Irish Down Clemson in Four Sets

NOTRE DAME, Ind. —  Madison Cruzado, Zoe Nunez, and Charley Niego combined for 46 digs to help carry the Notre Dame volleyball team to a 3-1 win (25-17, 19-25, 25-22, 25-21) against the Clemson Tigers Friday night inside Purcell Pavilion.

The conference victory improved Notre Dame’s record to 9-3 overall and 3-0 in ACC play. The Irish have dropped just one set over the course of their first three ACC matches. 

Individually, Cruzado had 19 digs, Nunez had 16 digs, and Niego added 11 more to lead the Fighting Irish. Niego tacked on 14 kills to complete a double-double. 

Sydney Bent also collected 16 kills in the contest while Zoe Nunez recorded 39 assists.

The Irish out-blocked Clemson, 11-3, with Niego posting a game-high six blocks and Caroline Meuth and Lauren Wenzel each collecting five blocks.


First Set
The Irish led from start to finish in a dominating opening stanza in which they won 25-17. Notre Dame, which hit .370 in the frame, closed the set with seven consecutive points. The Irish also opened the contest with an 8-2 streak. As a team, the Irish held Clemson a hitting percentage of .000 in the frame.

Second Set
After opening the set in a 4-4 tie, the Tigers converted three straight points to take a 7-4 lead. The Irish cut the Clemson lead to one on two occasions, but the visitors pulled away for a 25-19 set win to even the match.

Third Set
The Irish bounced back in the third stanza with a 25-22 victory to go up 2-1. An ace by Paige McKnight capped a 4-0 Notre Dame run to put the hosts up 11-7. Clemson battled back to even the set at 17-all before kills by Bent and Niego spurred a 3-0 Irish spurt. Back-to-back kills by Bent closed the stanza and clinched a 2-1 lead for Notre Dame.

Fourth Set
A back-and-forth fourth set, which included seven ties, saw Clemson take a 21-18 advantage. However, the Irish rallied with a 7-0 run, which included two kills by Niego and two Irish blocks, to earn a 25-21 set win and seal a four-set victory.

Notre Dame hosts Georgia Tech on Sunday (Oct. 6) at 1 p.m. in its 13th annual Block Out Cancer match. That contest will be streamed on ACC Network Extra. 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).