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Irish Come Up Short To Purdue

Sept. 3, 2016

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By Michael Scholl

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Notre Dame volleyball team dropped a four-set decision to No. 24 Purdue on Saturday night at Purcell Pavilion (21-25, 26-24, 16-25, 16-25), capping the 2016 edition of the Shamrock Invitational. The Boilers recorded 17.5 blocks while hitting .316 as a team, while taking the Shamrock title at 3-0 on the weekend.

Libero Ryann DeJarld (Chicago, Ill./Mother McAuley) anchored the Irish defense with 20 digs, but the Notre Dame attack struggled to click, hitting just .087 for the match in the face of a tall Boilermaker front line led by nine total blocks from Blake Mohler. Freshman Jemma Yeadon (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island) paced the Irish attack at 13 kills, while Rebecca Nunge (Newburgh, Ind./Castle) added seven kills.

Danielle Cuttino earned tournament MVP honors thanks to 22 kills while hitting at a blistering .425 clip. Faye Adelaja added 13 kills while Boilermaker setter Ashley Evans recorded 49 assists. The loss sent the Irish to 4-2 on the campaign, while Purdue improved to 5-1.


Of DeJarld’s 20 digs, the most important were the eight which came in the second set. The effort helped the Irish take the frame, 26-24, despite hitting .043 for the game. The sophomore did that following 23 kills in a five-set win over Howard earlier in the day and earned a spot on the Shamrock Invitational All-Tournament Team.


With sets even at one apiece, the Irish went on a run to cut Purdue’s third-set lead to 13-12. The Boilers responded with a 6-0 run to make it 19-12, before capturing the pivotal third set, 25-16. Cuttino posted six kills in the frame, while the Boilers hit at a .394 clip as a team. Purdue upped the ante in the fourth and final set, hitting at .571 as a team to take the match with another 25-16 set victory.


On splitting the two matches Saturday…
“There’s a lot of stuff we have to get better at. The kids understand that. As we get better at those things, the process of improving continues. Number one, we played hard. That’s the most important thing we can do. Now we have to settle down and see the game better. Stay focused on the things that tell us what to do to stay in better spots. Gameday is different. We have to learn how to think the right thoughts and clear our minds so we can play the next play. We got a little bit better at that, but we’ve got a ways to go. We got a little bit better serving and passing, so that was good. We’ve got to develop our toolbox hitting and hit with some range so those big blockers don’t get us.”

On the mentality facing a ranked team in Purdue…
“We are who we are. We’re still forming an identity. We’re trying to become a team and increase the value of each player. Those are the important things right now, but we approach it one way. That’s the Notre Dame way. We’re going to keep doing what we do and trying to get better, play hard and play smart.”

On using 13 different players against the Boilermakers…
“We’re mixing parts. We’re learning how to work hard. You didn’t really see it in the game yet, but we’re learning how to play on gameday. We’re just mixing parts. We’ve got to have a lineup at some point, but this is early. This is just week two. The kids are working hard, so they deserve it. That’s the best way to see them, when the bullets are live and you learn more about them. Lots of good stuff for people to improve on.”


In the matinee session at 4:30 p.m., Coastal Carolina scored a sweep of Howard to conclude action for both teams. The Chanticleers finished the weekend at 2-1 to finish as runner-up, while Howard suffered three setbacks.

Shamrock Invitational All-Tournament Team
MVP – Danielle Cuttino, Purdue
Ashley Evans, Purdue
Azariah Stahl, Purdue
Annayka Legros, Coastal Carolina
Carla Cahill, Coastal Carolina
Ryann DeJarld, Notre Dame
Katie Higgins, Notre Dame
Khaila Donaldson, Howard

For a full recap, visit’s Shamrock Invitational Tournament Central.


The Irish head to the Ocean State for the Art Carmichael Invitational at the University of Rhode Island. Notre Dame opens against Stony Brook on Friday, Sept. 9, before facing San Diego State and the host Rams on Saturday, Sept. 10.

Head coach Jim McLaughlin’s squad plays its next six matches on the road before returning home on Friday, Sept. 23, to open ACC play against Louisville. For tickets, visit

— ND —

Michael Scholl joined Fighting Irish Media as athletics communications assistant director in August 2016, coordinating efforts for the volleyball and baseball programs at his alma mater. The South Bend native earned a degree in political science from the College of Arts & Letters in 2009 before going on to work in athletics communications at Providence College, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in sport administration at the University of Cincinnati.