Aug. 4, 2017
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame has been selected fourth in the 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference volleyball preseason poll, the conference office announced on Friday. The Irish placed two players on the Preseason All-ACC Team in seniors Sam Fry and Caroline Holt.
The Fighting Irish received 149 points in balloting among the ACC’s 15 head coaches. North Carolina topped the poll with 196 points. Florida State (169) was slotted second, with Pittsburgh (168) third and NC State (40) fifth. The 2017 preseason ranking of fourth place is tied for the highest the Irish have received since joining the ACC in 2013.
Fry made a big impact for the Irish in 2016 during her junior campaign, ranking second on the team in kills (255), kills per set (2.38) and blocks (102). Fry had 10-plus blocking performances in three matches this season, recording a career high of 12 in matches against Duke (9/30) and Virginia (11/13).
In her debut season at Notre Dame in 2016, Holt thrived in running the Irish attack from the setter position. Notre Dame was 18-4 in matches the junior transfer played, including a record of 9-1 in ACC action. Holt averaged 10.97 assists per set to lead the Irish and rank second in the ACC. The 10.97 assists per set rank second in the Notre Dame record books since the NCAA switched to 25-point sets in 2008.
Fry, Holt and the Irish open the 2017 season with the Golden Dome Invitational on August 25 and 26. Notre Dame hosts intrastate foe Valparaiso at 7 p.m. on August 25 and then will host Rhode Island and New Mexico State on August 26. All three matches will be played in Compton Family Ice Arena.
The Irish 2017 schedule features 16 home matches, 10 of which are conference matches. Notre Dame is coming off a 22-10 season and returns five starters and its primary libero from the 2016 roster.
ACC VOLLEYBALL COACHES POLL
- North Carolina (196 points)
- Florida State (169 points)
- Pitt (168 points)
- Notre Dame (149 points)
- NC State (140 points)
- Miami (136 points)
- Duke (118 points)
- Louisville (104 points)
- Georgia Tech (99 points)
- Syracuse (75 points)
- Wake Forest (69 points)
- Virginia Tech (54 points)
- Virginia (50 points)
- Boston College (28 points)
- Clemson (20 points)
PRESEASON ALL-ACC TEAM
Leah Meyer, Jr., MB, Duke
Milica Kabura, Sr., OH, Florida State
Gabriela Stavnetchei, Sr., OH, Georgia Tech
Tess Clark, Sr., MB/ OG, Louisville
Molly Sauer, Jr., L, Louisville
Olga Strantzali, Sr., OH, Miami
Haley Templeton, R-Jr., S, Miami
Taylor Fricano, Sr., MH/OP, North Carolina
Taylor Leath, Jr., OH, North Carolina
Julia Scoles, So., OH, North Carolina
Bree Bailey, Gr., OH, NC State
Julia Brown, Sr., OH, NC State
Sam Fry, Sr., MB, Notre Dame
Caroline Holt, Sr., S, Notre Dame
Kamalani Akeo, Jr., S, Pittsburgh
Stephanie Williams, R-So., OH, Pittsburgh
Santita Ebangwese, Jr., MB, Syracuse
Kylie Long, Sr., OH, Wake Forest
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.