Oct. 30, 2015
RALEIGH, N.C. – The University of Notre Dame volleyball team got off to a hot start at NC State Friday night in jumping out to a 2-0 lead for the fourth time in 2015. However, the Wolfpack used the energy from the home crowd at Carmichael Gym to win the final three sets and claim a thrilling, 3-2 (23-25, 22-25, 25-18, 25-19, 16-14) victory over the Irish.
Starting an all freshman and sophomore lineup with a freshman libero for the eighth time this season, the Irish took advantage of a plethora of Wolfpack miscues to quickly jump out to a 2-0 lead.
Serving was certainly the key in the opening frames, as the Irish had six aces and no errors through the first two sets, while State totaled one ace and nine errors.
The serving helped offset a disparity on offense that saw the Wolfpack attack at a .333 clip in set one followed by an .412 attack percentage in set two as opposed to .189 and .333, respectively, for the Irish.
NC State came roaring back after the break, winning the third set easily before claiming a tight fourth frame. Notre Dame battled back from an 18-14 deficit to tie the fourth set at 19 on a service ace from sophomore setter Maddie Dilfer.
However, the Wolfpack wouldn’t be denied as they posted two kills, a service ace and a block to go along with two ball-handling errors from the Irish to run off six consecutive points and force a decisive fifth frame.
A back-and-forth fifth set saw the Wolfpack jump out to a 7-2 lead before holding an 8-4 lead at the side change. Notre Dame wouldn’t go away though as they slowly chipped away at the State advantage.
The Irish tied the set for the first time since 1-1 at 13 and then held off match point at 14-13 with a kill by sophomore Sydney Kuhn. State ended Notre Dame’s quest for its first win since October 9 (3-2 at Clemson) with a kill by Perry Ramsey and a block by Kaitlyn Kearney and Ramsey.
NC State held the advantage in most of the key stats including kills (71-54), attack percentage (.312-.196), assists (68-46), digs (71-61) and blocks (14-7). The Irish held a slim 8-6 advantage in service aces. Notre Dame had 23 attack errors, three service errors, three blocking errors and seven ball-handling errors as opposed to 21 attack errors, 15 service errors, three blocking errors and one ball-handling error for the Wolfpack.
Sophomore Sam Fry led the Irish with 16 kills and five blocks to mark the seventh time this season she has posted 10+ kills and 5+ blocks in a match. She has totaled 10+ kills 15 times this year.
Kuhn finished with 14 kills (.308 A%) and 10 digs for her fourth double-double in 2015. Freshman Rebecca Nunge posted 10 kills and two blocks. Libero Ryann DeJarld had 19 digs and has 15+ digs in 11 matches this year, while freshman defensive specialist Kelly Byrne recorded 10 digs.
Julia Brown led the Wolfpack with 18 kills (.343 A%), while Blayke Hranicka had 15 kills (.387 A%), four blocks and three digs. Kearney finished with 13 kills and nine blocks and Ramsey totaled 15 kills, 10 digs and four blocks. Morgan Cormier had eight kills (.462 A%) and six blocks.
For the Irish, the match marked the first time since a 3-2 loss at home against Wake Forest in 2013 that they held a 2-0 lead only to ultimately fall in five sets.
Notre Dame (6-17, 1-10 ACC) wraps up its four-match road trip at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday at North Carolina (12-8, 9-2 ACC).
–Russell Dorn, Athletics Communications Assistant Director