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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
The Observer

Irish volleyball struggles in second week of ACC play

Sophomore outside hitter Lucy Trump swings during Notre Dame's 3-2 defeat of Milwaukee at Purcell Pavilion on Aug. 28, 2023.

After a strong start to the season, conference play has proved challenging for Notre Dame volleyball. After hosting and defeating Boston College and Syracuse, the Irish couldn't win a single set against Louisville or NC State last week. Granted, the caliber of opponents increased, as the Cardinals currently rank sixth in the nation. But Notre Dame's struggles could be cause for concern over the rest of the season. 

Louisville came out strong to give Notre Dame its first home loss of the season. The Cardinals started out 9-0 in the first set before Notre Dame started to bounce back. Although the Irish cut the lead down to seven at one point, the first set ended 25-12 Louisville. The Irish scored 18 and 16, respectively, in the next two sets but ultimately fell to the Cardinals in three. 

Sophomore outside hitter Lucy Trump and junior outside hitter Sydney Palazzolo had seven and six kills, respectively, leading the team. 

Traveling down to Raleigh, the Irish struggled to stay ahead of the Wolfpack in key moments. The score of the first set stayed within three points until the Wolfpack took a 19-17 lead. NC State would dominate the Irish through the end of the set, outscoring them 6-1. The second set started out positively for Notre Dame, but NC State went on several runs to win 25-15. The third set featured Notre Dame’s best performance of the two-game stretch. The Irish held several large leads throughout the set but could never quite ice NC State. They led it 23-22 before the Wolfpack earned the last three points on kills to get the sweep. 

Palazzolo led the team with 14 kills and three blocks. 

The team will travel down to Duke and North Carolina this upcoming weekend to try to bounce back. Duke is 10-5 on the season, having lost its last two matches against Miami and Florida. North Carolina is 7-6 and has lost its last three.  

With Notre Dame and both of its opponents this weekend trying to turn their trajectories around, fans can expect some competitive ACC volleyball this weekend.

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