TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Notre Dame volleyball team fell in five sets to ACC foe Florida State here today in its third-to-last match of the 2018 regular season. The Irish took the first two sets by identical 25-20 scores before Florida State earned 25-23 and 25-12 victories in sets three and four to force a fifth set. The Seminoles earned the 3-2 win with a 15-9 victory in the last frame.
Freshman Charley Niego led the Irish attack with 21 kills while senior Rebecca Nunge notched 14 kills. Freshman Zoe Nunez dished out 43 assists through the five sets of play.
Senior Ryann DeJarld recorded a season-high 30 digs for the Irish defense. Sophomore Madison Cruzado also posted a career-best 19 digs and Diego added 10 digs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish broke away from an 11-9 lead by earning six of the next seven points to take a 17-10 advantage. The opening stanza then turned into a game of runs, with the Seminoles responding with a 5-0 streak before Notre Dame rattled off four straight points to regain control of the set at 21-15. Florida State again answered with a 4-0 run to cut the Irish lead to 21-19 and force a Notre Dame timeout. Back-to-back kills by Kristin Baer and Nunez kept the Seminoles at bay and clinched a 25-20 victory for the Irish. Notre Dame limited Florida State to a .088 hitting percentage in the frame. Bent and Nunge paced the Irish with four kills each in the set.
After the two sides split the first 12 points of the frame, the Irish went on a 4-0 run to go up 10-6. An ace by Nunez eventually put Notre Dame ahead 15-11, but the Seminoles rattled off four of the next five points to get within one at 16-15. The teams alternated points until four straight for the hosts put Florida State up 20-18. A kill by Bent halted the Seminoles’ run and started a 7-0 streak that gave the Irish the 25-20 win and a 2-0 lead in the match. The Irish defense continued to be stout in the second stanza, limiting Florida State to a .111 hitting percentage.
Two straight kills by Nunge put the Irish ahead 6-5 before the Seminoles notched four of the next five points to go back up 9-7. Another kill by Nunge, along with one by Niego, knotted the score at 10 apiece. A 7-2 stretch for Florida State eventually put the hosts up 20-16 before the Irish evened the score at 23-all with a 7-3 run of their own. Two straight kills for the Seminoles gave them the 25-23 win and forced a fourth set.
The momentum stayed with the Seminoles to open the fourth frame as they jumped out to an 8-2 lead. The Irish cut into the Florida State lead with a 4-0 run before the hosts took eight straight points to hold a 16-6 advantage. That cushion was enough to propel the Seminoles to a 25-12 win and force a decisive fifth set.
A 5-0 run by the Seminoles to extend a 7-6 lead proved to be the difference as the hosts took the fifth set, 15-9.
The Irish return to Purcell next Friday (Nov. 16) for Senior Night vs. Louisville. First serve against the Cardinals is set for 7 p.m. The match will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra. For tickets, click here.