Aug. 24, 2017
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Irish open the 2017 season by hosting their annual Golden Dome Invitational on August 25 and 26. Notre Dame gets the season underway against Valparaiso at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 25 in Compton Family Ice Arena. The Irish then face Rhode Island at 12:30 p.m. and New Mexico State at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 26. All of Notre Dame’s matches will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.
2017 GOLDEN DOME INVITATIONAL
Location: Notre Dame, Indiana
How To Watch: ACC Network Extra (Valparaiso) | ACC Network Extra (Rhode Island) | ACC Network Extra (New Mexico State)
Tournament Central: Click Here
Twitter Updates: @NDVolleyball
HEAD COACH JIM MCLAUGHLIN’S THOUGHTS
On last season…
“I have never had any reservations about discussing last year, and being very honest about it. Clearly there are lessons we can all learn from it. It was painful because of the investment we all made throughout the year. We had a better year going 22-10 and moving up in the ACC. But we want to win the ACC championship.
“We talked about passing the next big test and we are not afraid to be very direct and very honest about the progress that we need to continue to make. I think the girls appreciate that because it’s easier for them to understand everything we say when we are very direct and very honest with them. They understand that everything we do is preparing us to be the best we can be and also handle the adversity that is going to be in front of us. Just having that higher understanding allows each player to prepare better, and develop the tools they need to be successful in these different environments. Again, each one of us must continue to learn and be better prepared each day.”
On the 2017 schedule…
“Everything we do is to make progress every day and develop this team to get ready for the ACC and the NCAA tournament. I don’t want anything to prevent us from making the right decisions to develop each player. We’ve got some good challenges, but every match is really important, and we’re developing a mindset to respect every opponent. We have to take care of our own business on our side of the net and get things in place, which we will do during the non-conference schedule.
“It is human nature to say one match is more important than another match, or this match isn’t as difficult, but you set yourself up in a way that could get you in trouble. A team gets aggressive, gets hot and gets you on your heels and it can be over. So we’re developing our thought process and our preparation in terms of how we think about things and to get ready emotionally for each opponent. Every match that we play will be a challenge to meet our own standard of play and I think this team looks forward to that more this year.”
SERIES HISTORY VS. GOLDEN DOME INVITATIONAL FIELD
Notre Dame has a combined record of 27-5 against Valparaiso, Rhode Island and New Mexico State. The Irish are 22-4 against Valparaiso in the all-time series, winning the most recent meeting in straight-set fashion on Sept. 11, 2011.
Notre Dame and Rhode Island will meet for the sixth time in program history on Saturday, as the Irish hold a 4-1 edge over the Rams in the season series. Notre Dame has won each of the last two matchups, including a 3-1 victory last season in Kingston, Rhode Island, by a score of 3-1.
The Irish and Aggies will face each other for just the second time. The Irish won the previous matchup by a final of 3-0 at Notre Dame in 2009.
DEFEND THE DOME
The Irish claimed the Golden Dome Invitational last season, winning all three of their matches by a final score of 3-0. The Notre Dame victories came over Seton Hall, Cleveland State and Western Michigan.
OWNING THE OPENERS
The Irish are 27-10 in season openers in program history. Notre Dame has had even more success in home openers, posting a mark of 28-9. The team is 2-0 in home openers under head coach Jim McLaughlin.
FRY AND HOLT SELECTED TO PRESEASON ALL-ACC TEAM
Seniors Sam Fry and Caroline Holt were each placed on the Preseason All-ACC Team as voted on by the league’s head coaches. Fry finished the 2016 campaign with 255 kills (2.38 kills per set) and 102 blocks.
Holt ranked second in the ACC in assists per set with a mark of 10.97. Holt led the Irish to a record of 18-4 before an injury sidelined her for the remaining 10 matches of the season. Holt’s 10.97 assists per set rank second in the Notre Dame record books since the NCAA switched to 25-point sets in 2008.
— 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.