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Irish and Tar Heels Square Off in Top Conference Matchup

Oct. 13, 2016

Notre Dame Notes

By Robby Hamman

Notre Dame and No. 8 North Carolina both come into Friday’s match with perfect 6-0 records in the ACC and are the final two remaining undefeated teams in the conference. The two sides collide at 7 p.m. on Oct. 14 in Purcell Pavilion. Admission to Friday’s match is free of charge. Notre Dame then welcomes NC Stat to town at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16.


Location: Notre Dame, Ind. | Purcell Pavilion
Schedule: Friday, Oct. 14 — 7 p.m. EST vs. No. 8 UNC | | LIVE STREAM
Sunday, Oct. 16 — 1 p.m. EST vs. NC State | | LIVE STREAM
Twitter Updates: @NDVolleyball


  • Friday’s match against UNC will be free admission for all fans.
  • The first 500 fans to Friday’s match will receive a free T-shirt
  • There will be a post-match autograph session following Sunday’s match against NC State


On the matchups with UNC and NC State…
“I think both teams are good, they are physical and play good volleyball but I think the challenge is us. We have got to just keep getting better. I think the challenge of getting better every day is the most important and we control that. Anything they do we can put pressure on them and we can be in good spots and for the most part we control that.”

On Jemma Yeadon
“The goal for every player in our program is to develop a complete game and become a complete player and have no weaknesses. I think she’s capable of that. We also want her to have an identity. You have to be great at something. The All-Americans are great in multiple areas, so you keep developing and you expand your skill level and then develop an identity. I think she’s starting to do that for sure on the attack end and now she has to become a better volleyball player.”


Freshman outside hitter Jemma Yeadon led the Irish in kills in both outings last weekend to help the team remain unbeaten in ACC play at 6-0. Yeadon recorded double-doubles in both matches despite playing just three sets in each victory, posting 12 kills and 10 digs at Syracuse followed by 14 kills and 11 digs versus Boston College. In the win over Boston College, the freshman had the most efficient match of her career, hitting .419 off 14 kills on 31 tries with just one error.


With Notre Dame’s 3-0 win over Syracuse on Oct. 7, head coach Jim McLaughlin earned the 600th victory of his collegiate coaching career. Of McLaughlin’s 600 victories, 458 have come on the women’s side, including a national title in 2005 with Washington. The 27-year veteran also won a national championship with a men’s program in 1990 with USC. McLaughlin is the only collegiate coach to ever win NCAA titles as a head coach of both a men’s and women’s team.


Of Notre Dame’s 15 wins this season, 10 have come in straight-set fashion. The 10 sweeps are more than the last three years combined. The Irish started the season with three consecutive sweeps, claiming wins over Seton Hall, Cleveland State and Western Michigan and have recoreded four straight-set wins in ACC play against Louisville, Miami, Syracuse and Boston College.


Notre Dame is off to its best start since the 2005 season, posting a 15-3 record. Notre Dame enters Friday’s match on a seven-match winning streak, including six wins in the ACC over Louisville, (3-0), Miami (3-0), Duke (3-1), Wake Forest (3-1), Syracuse (3-0) and Boston College (3-0). The Irish are winners of 11 of their last 12 matches with seven of those victories coming in straight-set fashion. Freshman outside hitter Jemma Yeadon leads the Irish attack, totaling a team-high 170 kills on the season to average 3.04 per set. Junior setter Caroline Holt leads the ACC and rankes 20th nationally in assists per set, averaging 11.08 on the season.


North Carolina represents the biggest test of the 2016 season, as it is the highest ranked team the Irish are scheduled to face at No. 8. The Tar Heels are winners of eight of their last nine matches, including six straight, to come into Friday’s match with a record of 14-2 on the season and 6-0 in the ACC. UNC has been great at the net both on the attack and defense this season The team leads the ACC in hitting percentage (.266) and blocks per set (2.93). Freshman Sydnye Fields has a team-high 1.56 blocks per set to anchor the defense.


The Irish and Tar Heels are knotted up at 5-5 in the all-time series. However, North Carolina has taken each of the last four matchups. Notre Dame is 2-1 against the Tar Heels when playing at home. Notre Dame’s last win came in 2003 in a 3-1 decision in Chapel Hill.


North Carolina State comes into the weekend with a 10-8 overall record and a 3-3 mark in the ACC. The Wolfpack split last weekend’s matchups with a 3-1 win over Miami and a 3-1 loss at No. 16 Florida State. NC State leads the ACC with 12.96 assists per set, which ranks 42nd in the NCAA among division I programs. Junior Julia Brown is first in the ACC with 11.71 attacks per set and tops the column in total attacks this year with 773.


Notre Dame narrowly trails the Wolfpack in the all-time series, as the Irish are 2-3 in the all-time series. Notre Dame won the first two matchups in the series, with the last coming during the 1995 season. NC State’s last three wins have all come in ACC action. The Irish fell by a final of 3-1 in the 2015 matchup.

— ND —

Robby Hamman joined Fighting Irish Media as athletics communications assistant director in September 2016, coordinating efforts for the volleyball and men’s lacrosse program. Hamman is a 2010 graduate of Bethel College, where he earned bachelor’s degrees in sport management and business administration, and earned his master’s degree in business administration from Defiance College in 2013.