Notre Dame earns weekend split in ACC homecoming
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, October 9, 2018
After almost three weeks of having to play on the road, Notre Dame returned home to open up the home portion of its conference schedule against Wake Forest last Friday. The opening set saw some early back and forth action before the Irish (10-6, 4-2 ACC) began to pull away from the Demon Deacons (6-12, 1-5 ACC). With an 18-11 lead, Notre Dame would keep its momentum going to finish off the first set 25-17.
The second set began just as the first did, with early back and forth action. However, it was the Demon Deacons who would pull away this time. The Irish were never able to reel in the Demon Deacons as they dropped the second set 25-17.
Wake Forest opened the third set by keeping the momentum it had found in the second set going. The Demon Deacons would open on a 5-0 run before the Irish answered with a 5-0 run of their own to tie things up. From there, the Irish would take control of the set, as they went up 12-9 and never looked back — taking the third set 25-17, and a 2-1 match lead.
The fourth set would be the most competitive of the match, as each time traded points for most of the match. Tied at 17, the Irish would go on 8-3 run that would cap off the set 25-20 — taking the set and the match.
Junior outside hitter Jemma Yeadon had a team-high 16 kills in the match. Freshman outside hitter Charley Niego put up another double-double with 14 kills and 14 digs. Senior libero Ryann DeJarld contributed 25 digs on the day, while freshman setter Zoe Nunez lead the team in assists with 44.
Following its win against Wake Forest, Notre Dame would turn its attention to Duke. Notre Dame came into Sunday’s contest with the Blue Devils (8-7, 2-4 ACC) looking to extend its three-game win streak. The Irish came out strong early, going up early on the Blue Devils. But Duke shook off its slow start to tie things up at 14 all. The two teams exchanged blows before the Blue Devils closed things out with a 25-21 set victory.
Duke continued its momentum from the first set by taking an early lead on the Irish to begin the second. But the Irish wouldn’t go down easy, as they fought their way back to tie things up at 19. The two teams continued to exchange points late, as Notre Dame tied things up three different times during set points. However, it ultimately dropped the second set 28-26.
With Duke out to a 2-0 set lead, the Irish looked to mount a comeback. The third set would begin just as the previous two had. However, after the Irish tied things up at 13 all midway through the set, it was all Notre Dame from there as the team began to heat up and took the set 25-19.
Notre Dame looked to continue to ride the momentum it had captured during the previous set. In what would be their best set of the match, the Irish never trailed during the fourth set — taking it 25-17 and setting up a winner-take-all fifth and final set.
In what would be the climax of the match, the Irish continued to battle. But their efforts fell short as the Blue Devils closed out the set on a 5-1 run to take the set 15-12 and the match 3-2.
Niego recorded her sixth double-double on the season, leading the team in kills with 15 to go along with 10 digs. Yeadon added 14 kills in the contest while Nunez would contribute 46 assists to go along with DeJarld’s team-leading 22 digs.
The Irish will look to rebound this Wednesday as they hit the road again to take on Louisville at 7 p.m.