Nov. 25, 2015
By Russell Dorn
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The University of Notre Dame volleyball team couldn’t maintain the momentum from winning a thrilling set one at Syracuse Wednesday night as the Orange claimed the final three sets for a 3-1 victory (27-29, 25-12, 25-17, 25-16) in Atlantic Coast Conference action.
After a bonkers first set saw the two teams go to extra points in an Irish victory, the Orange buckled down and had their way for the remainder of the match. Syracuse hit a remarkable .406 (64 kills, 10 errors, 133 attacks) for the match, which was the most against an Irish squad since a ranked Ohio State squad attacked at a .512 clip in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Championship.
The Orange hit .356 in the first set and .417, .435 and .448 over the final three frames.
Syracuse also had a strong showing on the defensive end with 12 blocks and 69 digs.
Notre Dame finished with a .178 attack percentage after attacking at a .308 clip in the first set. The Irish finished with just three blocks and had 54 digs.
The Orange controlled much of the first set, leading by six at 14-8 and by five at 20-15. However, the Irish wouldn’t give up as they eventually tied the set at 24 after fighting off two set points. In extra points Syracuse held set point at 25-24 and 26-25 before Notre Dame held set point at 27-26. The Orange tied the frame at 27 on a kill by Nicolette Serratore, but the Irish rallied to post a kill by sophomore Sydney Kuhn and a block by sophomore Sam Fry and freshman Rebecca Nunge to win the thrilling opening set.
Unfortunately for Notre Dame it couldn’t recreate the success of the first set throughout the final three frames.
Syracuse cruised through sets two and three to take a 2-1 lead in the match. Set four featured seven ties six lead changes but got out of hand late. Notre Dame trailed by just one at 14-13 and by two at 16-14 but watched as Syracuse went on a 9-2 run to close out the match.
A newly-minted second team all-ACC selection, Fry led the Irish with 14 kills (.357 A%), two blocks and a service ace. Sophomore Maddie Plumlee posted a team-high 15 kills, while Kuhn tallied 10 kills, seven digs and two service aces. Freshman libero Ryann DeJarld had 19 digs and sophomore setter Maddie Dilfer recorded another double-double with 45 assists and 11 digs.
Silvi Uattara led Syracuse with 20 kills (.405 A%) and 11 digs. Serratore had 15 kills (.316 A%), 16 digs and two service aces and Monika Salkute tallied 12 kills (.500 A%) and five blocks. Leah Levert posted seven kills (.583 A%), six digs and six blocks and libero Belle Sand had 20 digs, four assists and a service ace. Setter Gosia Wlaszczuk posted 43 assists, seven digs, two blocks and three kills (.333 A%). Santita Ebangwese had five kills (.714 A%), three blocks and two digs.
Notre Dame (7-24, 2-17 ACC) closes out the 2015 season at Boston College (11-20, 3-16 ACC) at 1 p.m. (ET) Friday. Fans can follow the match through a free video stream or live stats. Links for both are located on UND.com/NDVolleyball.
Russell Dorn, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2011 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame volleyball, rowing and baseball programs. A native of Greenwood, South Carolina, Dorn graduated from Furman University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in history before earning his master’s degree in sports communications from Georgia State University in 2011.