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Notre Dame Set To Take On Western Kentucky In First Round Of NCAA Tourney

Nov. 29, 2017

Notre Dame Notes | Bracket

By Robby Hamman

For the first time since 2012, the Irish are playing in the NCAA Championships. Notre Dame takes on Western Kentucky in the opening round of the tourney at 5 p.m. ET on Friday, Dec. 1, in Lexington, Kentucky.

The winner of Friday’s matchup between the Irish and the Hilltoppers will take on the winner of the match between No. 4 seed Kentucky and ETSU at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, Dec. 2, in Lexington, Kentucky.


Location: Lexington, Kentucky | Memorial Coliseum
Schedule: Friday, Dec. 1 — 5 p.m. ET vs. Western Kentucky | LIVE STREAM | LIVE STATS
Saturday, Dec. 2 (if ND wins on Friday) — 7 p.m. ET vs. Kentucky/ETSU winner | LIVE STATS Twitter Updates: @NDVolleyball
Tickets: Purchase Here


Friday’s showdown in the opening round of the NCAA Championship between Notre Dame and Western Kentucky will be the first ever meeting between the two sides.


Notre Dame faced seven teams that made the NCAA field this season. The Irish went 6-5 against those seven squads with victories over Florida State (2), Miami (Fla.), Michigan State, NC State and VCU.


  • Notre Dame owns a 14-18 record in 18 previous trips to the NCAA Championship.
  • The Irish have an all-time record of 11-7 in their first match of the tournament.
  • Notre Dame has advanced to at least the NCAA Championship round of 16 on six occasions.
  • Notre Dame’s best finish at the NCAA Championship came in 1993, when the Irish advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating No. 8 Nebraska and Minnesota.
  • The last time the Irish made it to the second weekend of play came in 2005, when Notre Dame defeated Dayton and Northwestern in the first two rounds at home to advance to the round of 16.
  • The Irish played Ohio State in their last match in the NCAA Championships on Nov. 30, 2012, in Lexington, Kentucky.


Three Notre Dame student-athletes received All-ACC recognition from the conference’s 14 coaches, as DeJarld earned first-team status, while Sam Fry and Jemma Yeadon took home second-team honors.



Notre Dame is holding the opposition to a hitting percentage of .152, ranking first in the ACC and 12th in the country. The Irish have held Valparaiso (.037), Rhode Island (.081), Bowling Green (.076), Miami (.099) Clemson (.066), Virginia Tech (.059) and North Carolina (.051) to percentages under .100 in 2017.


Junior Ryann DeJarld ranks first in the Notre Dame record books for career digs (1,792), digs in a season (731) and career digs per set (5.06). DeJarld became Notre Dame’s first player since joining the ACC in 2013 to earn first team All-ACC status.


The Irish have gone 3-1 versus top 25 teams in 2017. The three victories came over No. 24 Ohio State, No. 23 Michigan State and No. 21 Florida State. Notre Dame’s three wins over ranked teams are the most of any program in the ACC this season.


Jemma Yeadon is averaging a team-high 3.91 kills per set this season. No Notre Dame player has achieved an average this high since Christi Girton averaged 4.35 per set during the 2000 season.


The Irish have advanced to at least the NCAA Championship round of 16 on six occasions.


After closing the season with a sweep over Boston College, 11 of Notre Dame’s 22 victories have come in three sets.


Notre Dame finished the home regular-season schedule with a record of 13-4, which are the most home wins the team has recorded in a year since finishing with a record of 15-1 in 2005.


The team is making its 19th appearance in the NCAA Championship in 2017. Notre Dame has a 14-18 all-time record in the tournament.


The Irish posted 21 team blocks in the win over NC State on Nov. 19, which set a program record for the 25-point scoring era, dating back to 2008.


Senior Sam Fry has 497 career blocks, setting the Notre Dame record for career blocks and passing Jeni Houser (`15, 345) in the record books. The record dates back to 2008 when the NCAA changed the scoring to 25-point sets. If Fry records three blocks this weekend the senior would become become just the sixth player in Notre Dame history to record 1,000-plus kills and 500-plus blocks in their career.


Jim McLaughlin has 630 victories at the collegiate level (includes men’s and women’s volleyball). McLaughlin is the only coach in NCAA history with a national championship on both the men’s and women’s sides.


Senior setter Caroline Holt became just the ninth player in Notre Dame program history to surpass the 2,000 career assist mark on Friday. Holt has 2,034 career assists in less than two seasons of play. The senior has 1,200 assists during the 2017 campaign.

— 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.