#22 Louisville Volleyball continues their home stint with a midweek match-up against Notre Dame. The game is set to begin at 7:00 p.m.
Following a pair of sweeps at home this weekend against mid-tier ACC opponents the Cards moved from 25 to 22 in the AVCA Coaches Poll. The Cards are 13-4 and 6-0 in the ACC while currently riding a seven-game win streak. At home, Louisville is 6-1 with the sole loss coming against Kentucky.
Melanie McHenry is way out in front with 217 kills. Megan Sloan has 164 and Amanda Green has 142. Jasmine Bennett sits a little further back with 112, but her stats are skewed after having sat out for a handful of games.
Wilma Rivera has more assists by herself with 650 than all other opponents, who have a combined 623. Molly Sauer is nearing triple-digits with 72 assists.
Sauer captains the defense with 268 digs. She has friends on the floor with McHenry tallying 126 and Rivera with 112.
Louisville's biggest weakness up to this point has been service errors with a whopping 166. That number is well beyond the 92 service aces on the year. However, the ratio isn't too bad when looking at opposing teams' 113 service errors against 53 aces. Improvement lately for the Cards in that stat brings hope that failure to clear the net is a thing of the past.
Notre Dame enters the game with a 10-6 overall and 4-2 mark in the ACC. Historically, the Irish have been a solid program, but have hit a few bumps in the road recently. They are still dangerous, nonetheless.
The Irish have relied heavily on their defense. They've held their opponents to a .153 hitting percentage, including holding four opponents under .100. Their defense ranks best in the ACC and 16th in the country. The back line has also helped pace the Irish defense as well. Their 16.88 digs per set sits atop the conference.
There is a pair of freshman on the roster for Notre Dame who have made a notable impact. Zoe Nunez is second on the team with 170 kills and leads the team with 590 assists. Sydney Bent is third on the team with 105 kills.
Notre Dame has won eight of their matches in straight-set fashion. Their only non-sweeps were a 3-2 victory at Georgia Tech and a 3-1 victory against Wake Forest.
Both teams have played against Purdue on the road. The Cards lost a heart-breaker in five sets while the Irish were downed in four.
Louisville swept Duke while Notre Dame fell in five sets to them. The Cards swept Wake Forest while the Irish claimed the win in four sets. The Cards also got a sweep at Georgia Tech while Notre Dame held onto win in a five-set thriller. Louisville squeezed by at Clemson, going down to the wire in the fifth set while the Irish swept the Tigers. Louisville won at North Carolina in five sets while Notre Dame claimed the win in straight sets. The Cards took a four-set victory at NC State while Notre Dame fell in four sets to the Wolfpack.
Notre Dame leads the all-time series 21-14, but haven't beaten the Cards since Sept. 23, 2016, in a sweep in South Bend. Louisville has won three straight matches since then against their conference rival, 3-1, 3-2, 3-2.
Tonight should be no different than the series history suggests. Both teams are similar on paper with the Cards having an edge on the record, ranking, and quality of opponents. I expect to see either a four-set or five-set bloodbath between the two teams with neither of them taking a set with ease.
Louisville hopes to remain undefeated in the ACC alongside Pittsburgh while Notre Dame tries to remain in the top six in the conference with a win.
If you cannot make the event I suggest you tune into the ACC Network (ESPN Watch Live online or on the app). Our own Worldwide will be present for the event, although he typically does not tweet while in attendance at volleyball. Paulie will be monitoring the action either live or on the ACC Network.
Happy Wednesday and Go Cards!
- Jared -