Freshman libero Natalie Johnson had a season-high 23 digs in her last outing at Virginia.

Irish Welcome In Georgia Tech For Halloween Showdown

Oct. 30, 2014

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Georgia Tech@ Notre Dame
: Free / WatchND: Free
Friday, Oct. 31, 2014 – 7 p.m. (ET)
Purcell Pavilion
Records: Notre Dame (5-16, 28 ACC), Georgia Tech (10-13, 37 ACC)

Notre Dame @ Boston College
: Free / Eagle Vision: Free
Sunday, Nov 2, 2014 – 12 p.m. (ET)
Power Gym
Records: Notre Dame (5-16, 28 ACC), Boston College (812, 36 ACC)

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame volleyball is ready to celebrate Halloween with its fans at 7 p.m. Friday night, as the Irish welcome in the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to Purcell Pavilion for an Atlantic Coast Conference clash.

All youth – eighth grade and under – will receive free admission by wearing a costume. There will also be free candy given out to anyone (all ages) wearing a costume and prizes for best costume.

The match is only the fourth all-time meeting between the two schools, as the Irish (5-16, 2-8 ACC) lead the series 2-1 over the Yellow Jackets (10-13, 3-7 ACC). Last year in the program’s inaugural meeting as ACC foes, Notre Dame went into the Yellow Jackets’ home nest and swept GT for its first ACC win in program history.

Georgia Tech has been extremely up and down this season, as it has won two or more matches in a row four times, but lost three matches in a row at four points as well. The Yellow Jackets are 6-6 in three-set matches, 3-3 in five setters and 1-4 in four setters and are coming off a 3-2 loss to No. 9 North Carolina at home where GT led 2-0 before the Tar Heels won three sets in a row.

In the ACC rankings, the Yellow Jackets are fifth in the league in digs per set (14.37), as they boast five players that have 150 or more digs this season, including three that are over 200. Libero London Ackermann is ranked seventh in the ACC with 3.82 digs per set.

On offense, outside hitter Teegan Van Gunst sits seventh in the league in kills per set (3.57) and also averages 2.66 digs and 0.62 blocks per set.

After the Irish and Georgia Tech do battle, Notre Dame will hop on a plane Saturday morning and head to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts for a 12 p.m. Sunday showdown with Boston College.

The two squads met two weeks ago at Purcell, with the Irish overcoming a 2-0 deficit to beat the visiting Eagles. In that match, senior Jeni Houser (13), grad student Nicole Smith (12) and freshman Sam Fry (12) all reached double figures in kills, while Fry tied a season high with nine blocks to lead the Notre Dame comeback.

For the Eagles, sophomore outside hitter Katty Workman recorded a double-double with 15 kills and 12 digs in the loss.

Since that match, neither team has claimed a win as BC lost on the road to No. 9 North Carolina (3-0) and NC State (3-1) last weekend, while the Irish fell at Virginia Tech (3-0) and Virginia (3-2).

A strong serving and receiving team, the Eagles are fourth in the league in digs (14.43) and service aces per set (1.43). Workman sits sixth in the ACC in kills per set (3.62), while libero Courtney Castle is fourth in service aces per set (0.41) and eighth in digs per set (3.81).

The Notre Dame win over the Eagles upped the Irish advantage to 14-1 all-time, including 3-0 in ACC play. Last year the Irish came from 2-0 back to win at Power Gym in Chestnut Hill.

Notre Dame is looking to rebound this weekend from a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to the Cavaliers in Charlottesville last Saturday night. The Irish led UVA, 2-1, and had match point in the fourth set before ultimately losing the frame, 33-31, and the match, 3-2. In the match, Notre Dame did enjoy one of its best all-around performances of the season, as it totaled more kills, assists, service aces and digs than the Cavaliers. The kill and assist totals were the most for a Notre Dame squad since 2008.

In addition, eight different student-athletes improved upon personal bests in 13 key categories in the five-set thriller, highlighted by career days in kills for Smith (20) and sophomore Katie Higgins (14) and in assists (54), kills (7) and digs (16) by junior setter Hanna Muzzonigro.

Fans can follow both matches through live stats and free online video stream, with links available on

–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director