#11 Danielle Herndon
Back-row specialist expected to again push for time as either a libero or defensive specialist in 2006 … will serve as co-captain in 2006 … only had 10 reception errors in 288 chances … set new career bests in most offensive/defensive categories in `05 … has been one of the team[apos]s top reserves over the past three campaigns, contributing mostly as a back-row substitute, but also in the libero jersey at times … possesses strong passing and defensive skills … athletic, quick, and explosive … at her best when being aggressive … will be looked upon for veteran leadership … the experience she gained in her first three years will benefit the team this year … in 73 career games at libero (21 matches), has averaged 2.52 digs and 0.26 reception errors, holding opponents to a .184 hitting mark … played on same club team, Tampa Bay Juniors, that produced former Irish standout Mary Leffers (1996-99) … became the first Plant City native and first Durant graduate ever to win a monogram at Notre Dame in any sport … sports same #11 jersey worn by such Irish standouts as Maureen Shea (1985) and Jessica Fiebelkorn (1989-92) … three-year monogram winner.
AS A JUNIOR (2005): Back-row regular played in every game this season and was a key contributor to one of the top Irish floor defenses ever … began year playing mostly at libero, but has settled into a role as a defensive specialist on Sept. 18 … ranked fourth on team with career-high 297 digs (2.40 per game) … third on team in reception percentage (.967) and third in reception attempts (274) … after the school record for low opponent ace average in the first 23 years of the program was 1.11 per game (in 1996), she has been a back-row regular on Irish teams that averaged 0.94 per game in 2003 and 0.96 in [apos]04 before surrendering just 0.80 per game in [apos]05 … committed only 10 reception errors on the season and more than one in a match just once … from Sept. 27-Nov. 18, made just one reception error in 18 matches and 61 games (106 attempts, .991) … also was one of the reasons that this was one of the best defensive teams in Notre Dame history … the Irish led the BIG EAST in digs in conference action (17.70 per game; runner-up West Virginia had 16.76) after never before placing higher than sixth … Notre Dame also led the league in overall digging (18.01; best-ever finish is sixth) and ranked among the NCAA leaders for most of the season … average ranked as second-best in program history (record is 18.25 in 1992) … set career highs in service aces (14), kills (5), and points (19) … played in career-high 124 games and started career-high 21 matches, usually when the Irish begin with Lauren Brewster[apos]s spot in the back row … posted 10+ digs 14 times this season (27 times in her career) … led Notre Dame in service ace-to-error ratio (1.88), with 17 aces and just nine errors … was a key part of an Irish serving unit that has a service ace-to-error ratio of 0.758, which would rank as second in Irish history … led Irish in aces five times in [apos]05 … appeared as libero in six of the first eight matches of season (20 GP), averaging 3.85 digs (77 total) and posting a .971 (3 RE, 107 attempts) reception percentage … began the year with 13 digs against Michigan … matched career high with team-best 20 digs and also took season-high 31 serves without committing an error in the five-game upset of #11 Texas … followed that up with 18 digs against Arizona State … came up big in Notre Dame[apos]s two upsets of Louisville (3.00 digs per game, 0.67 aces, 0 service errors, 34-34 receptions) … had 11 digs, three service aces (no errors), and 18 receptions without an error in the regular-season meeting and then 16 digs (season high when not the ND libero), three aces (no errors), and 16 receptions without an error in the BIG EAST final … posted 13 digs against Dayton in the NCAA first round … served up an ace on ND[apos]s fifth game point in 32-30 game-two triumph against Northwestern in second round of NCAAs … had a dozen digs five times (vs. Oklahoma, #6 Florida, Georgetown, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh) … had 11 digs at Illinois State and 10 against Valparaiso … took 10+ serves without committing an error on five occasions … led the team with three service aces without an error in the NCAA Championship Round of 16 match against #12 Wisconsin.
AS A SOPHOMORE (2004): Back-row player who started season at libero, but then filled defensive-specialist role … played in all but two matches (at Syracuse and Rutgers) and 103 of 112 games, registering 182 digs (1.77) … earned first two career starts against Brigham Young and Wisconsin (NCAA second round) … had 67 digs in final seven matches, an average of 2.48 per game … also was Notre Dame[apos]s most-consistent server, leading Irish in serve percentage (361-371, .973) and ranking third in service ace-to-error ratio (0.80, 8 SA, 10 SE) … top match of the season came at Long Beach State, piling up season-high 17 digs in helping Irish to first-ever win against the 49ers … total was a career high when not donning the libero jersey … notched 12 digs against Michigan State and matched that total vs. Northern Iowa … registered 11 digs in BIG EAST title match against Pittsburgh … added eight digs in NCAA first round vs. Valparaiso … served as Irish libero in 15 of first 17 games of season … sat out first two games in regular-season match vs. Valpo, but then registered six digs off the bench in final three games … also had an ace against the Crusaders … finished with nine digs, an assist, and an ace as a DS vs. Fresno State … had eight digs against Sacramento State … had season-best two service aces vs. South Carolina … had five digs in three games against Seton Hall … notched seven digs against Illinos State … had nine digs and an ace against Connecticut … notched eight digs vs. St. John[apos]s and Villanova.
AS A FRESHMAN (2003): Only reserve to see action in every match in 2003, becoming a regular contributor in the back row as a rookie … was starting libero in nine of first 10 matches before becoming defensive specialist for remainder of campaign … ranked fourth on team in digs (212/2.16) … part of the reason Notre Dame set school record for fewest service aces allowed per game (0.94), shattering the previous mark of 1.11 … key to the unit that held BIG EAST opponents to a .134 hitting percentage, the best mark in the league … led Irish with season-high 20 digs vs. South Carolina … had 42 digs (3.23) in Shamrock Invitational … led team with three aces vs. Virginia Tech … had 10 or more digs on nine occasions … served up nine aces after moving out of the libero position … peaked at end of the season, averaging 3.20 digs per game in the three postseason matches.
PREP AND PERSONAL: Two-time all-state selection at outside hitter helped Durant High School to three Florida state titles … team posted undefeated records in 1999, 2001, and [apos]02 … did not lose a home match, keeping alive undefeated streak since Durant opened in 1997 … also won four conference and four regional titles … earned all-conference honors as a junior and senior … served as team captain in [apos]02 … all-around athlete earned 10 varsity letters (four volleyball, four basketball, two track and field) … three-time all-conference selection and three-year captain as guard on basketball team … set school record in 400 meters (1:00) … also participated in long jump, triple jump, and 1,600-meter run … conference and regional champion as a sophomore … was a member of National Honor Society, Senior Council, Peer Mediation, and Student Advisory Committee … full name is Danielle Nicole Herndon … daughter of Denise and Dwight Herndon … youngest of two children … born Aug. 3, 1985, in Plant City, Fla. … enrolled in the College of Arts & Letters as a sociology major and supplementary major in computer applications.
Digs: 20, vs. South Carolina, 9-14-03 & #11 Texas, 9-3-05
Points: 4 vs. #12 Wisconsin (NCAA), 12-9-05
Assists: 4 vs. #12 Wisconsin (NCAA), 12-9-05
Aces: 3, 5 times (MR: vs. #12 Wisconsin (NCAA), 12-9-05
Attempts: 3 at N. Carolina, 10-21-03 & Villanova (Big East), 11-18-05
Matches With 10+ Digs: 27
Matches Leading Team in…aces – 9; digs – 2
Herndon[apos]s Career Statistics