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ND Volleyball

Notre Dame drops first two ACC contests to Louisville, NC State

| Monday, September 25, 2017

Notre Dame opened conference play this past weekend, but fell in hard fought five-set matches to both Louisville and North Carolina State.

On Friday, the Irish (10-3, 0-2 ACC) dropped their second game of the season on the road at Louisville (7-5, 1-1). Although Notre Dame dropped the first set 25-23, the team rebounded and went on to win the next two sets, with the help of a crucial ace from senior libero Natalie Johnson in the second set and senior outside hitter Sydney Kuhn’s two straight kills to end the third.

Irish junior outside hitter Rebecca Nunge tips the ball during Notre Dame's 3-0 win over Michigan State at Purcell Pavilion on Sept. 15.Michelle Mehelas | The Observer
Irish junior outside hitter Rebecca Nunge tips the ball during Notre Dame’s 3-0 win over Michigan State at Purcell Pavilion on Sept. 15.

But the Irish were unable to continue their hot streak in the final two sets, as Louisville got out to an early lead in the fourth set which they never gave up to force a fifth and final set. Trailing by four points in the final set, the Irish managed to tie the score at 8-8, but ultimately fell to the Cardinals by a score of 15-11. Despite dropping the match, Kuhn put on a stellar performance, recording 12 kills and 16 digs along with a season-high five blocks.

On Sunday, the Irish looked to bounce back in Raleigh, North Carolina, as Notre Dame took on the Wolfpack of North Carolina State (7-6, 2-0). In another tightly contested affair, the Irish went down 1-0 after dropping the first set 25-17. The second set went to the Irish, as they fought back despite an early four point deficit with a 9-1 run to win the set 25-19.

The Wolfpack bounced back to win the third set 25-16 after going on their own nine point run. But Notre Dame stayed alive, as the Irish persevered to win the fourth set, never trailing and closing out the match to win 25-21.

But in the final set, North Carolina State went ahead early and stayed ahead, winning the set 15-7 and the match 3-2. Senior middle blocker Sam Fry recorded her first double double of the season with 10 kills and 10 blocks to lead Notre Dame.

The Irish will look to bounce back in the conference next weekend when Notre Dame opens their conference home schedule with games against Miami on Friday and Florida State on Sunday at Purcell Pavilion.

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