NOTRE DAME, Ind. — No. 13 Notre Dame returns to action after a 6-1 fall with a home contest against Valparaiso on Thursday, February 18. First serve inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center is set for 1 p.m. ET and the match will be streamed live via ACC Network Extra. The match is currently slated to be Notre Dame’s lone non-conference matchup before 11 consecutive contests against ACC opponents.
- The Irish return to action this spring having gone 6-1 in the fall portion of the schedule which consisted entirely of ACC opponents.
- Notre Dame’s fall triumphs included four wins over teams that were ranked in the AVCA Fall Top-15 Poll.
- The Irish opened its season with a win at No. 11 Louisville before earning a pair of victories against No. 5 Syracuse and a five-set win over No. 10 Pittsburgh.
- Notre Dame’s win over No. 5 Syracuse on October 2 marked the first top-five victory for the Irish since they took down #5 Stanford in straight sets on August 29, 2009.
- The Irish also earned back-to-back ranked victories (Oct. 2-3 vs. #5 Syracuse) for the first time since knocking off No. 24 Ohio State and No. 23 Michigan State on September 10 & 15, 2017.
- Notre Dame’s fall success currently has them ranked No. 13 in the traditional AVCA Top-25 Coaches Poll.
- Freshman Paris Thompson has joined the Irish roster this spring and is currently eligible to practice.
HISTORY VS. VALPO
- The Irish and Valpo will be meeting for 30th time on Thursday with the Irish holding a 25-4 record in the all-time series.
- Notre Dame has won four straight contests between the two schools, including a sweep inside Purcell Pavilion a season ago on September 4, 2019.
- Caroline Meuth had a game-high 10 kills in that contest while Charley Niego added nine kills and Zoe Nunez earned 43 assists in three sets.
- Kiara Schmidt also led all players with 20 digs in that Irish win.
- The Irish had multiple players earn ACC honors in the fall portion of the 2020-21 campaign.
- Freshman libero Hattie Monson was named the ACC’s Freshman of the Week after totaling a team-high 20 digs and a game-high three aces in her Irish debut, a season-opening road sweep at Louisville on September 25.
- The Irish swept the ACC weekly honors on October 6 with Charley Niego being named the conference’s Player of the Week and Lindsey Miller earning Freshman of the Week honors.
- Niego was spectacular with a 19-kill, 18-dig performance in Notre Dame’s four-set victory over Syracuse on October 2 before adding 15 kills with a .467 hitting percentage the following day in a sweep of the Orange.
- Miller totaled 20 kills, seven blocks and a hitting percentage of .588 in the pair of victories over Syracuse.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
- A trio of freshmen in Aubrey Hamilton, Lindsey Miller and Hattie Monson have made an immediate impact for the Irish this season.
- Miller led all active freshmen in the fall with a .444 hitting percentage, which currently stands 23rd in the country and third in the ACC.
- Monson enters the spring with a team-high 128 digs and ranks second in the ACC with a mark of 4.92 digs per set.
- Hamilton ranked second on the Irish with 77 kills in the fall in addition to adding 17 digs and 14 total blocks.