Nov. 19, 2017
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Notre Dame (21-8, 11-7 ACC) sent the senior class out in fashion on Senior Day, as the Irish outlasted a very good NC State team in a thrilling 3-2 (27-25, 22-25, 26-24, 24-26, 15-9) victory. The Irish block was phenomenal on Sunday, racking up 21.0 team blocks in the match, which is a program record for the 25-point scoring era.
Notre Dame wraps up the regular season with a home record of 13-4, which are the most home wins the team has recorded since finishing with a record of 15-1 in home matches during the 2005 campaign. The triumph extends the current win streak to five matches, marking the second longest of the season.
The Irish received a number of impressive individual performances against NC State. Sophomore Jemma Yeadon and seniors Sam Fry and Sydney Kuhn each finished with double-digit kills for the afternoon. Junior Ryann DeJarld recorded a team-high 33 digs while senior teammate Natalie Johnson tallied a season-best 19 digs. Two other notable performance were senior Caroline Holt’s 45 assists and junior Meg Morningstar’s team-high 10 blocks.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish and NC State played a really competitive opening set. The Wolfpack led 19-16 before Notre Dame responded with four consecutive points to go on top 20-19. The Irish outlasted the visitors in the first frame, pulling out a 27-25 victory to take an early 1-0 advantage in the match. Yeadon posted a team-best six kills to help the Irish take the first.
The Wolfpack jumped out to an early 6-2 lead in the second set but the Irish dug in and fought back to take a lead at 12-11 midway through the frame. The score moved to 18-18 and then NC State won the next three points to go up 21-18. Notre Dame was unable to make a comeback and the Wolfpack took the set 25-22 to level the match at 1-1.
The third set was tight throughout, as neither side led by more than three points at any moment of the frame. NC State was on the cusp of taking the lead in the match, as the visitors had a set point at 24-23 but the Irish had other ideas. Notre Dame took advantage of a Wolfpack service error by following it with a kill from Yeadon and a block from Fry and Holt to win the set 26-24 and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
For the second time on the afternoon NC State rebounded following dropping a set, as the Wolfpack outlasted the Irish in the fourth frame 26-24 to tie the match at 2-2. Notre Dame had a chance to end the match in four sets, as the team had match point at 24-23 in the stanza but could not put the visitors away.
Despite dropping the fourth frame, the Irish were not going to be denied in the final home match of the year. The fifth set was tied at 5-5 early before Notre Dame claimed the next two point to take a 7-5 lead, which they did not relinquish the rest of the way. The Wolfpack tried to keep it close, using a kill to make the score 10-8 in Notre Dame’s favor but the Irish closed the match strongly, winning five of the last six points to come away with a 15-9 fifth set win to take the match 3-2.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Yeadon continued her excellent 2017 campaign on Sunday, flirting with a triple-double. The sophomore finished with a team-high 17 kills and added seven digs and seven blocks against the Wolfpack. The seven blocks tied a career-high for the Mercer Island, Washington, native.
STAT OF THE MATCH
The Irish decided to throw a block party for Senior Day, as Notre Dame recorded a season-high 21.0 team blocks, which mark a program record since the NCAA switched to 25-point scoring before the 2008 season. The last time the Irish finished with 20+ blocks in a match came in a five-set match against Villanova in 2007.
HEAD COACH Jim McLaughlin’S TAKE
On the team’s fight…
“We played clean in the fifth game and we just kept fighting and found a really good rhythm when the match was on the line. If it came down to one play it was Sydney [Kuhn] lining up, getting in her spot down the line and blocking the attack. We talk about how one play can change a match and that was a play that gave us the match. If we can approach it the rest of the way as one play at a time, then we will be okay.”
On the team’s blocking…
“We were patient and showed poise. The team listened to [associate head coach] Mike Johnson during the scouting report. We had a good read and handwork and were in great spots to pressure them. We also served well today.”
On the senior class…
“They have made a great impact. The season is not over but the impact has been incredible. They have grown and they are changing every day but I love the commitment, the energy and the effort that they give every day.”
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- With the win, the Irish leveled the all-time series with NC State at 4-4.
- Notre Dame finishes the regular season with a 13-4 record at home this season, marking the most wins at home since winning 15 in 2005.
- Notre Dame finished with double-digit blocks for the 17th time in 2017.
- The Irish hammered out 10 aces, tying for the second most the team has recorded this season.
- The win pushes Notre Dame’s active winning streak to five matches, marking the second time this season the team has strung at least five straight wins together.
- Fry has finished with double-digit kills 11 times during her senior campaign.
- Fry finished the match with a season-high four aces on Senior Day.
- Yeadon’s 17 kills mark the 245h time this season that the sophomore has notched 10+ kills in a match.
- DeJarld has now finished with 30+ digs in six matches this season.
- DeJarld tied her career high for aces in a match with four against the Wolfpack.
- Johnson’s 19 digs are a season-high for the senior.
- With 11 kills and 13 digs, Kuhn recorded her eighth double-double of the year.
- Morningstar reached double figures in blocks in the match and has accomplished the feat two times in 2017.
- Holt has finished with 40+ assists in 13 matches this season.
The Irish hit the road over the Thanksgiving holiday for the final week of the regular season. Notre Dame plays at Syracuse at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Nov. 22 and then plays the final match of the regular season at Boston College at 1 p.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 24.
FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA
— 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.