero Katie Mosher with a match high of 20 digs.
After two weeks on the road, Notre Dame is slated to return to Purcell Pavilion this weekend to continue conference competition. The Irish play Syracuse at 7 p.m. on Friday night and Duke at 1 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.