Volleyball squad falls 1-3 in Ann Arbor
Observer Staff Report | Monday, September 23, 2019
The Notre Dame women’s volleyball team traveled to Ann Arbor on Sunday to compete against Michigan for the second time in five days. Coming off of a home win against the Wolverines, the Irish women were not so fortunate on the road. The game finished three sets to one in favor of Michigan.
This was the tenth game of the season for the Fighting Irish Volleyball team. The team currently has a 7-3 record, with two of the three losses resulting from away games. Michigan marked the last non conference game that the team will play before matching up against ACC teams for the rest of the regular season.
The first set of the game was close. The Irish only trailed by two points, finishing 25-23. Moving to the second set, the Wolverines picked up some momentum. This set was not so close; the Irish trailed 25-15. Even though they were down 2-0 going into the third set, the Notre Dame team did not let up. The Irish won the third set 25-20. If they wanted any chance at winning the game, the Irish needed to win the fourth set as well. Fighting until the end, the fourth set finished 25-16 in favor of the home team, Michigan.
Looking at the kill stats for the game, Notre Dame and Michigan were very even — 50 and 51 respectively. One of the major deciders for this game was the amount of errors that Notre Dame had throughout the game. The Irish had a composite 32 errors throughout the game, compared to their opponents 17. This played a major role in the Irish’s downfall.
The Notre Dame team showcased a lot of young talent in the game against Michigan. Freshman outside hitter, Caroline Meuth and sophomore right side hitter, Sydney Bent led the team in kills, with 11 each. The two hitters showed up across the board for countless other stats as well. On the defensive end, these girls led the team in digs, with Meuth racking up 15 and Bent recording 12. Together, this duo shines a light on the future of Notre Dame volleyball.
Also a noteworthy performer was sophomore Zoe Nunez. Racking up 40 assists, Nunez was by far the biggest playmaker for the Irish this weekend at Ann Arbor. Named to the Preseason All-ACC Team for 2019, Zoe Nunez is foreseen to perform at a high level for the entire season.
The Irish currently sit in third in the ACC season rankings, trailing only Pitt and Wake Forest. Their rivals for next week, University of North Carolina, are in last at No. 15 and have a losing record of 3-7. The first ACC game will be both a challenge and an opportunity to bounce back from a tough away loss against a school rival. The game is scheduled for Friday, September 27th, at Notre Dame. Tip off is set for 7:00pm at the Purcell Pavilion.