Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Tuesday, June 25, 2024
The Observer

Notre Dame volleyball sweeps Toledo

The Notre Dame volleyball team completed a two-match sweep of the Toledo Rockets this weekend, pushing their overall record to 6-2. The two match series against the Rockets marked the end of a successful non-conference schedule for the Irish, who begin ACC play next weekend.

On Friday night, the Irish used four sets to take out the Rockets at Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame dropped the second set, but won the first, third and fourth en route to the victory. Star freshman Ava Lange continued her strong start to the season, leading the Irish overall with 16 kills on 38 attacks. Three-time all-MAC selection Taylor Alt and fellow senior outside hitter Jada Bouyer led the way with 10 kills apiece for Toledo. 

In the first set, teams traded points until the Irish strung together a 4-0 run that extended their lead to 17-11. Toledo put the Irish to the test, though, when Notre Dame reached match point, closing the margin to 24-22 before junior outside hitter Sydney Palazzolo finished off the set with a kill. Palazzolo and senior middle blocker Charity McDowell each had strong first sets for the Irish, tallying 5 kills. 

In the second set, seemingly the reverse occurred. Toledo dictated the tempo, jumping out to an early lead and keeping the Irish at bay for most of the set. The Irish were able to tie things up at 20 late in the set, spurred by the play of Lange. The Rockets went on to a 5-1 run after the Irish comeback, though, to square the match 1-1. With 5 kills, the play of senior middle blocker Abby Erickson made the difference for Toledo in the set.

The Irish took the third and fourth sets by the same 25-20 margin each time. Notre Dame continued its winning ways Sunday when they traveled to Savage Arena in Toledo for the second game of the home-and-home. The Irish won the first and third sets handily (25-16 and 26-19), but the second set required a few extra series. Notre Dame won that set as well, 30-28, a part of the three-set sweep.

Palazzolo, a transfer from High Point University who came into the weekend 11th nationally and first among ACC players with 4.56 kills per set, continued to lead the way for the Irish on Sunday. She tallied 16 kills and a service ace for 18 total points in the match, best on the team. Toledo had three players record seven kills but no player more than that as the Rockets struggled to put up the same offensive production they did on Thursday night.

Both teams begin conference play this coming weekend. Toledo will host Eastern Michigan for a two match series Thursday and Friday to open play in the Mid-American Conference (MAC). Notre Dame starts play in the strong ACC on Friday when the Irish host Boston College at 6:30 p.m. The Irish will then host Syracuse on Sunday at noon to round out the weekend. Both matches can be streamed on ACC Network Extra. 

Sign up for our Observer Sports newsletter! Have an Irish sports question? Ask it for our Observer Sports mailbag!