Notre Dame volleyball falls 3-2 to no. 3 Ohio State in Columbus
J.J. Post | Tuesday, September 21, 2021
On Sunday, Notre Dame volleyball dropped a five set decision, falling to no. 3 Ohio State 3-2 in Columbus.
The two teams traded sets all match, with the Buckeyes claiming the first 17-25, before the Irish leveled the score in the second 25-20. Ohio State would once again take control of the match with a 20-25 win of their own in set three, but Notre Dame clawed back from the brink of defeat with a 25-23 fourth set victory to force a decisive fifth set. That deciding set proved to be all Buckeyes. After the two teams exchanged the initial points in a 3-3 start, the home side pulled away and established a firm four point lead that would eventually stretch to six by the end of the match, with Ohio State taking home the set 9-15.
Despite the loss, the contest wasn’t without promise for the Fighting Irish. Ohio State clocked in as the third ranked team in the nation in the new American Volleyball Coaches Association poll that was released today, and taking them to five sets is no easy feat. This is especially true when one compares the results on Sunday to Notre Dame’s contest with the Buckeyes just days before on Friday at home. Ohio State took home that match in a three set sweep, and was at a fair arms length away from reach of the Irish for most of the night.
The team’s three leaders in kills — sophomore Aubrey Hamilton, senior Charley Niego and junior Caroline Meuth — all led the way on the attacking front in Columbus over the weekend, posting a team high 18, 12 and 16 kills respectively. Senior setter Zoe Nunez recorded 45 assists, bringing her season total to 316, and sophomore libero Hattie Monson picked up 24 digs, adding to her team-high season total of 145.
The Fighting Irish (3-7), will now enter the conference-only portion of their schedule, starting with a two game home stand this week against Florida State and Miami. Florida State, who received 16 votes in the most recent AVCA poll, will enter the match at a 7-2 clip, whereas the Miami Hurricanes currently hold an impressive 9-1 record. It is worth noting that Notre Dame’s record, while weaker, has also featured losses to tougher opponents: the Irish have fallen to no. 3 Ohio State, no. 1 Texas, and no. 16 Western Kentucky, while the Seminoles have only played no. 14 Florida (who they beat 3-1), and the Hurricanes have yet to face a ranked matchup. These first two conference tests should prove an interesting benchmark for the Fighting Irish, as they look to climb the standings early on and establish themselves in the conference.
Catch Notre Dame volleyball opening up ACC play on Friday night at the Purcell Pavilion in South Bend at 7 p.m. The match will also be streamed on ACC Network extra.