NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The sixth-ranked Notre Dame volleyball team improved to 2-0 (2-0 ACC) with a four-set victory (25-20, 25-16, 20-25, 25-21) over fifth-ranked Syracuse on Friday night inside Purcell Pavilion.
Friday marked the first top-five victory for the Irish since they took down #5 Stanford in straight sets on August 29, 2009.
Charley Niego led the Irish with 19 kills and 18 digs while Caroline Meuth also notched a double-double with 15 kills and 13 digs. Zoe Nunez racked up 51 assists and 12 digs over the four sets of play.
Freshman Lindsey Miller earned 11 kills with a .611 hitting percentage while Hattie Monson, the reigning ACC Freshman of the Week, collected 13 digs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Two kills and a trio of blocks by Meuth helped the Irish jump out to an 8-5 lead to open the first set. Back-to-back kills by Niego pushed Notre Dame’s advantage to 11-7 and forced a Syracuse timeout. The Orange responded by earning eight of the next 12 points to even the set at 15-all.
After Syracuse earned a 17-16 lead, the Irish converted four of the next five points, including two kills by Miller, to go up 20-18. A 3-0 spurt, capped by an ace by Nunez, pushed the Irish lead to 23-19. Kills by Niego and Meuth, who both finished the frame with four kills, capped off a 25-20 set victory for Notre Dame.
Momentum stayed with the hosts as the Irish opened the second set with a 7-2 lead to force an Orange timeout. Notre Dame stayed in control after the break, and three consecutive kills by Niego pushed the Irish lead to 14-5. After another Syracuse timeout, the Irish extended their scoring run to seven straight to go up 17-5. A Syracuse attack error and a kill by Niego closed out a 25-16 set for Notre Dame and gave the Irish a 2-0 lead.
As a team, the Irish hit .345 with 15 kills in the second set while limiting the Orange to .000 hitting percentage. Niego paced Notre Dame with seven kills in the frame.
A 5-0 run helped Syracuse earn a 7-3 lead to open the third stanza. The Irish got within two at 10-8 before the Orange rattled off three straight points to go up 13-8. After the Orange went up 15-9, Notre Dame went on a 4-0 run to get back within two at 15-13. The Irish also got within two at 17-15 and 19-17, but the Orange held on to take the set 25-20 and force a fourth frame.
The fourth set opened as a back-and-forth affair as the sides worked to a 7-7 tie. The Irish earned the next three points, in part to a pair of Niego kills, to go up 10-7. Two straight kills by Meuth pushed Notre Dame’s advantage to 12-8 and forced an Orange timeout. The Irish extended their lead to 18-12 before the Orange earned three straight points to make it 18-15. The Irish seized control with a 5-1 run, capped with an ace by Monson, to lead 23-18. A kill by Hamilton sealed the set, 25-21, and clinched the four-set victory for Notre Dame.
The Irish and Orange meet again tomorrow (Oct. 3) at 6 p.m. ET inside Purcell Pavilion. The match will be streamed live via ACC Network Extra.