Oct. 24, 2017
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Winners of three straight matches, the Notre Dame volleyball program welcomes Louisville to Purcell Pavilion on Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. ET. The Irish and Cardinals are the top two Atlantic Coast Conference teams in the updated RPI. Louisville is currently 25th while the Irish are 30th.
SERIES HISTORY VS. LOUISVILLE
Notre Dame and Louisville will meet for the 35th time in program history on Wednesday, with the Irish holding a 21-13 advantage in the all-time series. Louisville pulled out a highly contested five-set victory in the first installment of this season’s series on Sept. 22. The two sides split last season’s matchup, with each team defending its home court.
Notre Dame has won six of its last seven matches heading into Wednesday’s match with the Cardinals. During the seven-match span the Irish have excelled from the service line and on the defensive side of the net. Notre Dame has accumulated 48 aces while only being aced 22 times and have outblocked the opposition 77.5-57.0.
YEADON EARNS WEEKLY ACC HONOR
The ACC announced Jemma Yeadon as the Co-Volleyball Player of the Week (10/23) after the sophomore led the team to two key road wins over the weekend. Over the two matches, Yeadon averaged 21.5 kills and 16 digs per match, while hitting .238 over the nine sets of play.
NOTRE DAME INDIVIDUAL MILESTONES
Notre Dame has a pair of student-athletes with over 1,000 career digs on the 2017 squad. Junior Ryann DeJarld leads the team with 1,547 career digs and trails only Meg Henican (1,783) and Christy Peters (1,640) on the all-time program record list.
Teammate Natalie Johnson became the 15th player in program history to accomplish the feat, as she recorded her 1,000th dig this season vs. Florida State (10/1). Johnson has 1,067 digs in her career.
Sam Fry reached the 1,000-kill milestone during the win at Florida State (10/20). The senior has 1,012 kills in her career and becomes the 22nd player in program history to reach the 1,000-kill plateau.
HOLT RUNS THE SHOW
Senior setter Caroline Holt has been described as the quarterback of the Irish attack by head coach Jim McLaughlin this season. Holt was masterful in her distribution this past weekend at Florida State and Miami. The senior racked up 51 assists in just four sets against the Seminoles and followed it up with a 56-assist performance in the come-from-behind five-set win at Miami.
SUNSHINE STATE SWEEP
Notre Dame picked up two big wins over the weekend in the state of Florida, defeating Florida State (3-1) on Friday, Oct. 20 and then Miami (3-2) on Saturday, Oct. 22. The Irish trailed the Hurricanes 2-0 before roaring back to win the next three sets and escape with a 3-2 victory. The win was the first of the season where the Irish rallied from a two-set deficit.
The Irish have been a force at the net defensively this season, pacing the ACC in blocks per set and ranking 13th nationally with an average of 2.88. Notre Dame has finished in double figures for team blocks in nine of its last 11 outings and recorded a season-high 18.0 against Miami (9/30).
Sam Fry leads Notre Dame in blocks per set, averaging 1.39 on the season. Earlier this season, Fry became the program career block record holder since the NCAA changed the scoring system to 25-point sets. Fry currently has 446 career blocks and is just the ninth player in program history to surpass the 1,000-kill and 400-block marks in her career.
HERE TO SERVE
Notre Dame head coach Jim McLaughlin has always emphasized the importance of the serve and it shows in the numbers for the Irish this season. The team is averaging 1.63 aces per set to lead the ACC. Individually Natalie Johnson leads the ACC with 0.45 aces per set and Ryann DeJarld is second in the league with a mark of 0.40. Notre Dame posted a season-high 12 aces in the win over VCU (9/8).
THE ONE AND ONLY
Notre Dame head coach Jim McLaughlin is the only volleyball head coach to have captured an NCAA title on both the men’s and women’s sides. McLaughlin began his coaching career as a men’s coach and won the championship with USC during the 1989-90 season, his first season as a head coach. McLaughlin claimed a title on the women’s side with Washington in 2005, posting a 32-1 record en route to the championship.
— ND —
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.