Oct. 9, 2015
CLEMSON, S.C. – Behind a true team effort the University of Notre Dame volleyball team picked up its first Atlantic Coast Conference win of the Jim McLaughlin era Friday night, as the Irish bested the Clemson Tigers in five sets (25-12, 25-22, 22-25, 19-25, 15-13) at Jervey Gym.
Notre Dame (6-11, 1-4 ACC) entered the match with a 1-3 record in five-set contests this year after losing a close five setter last Sunday against Syracuse at home.
However, after a dominating first two sets by the Irish – including a 25-12 victory in the opening frame – it appeared that stat wouldn’t come into play.
Clemson wouldn’t go away though, as the Tigers came roaring back with a pair of victories in the third and fourth sets to send the ACC match to a deciding fifth frame.
In the fifth set Notre Dame forced a Clemson timeout at 7-4 and held an 8-5 lead at the side change. The Irish kept the pressure on the home team, racing to a 13-6 lead and then holding match point at 14-9.
The Tigers didn’t fold, holding off match point for four-straight points to trim the Notre Dame lead to 14-13, but Maddie Plumlee’s career-high 19th kill of the night gave the Irish the thrilling victory.
Notre Dame has now picked up its first ACC win of the season on the road in two of its first three years in the league. The Irish won their first-ever league contest on the road at Georgia Tech in 2013.
Several Irish players contributed to the victory, led by Plumlee’s 19 kills, two blocks and three digs. It was the second match in a row the Winona Lake, Indiana product has posted a career high in kills.
Sophomore Sam Fry reached double figures in kills for the 11th time this season and the 20th time in her career with 13 kills, three blocks and four digs.
Fellow sophomore Sydney Kuhn posted her third double-double of the year and second in a row with 10 kills, 14 digs, three service aces, one block and two assists.
Making her second career start at setter, sophomore Taylor Zwickl put together another solid night at the office, tallying 50 assists for the second match in a row to go along with seven digs, four service aces and two kills (.667 A%). The four service aces are tied for the 10th most by an Irish player since 2001 and are the most since former all-BIG EAST standout Kristen Dealy posted four against Louisville November 19, 2011.
Freshman libero Ryann DeJarld had a match-high 22 digs. It’s the fifth time the Chicago native has reached 20 or more digs in a match this season.
For Clemson, Leah Perri totaled 19 kills to highlight five players that had six or more kills for the evening. Libero Keelie Arneson had 21 digs to lead the Tigers.
Notre Dame hit .233 for the night while limiting the Tigers to a .168 attack percentage.
The match featured 19 ties and eight lead changes.
Notre Dame continues its weekend road trip as it heads to the Peach State for a showdown with Georgia Tech in Atlanta at 1 p.m. (ET) Sunday. Fans can follow the match online through ESPN3 and live stats (Gametracker). Links for both are on UND.com/NDVolleyball.
–Russell Dorn, Athletics Communications Assistant Director