Nov. 2, 2014
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – The last two times the University of Notre Dame volleyball team has played Boston College, the Irish overcame an 0-2 deficit to win in five sets. The Irish attempted to do the same thing Sunday afternoon at Power Gym, as it won two sets in a row to force a deciding fifth set. However, the Eagles wouldn’t let Notre Dame do it to them again, as they won the final frame, 15-6, to take the match, 3-2 (25-21, 25-18, 21-25, 23-25, 15-6).
After falling behind to the Eagles 2-0 for the second time in two weeks, Notre Dame found that Fighting Irish spirit in sets three and four to send the match to a deciding fifth set.
Playing in their third five-set match in a row, the Irish couldn’t pull off the comeback magic against BC one more time, as the Eagles took a 2-2 tie score in the fifth set and turned it into a hefty 9-2 lead behind the serving of Courtney Castle. The margin proved to be too much for Notre Dame, as the Eagles stretch the lead to 11 at 14-3, before a kill from Kam McLain finished off the match at 15-6 and gave the Eagles only their second win (2-14) ever against the Irish.
With the loss, Notre Dame fell to 2-3 on the year in five-set matches, with all three losses coming in the last eight days. In two of the three losses, the Irish held a 2-1 lead entering the fourth set.
Notre Dame turned in a solid effort at the net on defense, as it held BC to a .188 attack percentage and totaled 13 blocks. However, the Irish offense struggled all day as evidenced by 47 kills and a .152 attack percentage. Notre Dame also didn’t pass or serve efficiently, as it had 12 service errors while allowing the Eagles to post 11 service aces.
The match featured 22 ties and 10 lead changes.
Senior Jeni Houser tallied her second double-double in a row with 10 kills and 12 digs (tied career high) to go along with a career-high seven assists, four blocks and a service ace to lead Notre Dame. Senior Kathleen Severyn posted 11 digs, while freshman Sydney Kuhn tied for a team-high with 12 digs. Freshman setter Maddie Dilfer tied her season high with 31 assists, broke her season best with four kills and also added 11 digs. Grad student Nicole Smith led the Irish with 14 kills and tallied seven digs and four blocks. Sophomore Katie Higgins had six kills and a match-high seven blocks.
For Boston College, five student-athletes reached double-figures in kills, as the Eagles finished with 61 for the match. Outside hitter Katty Workman led all players with 16 kills to go along with 11 digs, while Sol Calvete had 10 kills and 13 digs.
Castle had a match-high 25 digs, while setter Kellie Barnum totaled 51 assists, nine digs and three blocks. McLain hit .417 for the match, as she had 11 kills and only one error in 24 attempts. She also added six blocks. Lastly, Julia Topor posted 12 kills and nine digs.
Notre Dame (5-18, 2-10 ACC) returns home to Purcell Pavilion at 1 p.m. next Sunday for a meeting with the Louisville Cardinals.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director