Irish Defeat Duke, Improve to 6-0 in ACC Play

DURHAM, N.C.  —  The Notre Dame volleyball team won its sixth straight contest with a  four-set (26-24, 22-25, 27-25, 25-18) triumph at Duke on Sunday afternoon.

With the victory, the Irish improve to 13-3 overall and match the 2016 Irish squad for the best start in ACC play at 6-0.

Charley Niego led the Irish with 16 kills while Sydney Bent added 14 and Caroline Meuth notched 13 kills. Zoe Nunez racked up 47 assists in the victory.

Defensively, Madison Cruzado led Notre Dame with 19 digs and Niego added 14 to earn the double-double. The Irish also earned a 12.5 total blocks, including six by Kristin Baer, over the four sets of play.


First Set
The Irish jumped out to a 5-2 lead before the Blue Devils responded to even the set at 5-all. Duke used a 4-0 run to earn a 16-12 advantage before a 7-2 Irish streak put Notre Dame up 21-20. Locked in a 24-24 tie, kills by Bent and Meuth sealed the 26-24 set win to give the Irish a 1-0 advantage.

Second Set
Aces by Nunez and Niego helped Notre Dame earn a 9-6 advantage to open the second stanza. Another service ace, this time by Cruzado, put the Irish up 12-7 in the frame. The Blue Devils rallied to even the set at 15-15 before the Irish converted the next two points to go up 17-15. Duke responded again with a 5-2 streak to move in front, 20-19, and force a Notre Dame timeout. The Blue Devils held on for a 25-22 victory to even the match at 1-1.

Third Set
The Blue Devils earned a 9-4 advantage to open the third set before the Irish used a 4-0 run to cut the host’s lead to 13-12. Notre Dame cut the Duke lead to one on four separate occasions before a 3-0 run, which included two kills by Niego, finally put the Irish up 25-24. Duke tied the set before back-to-back kills by Bent clinched the 27-25 set win for Notre Dame.

Fourth Set
Duke earned an 8-5 advantage in the fourth set before the Irish used a 3-0 run to even the frame. A five-point run, which included two kills by Niego, staked Notre Dame a 16-11 lead. The Irish controlled the set from there en route to a 25-18 win to clinch their sixth consecutive conference victory.

Notre Dame returns to Purcell Pavilion for a matchup against Louisville this Wednesday, October 16th. That match is set to be televised on the ACC Network. For tickets, click here.

For a behind the scenes look at the Notre Dame volleyball program follow the Irish on Twitter (@NDvolleyball), Instagram (@ndvball) and Facebook (/NDVolleyball).