Irish split road series at Pitt and Virginia
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, October 23, 2018
The Irish won one and lost one in a two game road series over the weekend. Notre Dame dropped three-straight sets to No. 5 Pittsburgh on Friday but bounced back Sunday, beating conference rival Virginia 3-1 in Charlottesville.
In the first set on Friday against Pitt (22-0, 10-0 ACC), the two sides found themselves at a stalemate halfway through the set, tied at 14 a piece. Notre Dame (12-8, 6-4 ACC) would be the squad to break the tie, going on a four-point run thanks to kills from senior middle blocker Meg Morningstar, freshman right-side hitter Sydney Bent and junior outside hitter Jemma Yeadon. The Irish would go on to gain a 21-17 lead, but they were unable to hold off the Panthers, who would tie the match at 22-22 and clinch the final points to win 25-23, snatching the first set from the hands of Notre Dame.
The Irish simply were not as sharp in the second set, as Pitt gained an early 5-1 lead and stayed ahead throughout the entire set to win 25-17.
The Irish bounced back in the third set to put up a fight, and both sides found the match tied at 11-11 soon enough. But the Irish failed to bear down through the stalemate, as Pitt went on a 5-1 run and didn’t look back from from there, taking the final set 25-18 to claim the sweep.
The Irish overcame the woes of the loss to the Panthers in the following match Sunday against Virginia (6-14, 2-8 ACC) as they won the match 3-1.
The Irish suffered a devastating loss in the first set. After a 10-10 tie, Virginia took the momentum with a 4-1 run. Although the Irish managed to cut the Cavaliers’ lead to two, the Cavaliers eventually found themselves with a 22-20 lead. From there, the Irish went on a 4-0 run to take a 24-22 lead. With victory in its sight, the Irish crumbled, as the Cavaliers went on a 4-0 run to take the set 26-24.
Despite the heart wrenching loss in the first set, the Irish looked rejuvenated in the second set. The Irish found themselves with a 6-3 lead early on thanks to three kills by Yeadon. That turned into a 12-4 lead thanks to senior libero Ryann DeJarld’s three aces. From there, the Irish ran away with the set to win 25-11.
In the third set, the Irish persisted past a 7-7 tie to take a 12-9 lead, which gave them the momentum to go on a run and take the match 25-17.
After those two-consecutive victories, the Irish found themselves in a 9-9 tie nearly midway through the fourth match. But Notre Dame went on a 9-2 run which ushered them to a 25-15 victory. The win gave Notre Dame the match victory 3-1.
The Irish will return home to take on Syracuse and Boston College this weekend.