SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish advanced to 5-2 on the year as they defeated the Toledo Rockets at home on Friday, September 15. The Irish won 3-1, taking down Toledo 25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 25-20.
Notre Dame finished with 62 kills on the night as the Irish were led by Ava Lange, who finished with a career-high 16 kills. She was followed by Sydney Palazzolo who recorded 14 kills, Phyona Schrader who finished with 11 kills, and Charity McDowell who tallied 10 kills for the Irish. Nicole Drewnick also dished out an impressive 50 assists while recording 10 digs.
Leading 12-8 in set one, the Irish and Rockets continued to swap points until the 15-11 mark. Notre Dame began to pull away as they gave themselves the biggest lead of the first set, where they had a six point advantage at 17-11. Toledo closed the gap to three at 22-19, but a Palazzolo kill and a Rocket attacking error would extend the Irish lead yet again at 24-19.
Three straight points from the Rockets would bring it within two at 24-22 and force a Notre Dame timeout, but Palazzolo came out swinging to close the set with one last kill as the Irish took home set one 25-21.
Toledo posted an early lead in set two and continued to put the ball away as they led 14-8. A 4-0 run from the Irish was sparked by a Schrader solo block to bring Notre Dame within two at 16-14. The Irish came back from behind to tie it up at 19-19, 20-20, and 21-21, but the Rockets would close set two with a 4-0 run of their own to win 25-21.
It was a similar start as the Rockets carried their momentum into set three to claim another early lead. Trailing 13-11, the Irish went on a 4-0 run to take the lead 15-13 and kept the advantage for the remainder of the set. Notre Dame led 23-16 until the Rockets went on a run to close the gap to 23-20, but kills from Schrader and Palazzolo clinched the set three win to give the Irish a 2-1 advantage heading into set four.
The Irish and Rockets were back and forth to start the fourth set. Trailing 14-12, the Notre Dame offense was sparked by another Lange kill as the Irish went on a 5-0 run to take the lead 17-14. Toledo kept it within three as they trailed 23-20, but a Rocket service error and one last kill from McDowell would give the Irish the set four win to maintain their undefeated record at home so far this season.
The Irish are back in action on Sunday as they face the Toledo Rockets at Savage Arena at 1:00 p.m.