Notre Dame nabs first ACC win in five sets over Clemson
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, October 12, 2015
The Irish grabbed their first ACC victory of the season this weekend, finishing the weekend 1-1. The Irish, (6-12, 1-5 ACC) defeated Clemson 3-2 (25-12, 25-22, 22-25, 19-25, 15-13) in a five-set match on Friday before dropping the match against Georgia Tech in straight sets Sunday, 3-0 (12-25, 18-25, 17-25). The win against Clemson (5-13, 0-6 ACC) puts Notre Dame at six wins on the season, as many as the program had through the entire 2014 campaign.
The Irish came out strong against the Tigers, taking the first two sets before the Tigers came storming back, taking sets three and four. The Irish had to hold onto the lead in the fifth set and fend off a Tigers comeback en route to their victory.
Sevarl Irish players had career nights against the Tigers. Sophomore outside hitter Maddie Plumlee had a career-high 19 kills (.158 attack percentage) along with two blocks and three digs. Fellow sophomore outside hitter Sam Fry added 13 kills (.259) of her own in addition to three blocks and four digs.
Sophomore setter Taylor Zwickl, in her second career start, collected 50 assists, two kills and four service aces, tied for the 10th-most by an Irish player all-time and the most since outside hitter Kristen Dealy had four against Louisville in Nov. 2011.
Against the Yellow Jackets (12-6, 3-3 ACC) on Sunday, the Irish had difficulty slowing down the high-powered Yellow Jacket attack, which was led by junior outside hitter Teegan Van Gunst with 13 kills (.310). The Yellow Jackets got off to a quick start in the first set, at one point leading 21-8 en route to a 25-12 win. The Irish fought back in the second set, but ultimately came up short, losing the set 25-18. The third set was not much different, as the Yellow Jackets rode their momentum to a 25-17 third-set victory, completing the sweep.
The Irish could not keep pace offensively with the Yellow Jacket attack, as Fry led the Irish with just eight kills (.235). The Yellow Jackets collected 39 kills on the day compared to just 24 on the Irish side. Plumlee and fellow sophomore outside hitter Sydney Kuhn each added five kills, and freshman outside hitter Rebecca Nunge tallied four kills. Zwickl added 18 assists on the day, and freshman libero Ryann DeJarald had 14 digs.
The Irish look to regroup before welcoming Duke and Wake Forest to Purcell Pavilion to begin fall break. They take on the Blue Devils on Friday at 7 p.m. and the Demon Deacons on Sunday at 1 p.m.