Oct. 16, 2014
Clemson @ Notre Dame
: Free / WatchND: Free
Friday, Oct. 17, 2014 – 7 p.m. (ET)
Records:Notre Dame (4-13, 1–5 ACC), Clemson (13–5, 2–3 ACC)
Boston College @ Notre Dame
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Saturday, Oct. 19, 2014 – 1 p.m. (ET)
Records:Notre Dame (4-13, 1–5 ACC), Boston College (7–9, 2-3 ACC)
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – A big weekend is on tap for the University of Notre Dame volleyball team, as it welcomes in Atlantic Coast Conference foes Clemson and Boston College for a pair of league matches.
The Irish (4-13, 1-5 ACC) open the weekend with a 7 p.m. Friday match against the Tigers before the Eagles come calling at 1 p.m. Sunday for an ESPN3 contest.
After gaining some momentum with a 3-1 victory over Syracuse during its last home stand, Notre Dame suffered a setback last weekend with a pair of 3-0 sweeps on the road to Pitt and Louisville. While Purcell Pavilion hasn’t been super friendly to the Irish this year, two of the team’s four victories have come at home in the Joyce Center.
While the numbers weren’t spectacular last weekend as a whole, junior setter Hanna Muzzonigro ran her streak of consecutive double-doubles to three, while freshman middle blocker Sam Fry tallied 15 kills (.323 A%), five blocks and two service aces in six sets of action.
Clemson (13-5, 2-3 ACC) enters Friday with some momentum after a pair of home wins over Virginia Tech (3-2) and Georgia Tech (3-1) last weekend. The Tigers picked up most of their non-conference wins over low to mid-major programs and started off ACC play with losses at Virginia (3-1), at Miami (3-1) and at home against No. 12 North Carolina (3-0) before the impressive weekend sweep.
As a team, Clemson is holding opponents to a .150 attack percentage, which is second in the ACC. The Tigers are also fourth in the league in blocks per set (2.84).
The Tigers lost standout Mo Simmons to graduation but return some talented players from 2013. Senior middle blocker Karis Watson averages 2.04 kills per set and boasts team highs in attack percentage (.347), blocks (99) and blocks per set (1.46). Elsewhere, senior Kristin Faust (3.55 KPS) and sophomore Leah Perri (2.93 KPS) are the team leaders in kills with 227 and 199, respectively.
Watson sits second in the ACC in blocks per set and nine in attack percentage.
Meanwhile, freshman setter Kate Federico is the reigning ACC Freshman of the Week and averages 9.88 assists, 2.60 digs and 0.63 blocks per set this year. She also tops the squad in service aces (22).
The all-time series between the two schools is tied at two, but Clemson claimed the inaugural ACC match in Jervey Gym, 3-0 (27-25, 25-22, 25-21), last year.
Boston College (7-9, 2-3 ACC), meanwhile, is having one its most successful starts to ACC play in school history, as the Eagles sit 2-3 in league play and already boast wins over Louisville (3-2) on the road and at home against Syracuse (3-0). BC also had a close, five-set loss to No. 18 Minnesota earlier in the year.
Freshman middle blocker Brittany Pavich leads the team in attack percentage (.322) while totaling 111 kills and 42 blocks. Junior Katty Workman leads the team in kills (235) and kills per set (3.73 – 5th ACC) while boasting 12 service aces, 2.62 digs per set and 22 blocks. Libero Courtney Castle is second in the ACC in service aces per set (0.45) and fifth in digs per set (4.15).
The Irish have owned the all-time series, 13-1, including 9-1 in BIG EAST play, but the two matches to open ACC play last season were incredibly close. In Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, Notre Dame overcame a 2-0 deficit to beat the Eagles in the first matchup, before defeating BC, 3-1, at Purcell Pavilion to open the final weekend of the 2013 season.
This weekend should be an exciting one for fans to come out to Purcell Pavilion and cheer on the Irish, as there are a ton of fan-friendly promotions planned. Friday is the fourth “Free Shirt Friday” of the season, as the t-shirt that was chosen by the fans through a social media poll last weekend will be distributed.
Fans can also win a chance to serve against Miss Indiana USA 2014 Mekayla Diehl between the second and third sets by tweeting at her (@RealMissINUSA) using the hashtag #PointIrish on Twitter.
Sunday is Notre Dame’s annual Block Out Cancer match, where fans are encouraged to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness. Paqui Kelly, wife of Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly and a two-time cancer survivor, will be the honorary coach for the second year in a row and will take part in a ceremonial first serve before the match gets underway.
After the match, the team will sign autographs.
Fans can follow Friday’s match through live stats in addition to WatchND’s free video stream.
Sunday, live stats will be up and running along with Notre Dame’s first home ESPN3 broadcast of the year with Megan Bastedo and Irish senior outside hitter Toni Alugbue on the call. Alugbue, who was a 2012 honorable mention All-American, is out for the year with a torn ACL in her left knee.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director