Irish set to take on No. 23 Louisville
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Notre Dame will be taking on No. 23 Louisville at home Wednesday night. The Irish (13-3, 6-0 ACC) are coming off of a six-game win streak. They shut out North Carolina and NC State at home to kick off their streak in late September and went on to win 3-1 to Clemson, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and Duke.
The Irish travelled to North Carolina last weekend to take on Wake Forest (11-6, 1-5 ACC) on Oct. 11 and Duke (8-11, 1-5) on Oct. 13. In Winston-Salem the Irish were able to top the Demon Deacons. The first set of the match was tightly contested throughout, and included 17 ties and six lead changes. Freshman outside hitter Caroline Meuth sealed the set with a kill which resulted in a final first set score of 29-27. Meuth and sophomore teammates outside hitter Charley Niego and right side hitter Sydney Bent led the Irish in kills with 13 each. Wake Forest was able to dominate the second set winning 20-25, but the Irish bounced back and were able to take the next two sets 25-20 and 25-22.
On Oct. 13 in Durham, North Carolina, the Irish bested the Blue Devils 3-1 to improve to 6-0 in conference play, matching the best start for an Irish squad in ACC play since the 2016 team. The Irish were able to take the first set against Duke 26-24 with kills coming from Meuth and Bent sealing the set. Niego led the squad in kills against the Blue Devils tallying 16, with Bent and Meuth following close behind with 14 and 13, respectively. Sophomore setter Zoe Nuenz played a crucial part in these points tallying 47 assists on the day.
The Cardinals (13-3, 6-0 ACC) are coming off of a seven-game win streak and are currently in second place in the ACC. The Cardinals are one of three teams that are undefeated in conference play, the others being the Irish and No. 3 Pitt. Although all three teams are 6-0 in the ACC, the Panthers have a better overall record than both the Irish and the Cardinals. The Cardinals recruiting class was ranked 16th in the NCAA, and while offseason concerns were focused on the loss of libero Molly Sauer, the ACC defensive player of the year last season, Louisville has seemed to find a groove with its new and possibly improved squad. The Cardinals have one of the toughest schedules in the ACC as they are set to face off against Pitt (17-1, 6-0 ACC) twice this year, but with both the Irish and the Cardinals being undefeated in conference play, neither team should be coming into this matchup expecting an easy win.
The Cardinals will come into town on Wednesday and the match is set to start at 7 p.m. in Purcell Pavilion. It will be broadcast on the ACC Network.