Sophomore Katie Higgins

Irish Welcome Louisville For Sunday Matinee

Nov. 8, 2014

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Louisville @ Notre Dame
: Free / WatchND: Free
Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014 – 1 p.m. (ET)
Purcell Pavilion
Records: Notre Dame (5-18, 210 ACC), Louisville (1410, 66 ACC)

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Looking to bounce back from three consecutive five-set heartbreakers, the University of Notre Dame volleyball team returns home to Purcell Pavilion Sunday for its second showdown of the season with former BIG EAST rival and current Atlantic Coast Conference foe Louisville.

Despite showing much improvement over their last five matches, the Irish (5-18, 2-10 ACC) have struggled to put teams away in losing a pair of contests at Virginia and at home against Georgia Tech that they led 2-1. Notre Dame also dropped a five-set match at Boston College where they overcame a 2-0 deficit to force a deciding fifth frame.

In Notre Dame’s first seven ACC matches, it hit just .158 and averaged 1.87 blocks per set. However, in the final five contests, the team has increased its attack percentage almost 50 points (.204) and is blocking at a clip of 2.61 per set. Impressive in each category is sophomore Katie Higgins, who paces the team in both during the last five matches by attacking at a .286 clip and averaging 1.17 blocks per set.

Against the Cardinals (14-10, 6-6 ACC), the Irish look to gain a measure of revenge after a convincing 3-0 sweep at the hands of the new ACC addition last month at the KFC Yum! Center, 25-14, 25-19, 25-13. In that match, Notre Dame hit just .038 and totaled only three blocks.

Louisville (14-10, 6-6 ACC) is 3-3 since the win over Notre Dame and has suffered back-to-back losses to Virginia and Miami. The 3-0 setback to the Hurricanes came on the road Friday night.

Entering Friday’s match, the Cardinals were third in the ACC in attack percentage (.260), third in digs per set (14.98) and fifth in opponent attack percentage (.187). Standout Tess Clark is second in the league in attack percentage (.421), while Maggie DeJong is ninth (.332). Setter Katie George sits fourth in the league in assists per set (10.30) and is ninth in service aces per set (0.32).

Fans can follow Sunday’s action through WatchND’s free video stream and Gametracker’s live stats. Links for both are on


Senior Jeni Houser sits 56 kills out of 10th place in school history and would need to average a little over nine kills in each of the remaining six matches to break into the top 10. Houser is also one 10+ kill match away from moving into fifth place in school history for most in a career. She has 73 matches so far where she has recorded 10 or more kills.

Setters Hanna Muzzonigro and Maddie Dilfer have combined to tally nine double-doubles (assists, digs) this year. Muzzonigro has five, including a monster 54-assist, 16-dig performance at Virginia. Dilfer, meanwhile, has four including one in against Boston College (31 assists, 11 digs) the last time out for Notre Dame.

A solid blocking team all year, the Irish are eighth in blocks per set in the ACC (2.32).

–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director