Notre Dame volleyball hosts Shamrock Invitational
J.J. Post | Tuesday, September 7, 2021
Notre Dame volleyball played host to the Shamrock Invitational over the weekend, playing three games against Bowling Green, Cincinnati, and UW Milwaukee on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The Irish’s first game was their most difficult, as the visiting Falcons of Bowling Green swept aside the hosts in three straight sets, 25-19, 25-23, and 25-18. Petra Indrova led the way for the Falcons, putting up 19 kills, while Caroline Meuth and Lindsey Miller both posted a team-high nine kills for Notre Dame.
On Saturday, it was Cincinnati visiting Purcell Pavilion, prevailing over Notre Dame in four sets. The first set proved crucial, as the Bearcats won a game where the Irish had pushed them to match point on multiple occasions 34-32. While the Irish would rebound the next set for a 23-25 victory, Cincinnati then took the next two 25-14, 25-21 to win the game. Maria Mallon led the Bearcats with both 24 kills and 25 digs. Charley Niego was the chief offensive force for Notre Dame, notching 14 kills, as well as the team’s only ace.
The final match of the invitational pitted Notre Dame against UW-Milwaukee, where the Panthers would hand the hosts their third loss of the weekend in four sets, 25-19, 25-22,19-25, 25-18. UWM’s Madi Malone led all players with 19 kills, and Aubrey Hamilton kept pace for the Irish with 17. In spite of the relatively lopsided score line, there were some positive statistical points to note from the Panther close out. The Irish ended the game with more aces, blocks, and digs, and only finished one total point short of UWM.
The losses drop the Irish to 2-4 on the year, leaving them in a rough spot to try to continue a run of success in early season out of conference matches that included a 7-3 clip in 2019, 6-4 in 2018, and 10-1 in 2017 (Notre Dame didn’t play any matches out of their standard ACC schedule in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic).
Next up Notre Dame volleyball will head to Austin for clashes with No.1 Texas and Arizona before heading home for their last out of conference matches against No.4 Ohio State. Texas in particular should be a major early-season test for the Fighting Irish, as the Longhorns made the national final last season and have been heralded as a contender for the national title this season.