Sept. 16, 2017
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Irish won their second match of the Shamrock Invitational in as many outings on Saturday afternoon inside Purcell Pavilion, Southern Illinois in straight-set fashion (25-21, 25-14, 25-16). Notre Dame improves to 9-1 on the season and keeps its perfect home record intact at 6-0.
Sam Fry had a great match, posting a season-high 13 kills on just 21 attempts to lead the Irish. Junior Ryann DeJarld paced Notre Dame in digs with 22 over three sets of action. Lauren Woodard matched her season-high in kills with 12.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The visiting Salukis opened the match strongly, opening up an early 12-6 lead in the first set. The advantage was short lived for Southern Illinois, as Notre Dame fought back and took its first lead of the match at 17-16 off a block from Sam Fry and Caroline Holt. The Irish did not relinquish the lead for the rest of the opening frame, going on to win by a score of 25-21 to take an early 1-0 advantage in the match.
Notre Dame dominated the second set to take complete control of the match, as the Irish posted a 25-14 win in the second stanza. Notre Dame built an early 15-7 lead in the frame and never looked back as it coasted to the victory to make the match score 2-0. The Irish posted a ridiculous attack percentage of .435 in the second.
The Irish made quick work of Southern Illinois in the third set, quickly building a 12-4 lead. Notre Dame never let the Salukis get closer than six points the rest of the way, as the Irish went on to win by a final of 25-16 to secure the sweep.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Fry was dominant on Saturday afternoon for the Notre Dame attack. Not only did the middle blocker lead the team in kills with 13 but she also was the most efficient player on the court, posting a pristine hitting percentage of .571. Fry also recorded two blocks to complete her great performance at the net. Fry now has five outings with 10+ kills on the season.
ND STAT OF THE MATCH
Defense has been a calling card for the Irish all season and the match against the Salukis was no different, as Notre Dame held the visitors to an attack percentage of just .103 over the three sets.
HEAD COACH Jim McLaughlin’s TAKE
On Sam Fry’s performance…
“”It was consistency. She was being consistent and taking good swings. She used the right tools in the right situations. She’s just getting better and better.”
On the team’s improved hitting in the second and third sets…
“We settled down. [Woodard] had 14% in game one and she finished with over 29%. Sydney [Kuhn] passed 13 balls and passed 69 perfect which is a high for her, and Natalie Johnson passed 6 balls at 67% perfect so we’re just starting to be more consistent and doing the things we’re capable of doing.”
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- The Irish are 6-0 at home in 2017.
- Notre Dame improves to 4-0 against Southern Illinois in the all-time series.
- Notre Dame’s 9-1 start to the season is the program’s best since also posting a 9-1 mark in 2005.
- Five of Notre Dame’s wins have been sweeps this season.
- Woodard recorded her first double-double of the season with 12 kills and 10 digs.
- DeJarld surpassed the 20+ dig mark for the eighth time this season with a team-high 22 digs.
- Natalie Johnson has recorded at least one ace in all nine matches this season and has compiled a team-high 20 aces in 2017.
- Kristin Baer posted a career-high five kills in the victory.
- Freshman Madison Cruzado notched a career-high three aces to lead the Irish.
Notre Dame wraps up the Shamrock Invitational with its second match of the day on Saturday evening, as the Irish host Central Michigan at 7 p.m. inside Purcell Pavilion.
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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.