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Irish Host Louisville in ACC Opener Before Heading to Miami

Sept. 22, 2016

Notre Dame Notes | Louisville Notes

By Robby Hamman

After its most successful non-conference season in over a decade, the Notre Dame volleyball team enters ACC play with a 9-3 record. The Irish will take on Louisville in the conference opener in Purcell Pavillion at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23. Admission to Friday’s match is free of charge. Notre Dame then travels to Miami to take on the Hurricanes at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 25.


Location: Friday ââ’¬” Notre Dame, Indiana | Sunday ââ’¬” Coral Gables, Florida
Schedule: Friday, Sept. 23 ââ’¬” 7 p.m. EST vs. Louisville | | LIVE STREAM
Sunday, Sept. 25 ââ’¬” 11:30 a.m. at Miami | LIVE STATS | LIVE STREAM
Twitter Updates: @NDVolleyball


  • Friday’s match against Louisville will be free admission for all fans.
  • Superhero Night – The first 500 fans receive a superhero themed t-shirt.
  • Lace Up 4 Pediatric Cancer – The team will wear gold laces and fans can donate money to the cause at the marketing table.


Head Coach Jim McLaughlin

On the difference between the 2015 season and the 2016 season…
“Everything is different. In the first year you’re a little bit of an unknown and the second year you are more familiar and the kids know us better and the staff knows the kids better. We have a higher understanding of what it takes and a better understanding of what to do and how to do it. The investment this year is much higher. The team is comprehending things at a higher level and now we need the experience of getting it done.”

On the difference in preparing for the ACC schedule compared to tournament weekends…
“There’s a little less workload in terms of figuring out the opponent in conference play but we are still in a phase where we are really concentrating mostly on what we do. The coaches will have the scouting reports done before we get there. The day we have in between matches is wonderful in terms of rest. It gets our girls off their feet and they recover a little bit. The intensity is the same but you have less volume when you only play two opponents versus three.”


Notre Dame has excelled from the service line through it’s opening 12 matches. The Irish average 2.00 aces per set, leading the ACC in the statistical category and ranking eighth nationally. Notre Dame dished out 14 aces in its last match against DePaul, tied for the most this season. Sam Fry leads the Irish with 20 aces, while Ryann DeJarld is second on the squad with 18.


Outside hitter Jemma Yeadon was selected to the Spartan Classic All-Tournament Team after leading the Irish to two victories over the weekend. The Mercer Island, Washington native posted career highs in kills (14) and aces (4) in the comeback win over DePaul. Yeadon finished the three matches with 31 kills, 20 digs, eight blocks and four aces.


Junior Caroline Holt has thrived at the starting setter position since arriving on campus last spring as a transfer from Loyola (Illinois). Holt is second in the ACC and 32nd nationally in assists per set with an average of 10.71. The Bloomington, Illinois native recorded a season-high 64 assists in the five-set victory over Howard.


Notre Dame is off to its best start since the 2005 season, posting a 9-3 record. Notre Dame is coming off a 2-1 weekend at the Spartan Classic in East Lansing, Michigan, defeating Maryland Eastern Shore (3-0) and DePaul (3-2) and falling to the host No. 22 Michigan State (3-0). The Irish are winners of five of their last six matches with three of those victories coming in straight-set fashion. Junior outside hitter Sam Fry leads the Irish attack, totaling a team-high 114 kills on the season to average 2.78 per set. Freshman Jemma Yeadon is second on the squad with 95 kills in 2016.


Louisville (5-5) is coming off a 1-1 weekend as they fell to in-state rival, Kentucky, and beat Lipscomb. Louisville is led by freshman outside hitter Melanie McHenry with 126 kills and 12 service aces while senior Janelle Jenkins and junior Tess Clark have each contributed 91 and 89 kills respectively. Sophomore Kali Eaken leads the team with 223 assists while senior Lyndsay Palmer has contributed 90.


The Cardinals are a familiar foe to the Irish as the two sides will meet for the 32nd time on Friday evening. Notre Dame leads the series with a record of 20-11, winning three of the last five. However, Louisville claimed last season’s matchup in three sets.


Miami comes into the conference season with a record of 6-6 after going 1-2 at the Delaware Invitational last weekend. The Hurricanes fell to Delaware (3-2) and Missouri (3-1) before rebounding to defeat Duquesne (3-1). Olga Strantzali is the leader of the Hurricane attack, as she paces the squad with 199 kills on the season. The other member of the team to already reach triple digits in kills is Anna Haak, who has 126 in the 2016 campaign.


The Irish narrowly lead the Hurricanes in the all-time series, holding a 5-4 advantage. Miami has won each of the last three meetings, including a 3-1 result at Purcell Pavillion in 2015. Notre Dame’s last victory in the series came in 2013, winning by a final score of 3-1.

— 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.