Oct. 4, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Up 2-0, the University of Notre Dame volleyball team looked in control Friday night against Wake Forest University. However, the Demon Deacons didn't give up and rebounded to claim the 3-2 (18-25, 24-26, 25-19, 25-20, 15-11) victory at Purcell Pavilion.
Over 1,600 fans witnessed the two teams go back and forth in one of the longest matches in Purcell Pavilion history. The contest featured 44 ties and 16 lead changes, including six in set two and five in set four.
Neither team had much luck on the offensive end as Wake Forest hit .157 and Notre Dame hit .154. However, the Demon Deacons had 16 blocks and less unforced errors than the Irish to give them the edge.
"We're obviously very disappointed in the match and are commited to turning the season around," said head coach Debbie Brown.
The Irish looked like they had put their five-match losing streak behind them during the first two sets, as they had a whopping 47 digs and 9.5 blocks to help them run out to a 2-0 lead. After halftime though, the Demon Deacons began to change the momentum as they hit .359 in the third set to claim the 25-19 win.
Set four saw the Demon Deacons take control at the end of the set by going on a 6-2 run to end the frame. The run saw Wake pound home three kills and tally back-to-back solo blocks from Sam Boesch to give the `Deacs a four point lead and set point.
Wake Forest (12-3, 1-2 ACC) completed the comeback in set five as it jumped out to a quick 4-1 lead and then watched as the Irish made several errors in the set that kept them from pulling ahead. After a kill from Toni Alugbue tied the frame at eight, the Irish had a service error and three attack errors over the final 11 points, including an unforced attack error to end the match.
Over the last two seasons, the Irish have shown a knack for overcoming 0-2 deficits, having done it on three occasions including Auburn this year. However, Wake gave Notre Dame a bit of its own medicine Friday with the comeback win. A team hadn't come back from a 0-2 deficit against the Irish since Delaware rebounded to win the final three sets Sept. 17, 2010.
Wake was led by Kristin Grissom's 16 kills and six blocks and Kylie Hargreaves' 11 kills and 15 digs. Setter Sophia Dodd had a solid all-around night with seven kills (.467 A%), 41 assists, five digs and three blocks.
In a losing effort, Alugbue had her second 20-plus kill effort in a row with 21, while also chipping in 15 digs, four blocks and two service aces to complete the double-double. Elsewhere, junior Jeni Houser had 11 kills and hit .370, senior Andie Olsen had 12 kills and four blocks and senior Maggie Brindock had a career- and team-high 21 digs.
Notre Dame (6-9, 0-4 ACC) hits the road for a pair of matches next weekend when it meets Clemson at 7 p.m. Friday and Georgia Tech at 7 p.m. Saturday.
For more information on Notre Dame volleyball, stay tuned to UND.com, Facebook (Facebook.com/NDVolleyball) and Twitter (@NDVolleyball).
-- Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director