Jan. 14, 2016

By Russell Dorn

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Talented rising junior setter Caroline Holt has transferred from Loyola-Chicago and enrolled in the University of Notre Dame, Irish head coach Jim McLaughlin announced Thursday (January 14).

Holt, who earned second team all-Missouri Valley Conference honors as a sophomore, will have two seasons of eligibility for Notre Dame beginning in 2016 after beginning class at the University January 12.

“When we first watched film it was easy to see that she keeps hitters in rhythm and can set the ball in tempo with very good location,” said McLaughlin. “I also saw that she’s not afraid to make certain sets that have to be made. There’s a little bit of risk management there that I appreciated.

“She’s a pretty good athlete. She has a good presence. She has some leadership qualities. People respond to her. I kept hearing over and over again about her work ethic. After getting to know her, I felt that she is someone that would really benefit in all areas from coming to Notre Dame and playing here.”

The Bloomington, Illinois native played in 221 sets over her two years as a starter at Loyola-Chicago and totaled 2,151 assists, 74 kills, 44 service aces, 358 digs and 59 blocks.

She finished fifth in the Valley in assists (8.55 per set) and 12th in service aces (0.25 per set) in 2015. During the year Holt had 40 or more assists in nine matches, 50 or more in five contests and an impressive 65-assist effort against Southern Illinois. She became the first Loyola-Chicago player in program history to earn MVC Player of the Week honors after posting 97 assists in just seven sets in wins over Illinois State and Indiana State in mid October.

“Caroline can become an elite setter,” said McLaughlin. “She’s willing to make the changes necessary to become that setter. She wants everything that we can offer a student-athlete (here at Notre Dame). As tough as it is she’s going to embrace the difficulties and the discomfort with becoming great. I don’t think she’s afraid of that. We had a tough season and we need student-athletes that will embrace those things. Everything I heard her say was about getting better every day and being willing to pay the price to do that.

“There’s no place like this and I believe that was a big draw for her. You want people that want to be part of this University. The more I was around her I realized that she could help this program.”

Notre Dame is expected to return 12 monogram winners in 2016 in McLaughlin’s second season at the helm of the Irish program.

In addition, two talented freshmen – Jemma Yeadon and Lauren Woodard – are set to arrive on campus in August to help bolster an Irish roster that should have plenty more experience than in 2015 when Notre Dame regularly played rotations with only freshmen and sophomores on the court and only had one senior and two juniors on the roster.

Highlighting the returnees are second team all-Atlantic Coast Conference performer Sam Fry (JR) and ACC all-freshman standout Meg Morningstar (SO), who should offer the Irish a solid presence in the middle.

The 2016 schedule and season ticket info will be announced later in the spring.

For more information on the Irish, follow the team on Facebook (/NDVolleyball), Twitter (@NDVolleyball), Instagram (NDVBall) and Snapchat (NDVolleyball).

Caroline Holt Bio

AT NOTRE DAME (2016 – PRESENT): Transferred from Loyola-Chicago at the beginning of the spring semester (2016) … has two years of eligibility remaining.

AS A SOPHOMORE (2015 – at Loyola-Chicago): Earned second team all-Missouri Valley Conference honors after standout year with the Ramblers ââ’¬¦ tabbed team captain after freshman season … finished fifth in the MVC in assists per set (8.55) and 12th in service aces per set (0.25) ââ’¬¦ played in 118 sets and totaled 49 kills (.392 A%), 1,009 assists, 29 service aces, 203 digs and 25 blocks ââ’¬¦ became first ever Loyola player to earn MVC Player of the Week accolades after averaging 13.86 assists per set over a two-match span, including a 43-assist effort in a three-set sweep of Illinois State and a 54-assist performance in a four-set win over Indiana State ââ’¬¦ had 40 or more assists in nine matches, 50 or more in five contests and a whopping 65 to go along with eight digs and four kills in a five-set match versus Southern Illinois ââ’¬¦ had two double-doubles on the year: 26 assists and 13 digs versus New Hampshire and 36 assists and 20 digs at Missouri State ââ’¬¦ posted 10 kills (.818 A%), 47 assists, seven digs and three blocks against Wichita State ââ’¬¦ had 53 assists, five kills (.833 A%) and three digs at Drake … named to Dean’s List.

AS A FRESHMAN (2014 – at Loyola-Chicago): Played in all 28 matches and totaled 103 sets as the team’s primary setter … entered match in the second set of the season opener and played the remaining 103 sets the rest of the season … passed out 1,142 assists (11.09 per set), tops in the Missouri Valley and 24th nationally among all setters and sixth nationally among all freshmen … her 1,142 assists were the most by a Loyola freshman setter since Lauren Holbrook in 2001 … notched three double-doubles on the season, including 63-assist, 13-dig performance against Drake … also recorded 50 assists and 11 digs in road win at Southern Illinois and 41 assists and 12 digs against Wichita State … totaled season-best three kills, 46 assists, eight digs and four blocks against Missouri State … dished out a Valley-best 69 assists in just four sets against Evansville … the total was the best single-match total by a Rambler since Holbrook handed out 74 assists against Cleveland State in the 2004 Horizon League Championship match and helped her earn Valley Newcomer of the Week honors (Nov. 3).

HIGH SCHOOL & PERSONAL: Graduated from Bloomington Central Catholic in May 2014 ââ’¬¦ earned four letters each in volleyball, basketball and softball ââ’¬¦ earned team MVP honors all four years in softball and two times each in volleyball and basketball ââ’¬¦ was a State Farm Athlete of the Year finalist and an Andi Collins national finalist in 2014 ââ’¬¦ proven winner who had a career record of 108-32 in volleyball and a 77-11 mark in basketball … posted 125 kills, 757 assists, 288 digs, 53 blocks and 29 aces during senior season … first team all-area selection by the Bloomington Pantagraph after junior and senior campaigns … nominated for Pantagraph Player of the Year award in 2013 … four-time all-conference selection who was unanimous first team pick as a senior ââ’¬¦ guided team to sectional title match in Illinois Class 3A tournament in 2013 … starter as a freshman on team that earned runner-up honors in Class 2A tourney during freshman season … played club volleyball for Illini Elite, helping them to 19th-place finish at national tournament … averaged 10.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 3.6 steals per game as starting point guard on basketball team … served as leadoff hitter and shortstop for softball team ââ’¬¦ member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta National Mathematics Honor Society, Student Council (vice president), Vita Christi and yearbook (sports editor) … Caroline Anne Holt born in Bloomington, Illinois to Andy and Jean Holt ââ’¬¦ has two older brothers, Andrew and Zachary, and a younger sister, Madeline ââ’¬¦ father played baseball at Creighton under Jim Hendry, the former general manager of the Chicago Cubs and the current assistant general manager of the New York Yankees ââ’¬¦ mother played basketball and softball at Creighton and was a two-time All-American and an Academic All-American before becoming the first female inducted into the Creighton Athletic Hall of Fame ââ’¬¦ brother, Andrew, played baseball at Creighton ââ’¬¦ brother, Zachary, is a senior on the baseball team at South Dakota State ââ’¬¦ cousins Jake, Bill and Joe Mauer all have spent time in the Minnesota Twins organization ââ’¬¦ Jake is a manager in the Twins minor league organization ââ’¬¦ Joe was the first pick of the 2001 MLB Draft and has the highest batting average for a catcher in MLB history ââ’¬¦ other cousin, Brian Holt, played soccer at Creighton and then professionally for Reading United, Harrisburg City Islanders, Philadelphia Union and New York Cosmos ââ’¬¦ interested in psychology.


Russell Dorn, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2011 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame volleyball, rowing and baseball programs. A native of Greenwood, South Carolina, Dorn graduated from Furman University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in history before earning his master’s degree in sports communications from Georgia State University in 2011.