NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame volleyball team rallied from an 0-2 deficit to force a decisive fifth set, but fell to Wright State 3-2 in its second contest of the 2019 Golden Dome Invitational Saturday afternoon. The Irish dropped the first two sets 25-23 and 28-26 before rallying with 25-23 and 25-17 set victories to even the match. Wright State prevailed with a 15-11 decision in the final frame.
Freshman Caroline Meuth led the Irish attack with 18 kills while sophomores Charley Niego and Sydney Bent added 17 and 14 kills respectively. Zoe Nunez dished out 52 assists across the five sets of play while Bent collected a game-high six service aces.
Madison Cruzado recorded 23 digs while Nunez and Niego added 14 digs apiece. Kristin Baer led the Irish with seven block assists in the match.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The opening frame featured seven lead changes en route to a 19-19 tie. Wright State pulled away with a 5-1 run to take a 24-20 advantage. The Irish battled back with a kill from Meuth and two aces by Nunez, but the Raiders clinched a 25-23 victory with their 14th kill of the set.
Notre Dame opened the second stanza with a 9-5 advantage before a 4-0 Raiders run equaled the score at 9-9. Kills from Meuth and Niego helped propel the Irish to a 14-10 advantage, and Irish stayed in front to earn a 24-21 lead. The Raiders responded with three straight points to even the score at 24-all before eventually earning the 28-26 win and a 2-0 lead.
With their backs against the wall, the Irish bounced back to earn a 25-23 win and extend the match. Trailing 23-22, Bent rattled off three consecutive service aces to clinch the set win for Notre Dame.
The Irish put together their best set of the afternoon in a 25-17 victory to force a fifth set. As a team, the Irish totaled 17 kills and a .417 hitting percentage in the frame. After a pair of kills by Meuth helped Notre Dame earn a 7-3 lead, the Irish led the rest of the way to even the match at 2-2.
A 5-1 Wright State streak allowed the Raiders to pull away from an 8-8 tie in the final set and earn a 15-13 victory.
Notre Dame closes out the 2019 Golden Dome Invitational tonight (Aug. 31) against Bowling Green at 7 p.m. For tickets, click here.
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