CLEMSON, S.C. – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-11, 4-9 ACC) fell to the Clemson Tigers (15-10, 6-7 ACC) in four sets on the road.
The Irish were led by Sydney Palazzolo with 16 kills, followed by Ava Lange with 10 kills. Phyona Schrader finished with eight kills and Charity McDowell chipped in seven kills for the Irish with a team-best .455 hitting percentage and six blocks. Nicole Drewnick dished out 38 assists for the Irish.
It was back and forth between the Irish and Tigers as set one started with 6-0 runs from each team, forcing a Clemson timeout as Notre Dame led 11-9. Tied at 15-all, both squads continued to swap points up to the 21-21 mark until a kill from Lange and a solo block from Palazzolo gave the Irish the 23-21 lead. Tied at 24-all, 25-all, and 26-all, the Tigers would go on to take set one 28-26 after 17 ties and seven lead changes in the first set.
While the Tigers claimed an early 11-5 lead, it didn’t take long for the Irish to bring it within one at 11-10. Trailing 18-13, a solo block from Palazzolo and a block from Tarnoff and Lange closed the gap to three at 18-15. The Tigers would close out set two with a 7-2 run to win the second 25-17.
Notre Dame came out strong in the third as the Irish led early at 10-7, forcing a Clemson timeout. The Irish and Tigers swapped points until Notre Dame extended their advantage to five at 17-12 as they forced another Clemson timeout. The Irish continued to extend their lead as it became a 20-12 set and while the gap was closed to six at 22-16, Notre Dame would close out set three with three straight points to win it 25-16.
It was a close one to start the fourth and as the Irish led 10-9, a 6-2 run from the Tigers lifted Clemson to a 15-12 advantage. Kills from Palazzolo and Lucy Trump along with a solo block from Tarnoff tied it up at 15-all, but another run from the Tigers gave them a 22-16 lead. The Irish looked to close the gap, but Clemson would go on to take the final set 25-20.
The Irish are back in action on Sunday as they face the No. 10 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at 1 PM in Atlanta, Georgia.