The Notre Dame volleyball team dropped its fourth match in a row Sunday afternoon at Purcell Pavillion. Despite holding a commanding 2-0 lead after the first two sets, the Irish dropped a tightly-contested, five set match to Duke.
The Irish were led by strong performances by freshman outside hitter Lucy Trump, who tallied 18 kills and three service aces, and sophomore setter Phyona Schrader who collected 40 assists.
Notre Dame did not trail throughout the first set. It was back and forth early on, but the Irish quickly built a 15-11 lead and did not look back, eventually winning the set 25-19. Trump paced the team with five kills, and Schrader added 11 assists.
The second set was more of the same for the Irish, who jumped out to a 9-5 lead courtesy of a kill from sophomore outside hitter Paris Thompson. The Blue Devils battled back to tie the set at 11, but Notre Dame pulled away, ultimately prevailing 25-17. The Irish capped off the victory with back-to-back aces by Trump and a Thompson kill for the final point.
Duke storms back
It appeared as though the Irish would run away with the contest, but the Blue Devils came storming back in the third set of the afternoon. The set was tied early on at 10, but Duke scored eight of the subsequent 11 points, proving to be too much for Notre Dame to overcome.
It still looked as though Notre Dame had the match in hand with a 2-1 lead, but Duke had swung the momentum of the match. The fourth set was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team building a solid lead until late in the set. The Irish led 13-11 and looked poised to put the match away, but Duke scored the next seven points and took the set, 25-16.
The fifth and final set was all Duke. The Blue Devils jumped out to a 6-1 lead and never looked back. Notre Dame battled late but ended up dropping the set 15-8.
The loss drops the Irish to 9-13, with a 4-8 record in conference play. They’ll have a chance to bounce back when they host North Carolina on Friday night, before taking on North Carolina State on Sunday afternoon.