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Bent, Niego & Nunez Earn Preseason ACC Honors

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Sophomores Sydney Bent, Charley Niego and Zoe Nunez were each named to the 2019 Preseason All-ACC Volleyball Team, the conference announced Friday afternoon (August 9). The Irish were also slotted fourth in the conference’s preseason coaches poll.

Notre Dame’s three Preseason All-ACC honorees are the second most in the conference. Bent, Niego and Nunez also represent three of just five sophomores to earn Preseason All-ACC recognition. In 2018, all three players earned both Second Team All-ACC and ACC All-Freshman Team accolades. 

Bent finished third on the Irish with 270 kills while appearing in 27 matches during her freshman campaign. She notched 10+ kills on 13 occasions last season, including seven of the final eight contests and a 24-kill effort vs. NC State on November 9. Bent proved to be a reliable two-way player for Notre Dame as well, collecting 174 digs and 67 blocks in 97 sets as a freshman.

A 2018 AVCA honorable mention All-American, Niego led the Irish attack with 339 kills and finished second with 307 digs in her freshman season. The Chicago, Illinois, native notched double-doubles in 12 of 18 conference contests in 2018, including a 16-kill, 29-dig effort at NC State on September 23. Like Bent, Niego became a force for the Irish attack down the stretch in 2018, recording double digit kills in each of the final eight matches of the season. 

Nunez racked up 1,113 assists and an average of 10.60 assists per set in her freshman season, both of which ranked fourth in the ACC. She collected 40+ assists in 16 matches last season, including a 64-assist effort on the road vs. Georgia Tech on September 30. She also notched 205 digs for the Irish defense as a freshman.

In the preseason poll, the Irish received 164 points in balloting among the ACC’s 15 head coaches. Pittsburgh topped the poll with 195 points while Florida State (174 points) and Louisville (167 points) were slotted second and third. 

The Irish enter 2019 after sweeping 11 opponents en route to a 16-12 record last season. Notre Dame will return four Second Team All-ACC honorees, including Bent, Niego, Nunez and Jemma Yeadon. The Irish will open the 2019 campaign with three home matches on August 30-31 as part of the Golden Dome Invitational.

To view the complete 2019 schedule, click here.

2019 ACC Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll

Pitt 195 points (13 First-Place Votes)
Florida State 174 points (2 First-Place Votes)
Louisville 167 points
Notre Dame 164 points
North Carolina 120 points
Syracuse 118 points
Duke 113 points
Clemson 105 points
NC State 101 points
Miami 90 points
Georgia Tech 86 points
Boston College 52 points
Virginia Tech 39 points
Virginia 33 points
Wake Forest 18 points

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