Irish drop out of top 25, prepare for Shamrock Invite
Observer Sports Staff | Friday, September 3, 2021
Following an underwhelming weekend in the Golden Dome Invite that dropped the Irish out of the top-25 rankings, Notre Dame volleyball looks to clean up in a second invite this weekend. The lineup of opponents for the Shamrock Invitational includes Bowling Green, Cincinnati and UW Milwaukee.
While the Irish started last weekend on a low note by falling in straight sets to 16th-ranked Western Kentucky, their performance only improved in the Saturday doubleheader. The day started with a thrilling five-set victory over Oakland and finished with a sweep of Loyola Chicago. The team will look to build on this momentum and exhibit some of the home dominance that they established last year, as they went 7-1 at home in the 2020 season.
The Irish also saw some individual highlights on the offensive side over the weekend, which was evidenced by the Golden Dome Invite All-Tournament team selections of sophomore and senior outside hitters Aubrey Hamilton and Charley Niego.
Expectations for the Irish should be high heading into the weekend as all three of their opponents will roll into South Bend with losing records through their first three games of the season. But none of them are to be overlooked, especially the Cincinnati Bearcats. In their two losses, they took Dayton to five sets and fell to Kentucky, the nation’s No. 3 ranked squad. Look for the Bearcats to be playing with an edge following a tough opening weekend in a neighboring Ohio invite.
The first game of the invite for the Irish will be played at 7 p.m. on Friday against Bowling Green. The Irish will then play Cincinnati at 6 p.m. on Saturday and UW Milwaukee at 2 p.m. on Sunday.
All games will be played in Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center and can be streamed on ACC Network Extra.