Nov. 25, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Following a 3-0 sweep of Clemson to close out the home portion of the 2015 schedule this past Sunday, the University of Notre Dame volleyball team (7-23, 2-16 ACC) looks to build towards 2016 during its final road trip of the season at Syracuse (21-8, 12-6 ACC) and Boston College (11-19, 3-15) over Thanksgiving week.
The Irish hope to gain a measure of revenge against their longtime BIG EAST rivals and current Atlantic Coast Conference foes after suffering a pair of setbacks to the teams at Purcell Pavilion earlier this season.
ACC Weekend #10 (@ Syracuse / @ Boston College)
Syracuse, N.Y. (Women‘s Building)
Chestnut Hill, Mass. (Power Gym)
November 25 & 27, 2015
Wednesday, Nov. 25
7 p.m.: Notre Dame @ Syracuse – Live Stats
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Here are five things to know before this week’s matches:
- Sophomore middle blocker and preseason all-ACC selection Sam Fry has quietly turned in one of the best seasons in recent Irish history. The Cincinnati, Ohio product has totaled 321 kills and 116 blocks with two matches remaining to put her in some rare air among recent Notre Dame standouts. Since sets changed to 25 points in 2008, only two other Irish players have reached 300+ kills and 100+ blocks for a season. These individuals include Kellie Sciacca in 2010 (306 kills, 119 blocks) and Jeni Houser in 2013 (311 kills, 117 blocks). Since rally scoring began in 2001, nine Notre Dame players have performed the feat 13 times. However, from 2001-07 sets went to 30 points, giving those student-athletes more opportunities to rack up impressive totals. All-Americans Lauren Brewster and Emily Loomis performed the feat three times each. No other player has accomplished it more than once. Among this group of 13, Fry has the ninth most kills for a season and would move into a tie for seventh with a measly 10 kills this weekend. For blocks she sits 10th but would tie for sixth with 10 blocks on the weekend.
- While not necessarily a surprise, the first set has been more than critical to the Irish in 2015. In six of its seven wins, Notre Dame has won the first set. When losing the opening frame, however, the Irish are just 1-18. If ND wins the fist two sets it is 4-1. The Irish are 0-13 when losing both of the first two sets and 3-9 when they split the opening two frames.
- Sophomore outside hitter Sydney Kuhn has seen an increase in production across all aspects of her game over the last four weeks. After averaging 1.89 kills, 0.22 service aces, 2.30 digs and 0.51 blocks per set in her first 22 games, the Wichita, Kansas product has upped her averages to 3.10 kills, 0.24 service aces, 2.76 digs and 0.55 blocks per set in the last eight contests. She leads the team in kills (90) and is second in service aces (7) and digs (80) during that time period.
- Notre Dame lost a heartbreaker to Syracuse in the first meeting of the two teams this year. The Irish led 1-0 before eventually tying the match at two to force a fifth set. ND battled back from an 11-7 deficit in the final frame to tie the score at 11, 12 and 13, but surrendered two straight points to suffer the loss. The Orange rank 61st in the RPI despite an impressive 21-8 overall record that includes a 9-2 home mark. Notre Dame will look to contain Monika Salkute and Nicolette Serratore, who combined for 38 kills, 24 digs and seven blocks in the first meeting between the two programs. Notre Dame leads the all-time series 21-5, but four of the five losses have come over the last seven meetings.
- The Irish played arguably their worst match of 2015 in a 3-0 loss to Boston College at home. The match featured just four ties and two lead changes and ND hit only .114. Notre Dame will look to limit Katty Workman and Sol Calvete in the second go around, as the duo combined for 25 of BC’s 39 kills to go along with three service aces, 14 digs and four blocks. Notre Dame holds a commanding 14-3 lead in the series, but has lost two in a row after three consecutive wins as members of the ACC. BC is 6-6 at home this year.
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.