NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Notre Dame volleyball team dropped a hard-fought match to #23 Louisville, 3-2, on Wednesday night inside Purcell Pavilion. The Irish took each of the first two sets by a score of 25-22 before the Cardinals earned 25-17, 25-22 and 15-10 victories in the last three frames.
Notre Dame (13-4, 6-1 ACC) was led offensively by Caroline Meuth (20 kills) and Charley Niego (19 kills).
Madison Cruzado posted a career-high 27 digs in the contest while Niego added 19 digs. Meuth and Kiara Schmidt each recorded 12 digs. Zoe Nunez notched 54 assists in the match.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish erased a 5-3 deficit by earning five of the next six points to lead 8-5. After Louisville evened the stanza at 8-8, Notre Dame went on a 5-1 stretch to lead 13-9. The Irish worked to earn a 19-14 advantage, but the Cardinals earned three straight points to cut the hosts’ lead to two. Back-to-back kills by Meuth put the Irish up 21-17 and forced a Cardinals timeout. After the break, Louisville rattled off another 3-0 run to cut the Irish lead to 21-20. Three kills by Niego kept the Irish in front and propelled Notre Dame to a 25-22 win in the first set.
Two kills each by Niego and Meuth helped the Irish jump out to an 8-3 lead in the second frame. A 3-0 Irish run extended Notre Dame’s lead to 13-8 before Louisville earned four of the next five points to make it 14-12. Notre Dame kept the advantage, and back-to-back Irish blocks put the hosts up 20-16 and forced a Cardinals timeout. The Irish closed the stanza on a 3-1 run to clinch another 25-22 set victory and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Cardinals opened up a 7-3 lead to open the third set and force an Irish timeout. Louisville forced a second Notre Dame timeout with a 4-0 run that extended its lead to 12-4. Despite a late 6-0 Irish run, the Cardinals maintained control of the set and earned a 25-17 victory.
Louisville opened up a 12-5 advantage to open up the fourth stanza. After the Cardinals worked to a 15-6 lead, the Irish used a 4-0 run to cut their deficit to five. Louisville responded with a 4-0 run to lead 19-11 and stayed in control for the 25-XX victory to force a decisive fifth set.
Despite four kills by Niego in the final set, Louisville clipped the Irish, 15-10, to earn the five-set victory.
Notre Dame heads to Virginia Tech for a 6 p.m. matchup against the Hokies this Friday, October 18th. That contest is set to be streamed live via ACC Network Extra.