Nov. 10, 2017
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Notre Dame (18-8, 8-7 ACC) was dominant in a straight-set sweep (25-16, 25-18, 25-15) over Virginia Tech (9-17, 3-12) on Friday evening inside Purcell Pavilion. The win is the 750th in program history for the Irish.
Jemma Yeadon continued her season of attacking consistency, as the sophomore led the Irish in kills with 12 against the Hokies. Senior Sydney Kuhn also finished in double figures with 11. The defensive duo of Sam Fry and Rebecca Nunge each posted five blocks to help stymie the Virginia Tech attack.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame never trailed in the first frame, taking the opener 25-16 to gain an early 1-0 lead in the match. The Irish came out firing, building an early 11-2 lead and never allowing the Hokies to get closer than three points. The Notre Dame defense was locked in from the opening serve, holding Virginia Tech to a hitting percentage of .062 in the set.
Virginia Tech tried to claw its way back into the match in the second set, building a five-point advantage at 12-7. Notre Dame responded with an emphatic 8-0 run with Natalie Johnson on the service line to erase the deficit and go on top 15-12. The Irish never looked back in the set, as the squad went on to win 25-18 to take a 2-0 lead into the break.
Notre Dame was determined to end the match in three sets, as the team came out of the intermission focused. The Irish jumped out to a 12-4 lead and controlled play for the rest of the way en route to an impressive 25-15 win to seal the match at 3-0. The Irish saved their best set from an attacking efficiency perspective for last, recording a collective .324 hitting percentage in the set (14-2-37).
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Yeadon finished in double-figure kills for the 22nd time this season with a team-best 12 kills. The outside hitter had one of her most efficient performances of the year, posting a hitting percentage of .360, her second-highest mark in 2017. Yeadon also added five digs and three blocks to complete her performance.
STAT OF THE MATCH
The Irish defense was exceptional on Friday evening, holding the Hokies to an attacking percentage of just .059 (29-23-101). The Irish frontline played a large factor, posting 12.0 team blocks over the three sets. Virginia Tech’s attack percentage is the second lowest from a Notre Dame opponent in 2017.
HEAD COACH Jim McLaughlin’S TAKE
On the strong start for the Irish…
“We put an emphasis on starting stronger but mostly just being more consistent and having better focus. When you are better focused you have better energy. We did a better job of that. We were down 8-12 in the second set but then we went on a tear and turned the match at that point. I thought that was good for us.
On the defensive effort…
“The defense was more consistent. I think we were seeing the setter a little bit better and got into some better spots. They also made a few errors that helped us but I thought we put a little bit of pressure on them which was good.
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- The Irish improve to 6-4 against Virginia Tech in the all-time series and have now won three straight.
- Notre Dame is 8-2 in three-set matches in 2017.
- The Irish recorded 10+ team blocks in a match for the 16th time this season, ending Friday with 12.0.
- Friday’s match marked the sixth time Notre Dame has held the opposing team to an attacking percentage under .100.
- Johnson has now recorded at least one ace in 11 consecutive outings.
- Yeadon’s 12 kills mark the 22nd time this season that the sophomore has notched 10+ kills in a match.
- With 11 kills Kuhn has recorded 10 or more 11 times this season.
The Irish host Virginia in the second conference clash of the weekend. The match is slated to begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12 inside Purcell Pavilion.
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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.