Aug. 25, 2017
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Notre Dame (1-0) opened the 2017 season by defeating intrastate foe Valparaiso (0-1) by a score of 3-1 on Friday evening in the first night of the Golden Dome Invitational. The match was the first ever Notre Dame volleyball contest played in Compton Family Ice Arena.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish got the season off on the right foot, claiming a first set victory by a score of 25-16 to gain an early advantage in the match. The key stretch for Notre Dame came midway through the first frame, as the team went on a 9-2 run to take the opening set.
The two sides were evenly matched through the first half of the second set, as the Irish and Crusaders were deadlocked at 16-16. Notre Dame then found its groove, as the hosts claimed nine of the last 12 points of the stanza to win the frame 25-19 and take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
Valparaiso refused to go down without a fight, as the Crusaders clawed their way to a 25-23 third set victory to cut the Notre Dame match lead to 2-1.
The Irish then came out refocused in the fourth, as Notre Dame quickly built a double-digit lead at 14-2 in the frame. From that point on the Irish cruised to a lopsided 25-9 victory, sending the Notre Dame faithful home happy on opening night.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
DeJarld picked up right where she left off from the 2016 season. After amassing 572 digs a year ago, the junior posted 38 in just four sets of action for an average of 9.5 digs per set. The 38 digs set a Notre Dame record for most digs recorded in a four-set match. As good as the libero was from a defensive perspective, she also made an impact from the service line, dishing out four aces on the evening.
ND STAT OF THE MATCH
Notre Dame dominated the net, as the Irish posted 14.5 team blocks to Valparaiso’s 4.0 on the evening. Notre Dame exceeded 14.0 blocks just five times in the 2016 season. Sam Fry and Meg Morningstar led the way with seven blocks apiece.
On Caroline Holt making her first appearance since last season’s injury…
“It was good seeing Caroline back on the court. She’s been through a lot and she continues to just keep getting better. I was getting on her – she didn’t play well until game four but the team overall didn’t either. We really didn’t find our rhythm until game four. Our defense is ahead of our offense but that will catch up.”
On the takeaways from the match…
“Valparaiso played hard, they played well, they served tough, dug balls and put some pressure on us. We kept in it and finally found our rhythm a little bit and we are in control of that. I think this is a good lesson for us and we can learn a lot from this match.
On Ryann DeJarld’s Play…
“It is fun coaching Ryann. She has a good edge and I want her to keep this team dialed in. She is very dialed into everything and she is maturing. She did a really nice job tonight and she can lead too. She’s carrying a nice load for us.”
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- Notre Dame improves to 28-10 in season openers in program history.
- The Irish are now 29-9 in home openers.
- Notre Dame improves to 23-4 against Valparaiso in the all-time series.
- The Irish have won four consecutive matches in the Golden Dome Invitational, after going 3-0 in the tournament last season.
- Notre Dame had four players finish with 15 or more digs in a match for the first time since September 23, 2012. The Irish players to surpass the mark on Friday were DeJarld (38), Jemma Yeadon (19), Natalie Johnson (18) and Sydney Kuhn (16).
- DeJarld’s 38 digs are the second most she has ever recorded in her career, as she posted 40 digs in a five-set match against North Carolina in 2016.
- Jemma Yeadon (13), Rebecca Nunge (12), Sam Fry (11) and Sydney Kuhn (11) each finished with double-digit kills.
The Irish are back in action for day two of the Golden Dome Invitational on Saturday, Aug. 26. Notre Dame takes on Rhode Island at 12:30 p.m. in the day’s first session and then wraps up the tournament against New Mexico State at 7 p.m. All matches will be played in Compton Family Ice Arena.
To purchase tickets visit UND.com/BuyTickets.
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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.