NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The fifth-ranked Notre Dame volleyball team rallied from a two-set deficit to down No. 10 Pittsburgh in five sets (22-25, 17-25, 25-21, 25-20, 17-15) on Friday night inside Purcell Pavilion.
With the win, the Irish improve to 4-0 (4-0 ACC). Friday’s comeback was the first time the Irish rallied from an 0-2 deficit since a five-set victory at Miami on October 22, 2017.
Aubrey Hamilton and Caroline Meuth each led the Irish with 17 kills while Zoe Nunez collected 47 assists.
Defensively, Hattie Monson earned a game-high 23 digs and Meuth added 17 digs to earn a double-double. Nancy Kane and Kiara Schmidt each added 12 digs.
As a team, the Irish racked up 16 blocks in the five sets of play with Meuth and Lindsey Miller each earning six.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The two sides opened play in a 5-5 tie before back-to-back aces by Meuth gave the Irish an 8-5 lead. Another ace by Meuth extended Notre Dame’s advantage to 16-12 and forced Pitt to take a timeout. After the break, the Panthers responded with a 6-2 stretch to even the set at 18-all. The sides continued to trade points en route to a 22-22 tie before Pitt finished the frame with three straight points to take the set, 25-22.
The Panthers carried momentum into the second set to go up 7-3 and force a Notre Dame timeout. The visitors stayed in control and forced the Irish to take their second timeout after earning a 14-7 lead. The Irish managed to get within five at 22-17, but Pitt held on to take the second set, 25-17.
The Irish opened the third stanza with a 5-4 lead before the Panthers earned four straight points to go up 8-5. A kill by Sydney Bent and block by Lindsey Miller helped the Irish even the frame at 9-9. Notre Dame used a 4-0 run, which included a kill and a pair of blocks by Hannah Thompson, to take a 14-11 advantage. Pitt got within one at 15-14 before the Irish earned four of the next five points to go up 19-15. The Irish stayed in front the rest of the way, with a kill by Bent clinching a 25-21 set win. As a team, the Irish hit .361 in the frame with Bent notching a team-high four kills.
A kill and two blocks by Sammi Lockwood spearheaded a 5-2 Irish spurt that gave the hosts an 8-6 lead in the fourth frame. Notre Dame extended its lead to 14-10 with a 4-1 stretch that included a pair of kills by Meuth and forced a Panthers timeout. The Irish earned the next three points after the break, making it a 7-1 run, to extend their lead to 17-10. The Panthers responded with a 6-1 streak to get within two at 18-16. Notre Dame regained control by earning four of the next five points to earn a 22-17 lead. A kill and block by Meuth clinched a 25-20 win for the Irish to force a decisive fifth set.
Notre Dame took a 5-4 lead before Pitt converted four straight points to go up 8-5. After the Panthers earned an 11-8 lead, a kill by Miller and a block by Meuth got the Irish within one as Pitt took a timeout. Meuth and Lockwood teamed up for another block after the break to make it 11-all. The Panthers regained the lead at 12-11 before a Pitt service error and attack error put the Irish up 13-12. Pitt answered to go up 15-14 before three straight Panthers attack errors sealed the 17-15 set win and comeback victory for Notre Dame.
The No. 5 and No. 10 Panthers will meet again inside Purcell on Sunday, October 18 at 3:30 p.m. ET. Sunday’s match will be shown on ACC Network.