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Irish Travel to Northeast to take on Syracuse and Boston College

Oct. 6, 2016

Notre Dame Notes

By Robby Hamman

The Irish, off to their best start in ACC play in program history at 4-0, takes its perfect conference record on the road to play Syracuse at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7 and Boston College at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9.


Location: Friday – Syracuse, New York | Sunday – Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Schedule: Friday, Oct. 7 — 7 p.m. EST at Syracuse | LIVE STATS | LIVE STREAM
Sunday, Oct. 9 — 12 p.m. EST at Boston College | LIVE STATS
Twitter Updates: @NDVolleyball


On the differences in preparing for a road match compared to a home one…
“There are challenges but the preparation is the same and we’re getting better at it. The team is getting better at preparing for matches. Success has more to do with preparation than anything. We are starting to value that and are becoming more consistent.”

On the team’s improved blockling last weekend…
“We put an emphasis on blocking and the girls got some good reps and we got a return on that. There are lots of areas we need to be better at and that’s just one of them. We’ve been able to dig the ball but blocking and team defense is a package. It’s an action-reaction thing and everyone has their assignments and how they need to do their job to the specific situation. It all starts with our block up front and everyone needs to be in better spots.”

On the team’s knack for winning two-point sets…
“There have been a lot of situations we’ve been in that we don’t need to be in but we’ve been able to be pretty good when our backs against the wall. What’s really important is to be good start to finish and we’re learning that.”


Sophomore libero Ryann DeJarld will square off against her younger sister Jane for the first time in her collegiate career on Sunday when the Irish play at Boston College. Ryann has earned a reputation as a sophomore as one of the conference’s top liberos, as she leads the Irish and ranks fifth in the league in digs per set with a mark of 4.38. Jane is a freshman setter for the Eagles who ranks second on her team in assists per set with an average of 5.15. The two sisters will meet again later this season, as Boston College comes to Notre Dame for a match on Nov. 23.


The Irish produced its two biggest blocking performances of the season in the 3-1 wins over Duke (9/30) and Wake Forest (10/2). Notre Dame recorded a season-high 19.5 blocks against Duke and followed up the performance with 18.5 blocks versus Wake Forest. The team’s 19.5 blocks on Friday were the most from a Notre Dame squad in a match since posting 20 blocks against Villanova in a five-set match during the 2007 season.


A trio of juniors captain the Irish, as Sam Fry, Caroline Holt and Natalie Johnson have been selected as the leaders of the squad. Both Fry and Johnson are in their third seasons at Notre Dame while Holt transferred into the program last spring.


Notre Dame is off to its best start since the 2005 season, posting a 13-3 record. Notre Dame enters Friday’s match on a five-match winning streak, including four wins in the ACC over Louisville, (3-0), Miami (3-0), Duke (3-1) and Wake Forest (3-1). The Irish are winners of nine of their last 10 matches with five of those victories coming in straight-set fashion. Junior outside hitter Sam Fry leads the Irish attack, totaling a team-high 153 kills on the season to average 2.78 per set. Freshman Jemma Yeadon is second on the squad with 144 kills in 2016.


Syracuse has struggled in 2016, as the team enters Friday’s match against Notre Dame with a 3-11 record on the season and a mark of 2-2 in ACC action. However, the team is coming off of a 3-1 win at Miami on Oct. 2 in its latest outing. The Orange’s other win came at home against Boston College in a 3-1 triumph. Syracuse’s Amber Witherspoon has been a menace at the net to the opposition, as she averages 1.36 blocks per set to rank fourth in the conference and 23rd nationally.


The Irish lead the Orange 21-7 in the all-time series but Syracuse has won both of last season’s meetings and four of the last five matchups. Notre Dame’s last victory in the series came in 2014, winning by a final of 3-1 in Purcell Pavillion.


Boston College comes into the week of play with a 5-9 record on the season and a mark of 0-4 in ACC play. The Eagles have dropped each of their last six outings, including conference matchups against Syracuse (3-1), North Carolina (3-2), Miami (3-0) and Florida State (3-0). Sol Calvete leads the team in kills per set with an average of 2.61, as the junior has recorded 107 kills on the year.


Notre Dame has found much success against the Eagles when the two sides have met, as the Irish hold a 14-4 advantage in the all-time series. Notre Dame won 14 of the first 15 matchups but have since dropped the last three. Boston College went 2-0 against Notre Dame in 2015.

— 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.