Oct. 8, 2017
By Robby Hamman
BLACKSBURG, Va. — Notre Dame (13-4, 3-3 ACC) won its third straight match and second road contest of the weekend on Sunday afternoon, defeating Virginia Tech (7-10, 1-5 ACC) by a score of 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-23, 25-19) in Blacksburg.
Two Irish players finished in double figures in kills for the day, as sophomore Jemma Yeadon led Notre Dame with 15 and junior Rebecca Nunge added a season-high 13 to propel the team to the win. Junior Ryann DeJarld paced the squad in digs with 23 while senior Caroline Holt finished with a team-high 42 assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The early noon start had little effect on the Irish, as Notre Dame raced out to a 7-2 advantage in the first frame. The Irish kept their foot on the gas pedal the entire first set, never allowing the visitors to get comfortable. Notre Dame led by as many as nine points at 18-9 on its way to a 25-17 win to take a 1-0 lead in the match. The Irish posted a hitting percentage of .333 in the first set (15-4-33).
The Hokies rebounded in the second stanza and managed to take the set 25-21 to level the match at 1-1. With the score tied at 6-6, Virginia Tech went on a 4-0 run to open an early lead. The Irish tried to battle back for the remainder of the set, twice cutting the deficit to one point, but were never able to fully recover.
Notre Dame regrouped in the third and built a 9-5 lead early. The Irish lead ballooned to as many as five points at 17-12 but Virginia Tech managed to respond with a 5-0 run to level the set score at 17-17. Notre Dame immediately regained the advantage by winning four of the next five points to lead 21-18. Virginia Tech was able to fight off two Irish set points but a kill from Sam Fry delivered Notre Dame a 25-23 third set win to put the Irish on top 2-1 in the match.
The Irish carried its momentum from the third set into the fourth, quickly jumping out to a six-point advantage at 11-5 to force a Virginia Tech timeout. The stoppage in action helped the Hokies, who answered with a 6-0 run to even the score at 11-11. After the score moved to 14-14 the Irish took the next three points to go on top 17-14, a lead Notre Dame would not relinquish the rest of the way. The Irish closed out the match with a 25-19 win in the fourth set to cement the 3-1 match victory. The Notre Dame defense came up huge in the fourth, finishing the frame with 7.5 team blocks.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Holt played well in multiple facets of the game from the setter position on Sunday to lead Notre Dame to the victory. The senior dished out 42 assists while adding six blocks, four digs, three kills and an ace. The six blocks tied a career-high for Holt. The Bloomington, Illinois, native has now eclipsed the 40-assist mark on seven occasions this season.
ND STAT OF THE MATCH
Notre Dame hammered out seven aces in the victory, marking the eighth time the Irish have recorded seven or more aces in a match this season. The program is 7-1 this season when finishing with at least seven aces. Notre Dame was led by Yeadon, who matched her season-high with three aces against the Hokies.
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- Notre Dame improves to 5-3 when playing away from home in 2017.
- The Irish are now 5-3 against Virginia Tech in the all-time series.
- Notre Dame posted 11.5 team blocks against the Hokies and have now recorded 10+ team blocks in 12 matches this season, including seven straight outings.
- DeJarld tallied 20+ digs for the 14th time this season with 23.
- Holt finished with 42 assists and has now recorded 40+ assists in seven matches in 2017.
- Nunge ended the day in double figures for kills the fifth time this season with 13 against the Hokies.
- Natalie Johnson notched two aces and has now posted multiple aces in nine matches this season
- Yeadon has recorded at least 10 kills in all 15 matches she has played in during the 2017 season.
- Yeadon posted her 12th double-double in 2017 (15 kills, 11 digs).
- Yeadon matched her season high in aces with three and now has six aces in her last two matches.
- Madison Cruzado earned the first start of her career at Virginia Tech.
Notre Dame returns home to Purcell Pavilion for two matches next weekend. The Irish host Georgia Tech at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13 and then welcome Clemson at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15. Purchase tickets here.
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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.