ATLANTA — The Notre Dame volleyball team fell to Georgia Tech in five sets (20-25, 25-18, 25-20, 17-25, 8-15) on Sunday afternoon at O’Keefe Gymnasium.
Charley Niego led the Irish attack with career high-tying 23 kills and a .327 hitting percentage. Caroline Meuth added 15 kills and Sydney Bent notched 11 kills. Zoe Nunez recorded 53 assists in the five sets.
Madison Cruzado led all players with 18 digs while Hannah Thompson earned a game-high six blocks.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Georgia Tech earned a 6-2 lead to open play and force an Irish timeout. After the break, the Yellow Jackets extended their lead to 9-3 before a 4-1 Irish spurt made it 10-7. Georgia Tech answered with three straight points to lead 13-7. The hosts maintained control of the frame from there and took the first set, 25-20.
The Irish used a 3-0 run, which included a kill and ace by Niego, to earn an 8-7 lead to open the second stanza. A 5-1 Irish stretch, involving three more kills by Niego, put Notre Dame up 15-12 and forced a Georgia Tech timeout. The Yellow Jackets cut the Irish lead to 16-15 before Notre Dame earned five of the next seven points to take a 21-17 advantage. Notre Dame closed the set with four straight points to take the frame, 25-18, and even the match. As a team, the Irish hit a season-high .577 in the set with 16 kills, including nine by Niego.
A 5-1 stretch helped the Irish earn a 7-4 advantage to begin set three. The Irish extended their lead to 14-7 with four consecutive points, including a kill and ace by Niego. Georgia Tech earned four of five points to cut Notre Dame’s lead to 17-13 and force an Irish timeout. After the break, the Yellow Jackets earned the next three points to make it 17-16. The Irish answered by earning five of the next seven points to go up 22-18. A kill by Bent clinched a 25-20 set win and a 2-1 lead for the Irish. The Irish stayed hot offensively in the frame, hitting .433 with 16 kills.
The Irish erased an early 2-0 deficit with a 6-1 run to go up 6-3. Back-to-back kills by Hannah Thompson gave Notre Dame a 10-7 advantage before Georgia Tech cut the Irish lead to 10-9. The Yellow Jackets claimed the lead with a 6-0 run that staked them a 16-13 advantage. Notre Dame got within one at 16-15 before Georgia Tech earned three of the next four points to stay ahead 19-16. The hosts held on to take the fourth set, 25-17, and force a decisive fifth stanza.
The Yellow Jackets earned the first four points of the final set to force an Irish timeout. After the break, Georgia Tech extended its lead to 8-2 and forced the Irish to take their final timeout. Notre Dame earned the first two points after the break to make it 8-4, but Georgia Tech held on to take the final set, 15-8.
Notre Dame (18-9, 11-6 ACC) closes the regular season with Senior Day against Duke this Friday, November 29th. First serve at Purcell Pavilion is set for 1 p.m. and the match will be streamed via ACC Network Extra. For tickets, click here.