CLEMSON, S.C. – The Notre Dame volleyball team (8-5, 2-1 ACC) earned its eighth victory of the year in straight-set fashion with a road victory over the Clemson Tigers on Friday night. After taking the opening set 25-20, the Irish carried the momentum into a 25-21 win in the second set before taking a back-and-forth third stanza, 25-23.
Freshman Charley Niego led Notre Dame with 13 kills and 11 digs, while freshman Sydney Bent and junior Jemma Yeadon each recorded 12 kills to help pace the Irish attack. The trio accounted for 37 of Notre Dame’s 47 kills against Clemson throughout the three sets.
Seniors Kelly Byrne, Ryann DeJarld and Rebecca Nunge each posted a pair of aces, while freshman Zoe Nunez led the Irish with 40 assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The two sides traded points to open the contest in a 7-7 deadlock before Notre Dame went on an 8-3 run to take a 15-10 advantage. The Irish maintained control of the opening set until the Tigers utilized a 6-2 streak to cut the visitor’s lead to 21-19. Back-to-back kills by Yeadon buoyed the Irish down the stretch en route to a 25-20 victory to open play.
Notre Dame carried the momentum from its opening-set victory by earning the first four points in the second frame. Kills by Bent and Yeadon eventually pushed the Irish lead to 17-12 and forced a Clemson timeout. After the stoppage, the Tigers racked up five consecutive points to force a 17-17 tie.
Once again, the Irish regained control late in the set by earning eight of the final 11 points and a 25-21 win.
In a hotly-contested third set that featured four ties and six lead changes, the Irish persevered for a 25-23 win and its eighth sweep of the year.
The Tigers opened the third stanza with a 6-4 lead before the Irish responded with kills by Bent, Nunge and Niego to go up 7-6. The teams would go back and forth throughout the set until Notre Dame utilized a kill by Nunge, an ace by Burne and an attacking error by Clemson to take a 23-19 advantage and inch two points away from victory.
The Tigers came roaring back once more with a 4-0 run to even the score, before a kill by Yeadon and an ace by Nunge sealed the Irish sweep.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Niego excelled both on attack and defense for Notre Dame, pacing the Irish with 13 kills and 11 digs. The freshman has now hit the double-digit kill mark in three of the last four matches and five times this season.
The Irish conclude the road trip on Sunday when they take on Georgia Tech. That match is slated for 1 p.m. ET and will air on ACC Network Extra.