NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame volleyball team tried to stage a comeback on Sunday afternoon against No. 19 Michigan but fell short to the Wolverines by a final score of 3-1 (20-25, 23-25, 25-19, 19-25).
Junior Jemma Yeadon led the Irish attack with 15 kills, 11 digs and two blocks. Freshmen Charley Niego and Sydney Bent registered the first double-doubles of their careers. Niego finished with 13 kills and 14 digs while Bent recorded a career-high 13 kills and 12 digs. Senior Ryann DeJarld led the Irish backline, finishing with a team-high 20 digs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
For the second time in as many outings the Irish got off to a great start against the Wolverines, taking an early 9-5 lead thanks to a kill from Niego to give Notre Dame a four-point advantage. Michigan rallied by winning eight of the next nine points to go on top 13-10.
Notre Dame refused to go a away and was able to battle back and retake the lead at 18-17. However, Michigan made enough plays down the stretch and took the first frame 25-20.
Niego paced the Irish with six kills on just nine swings and the Irish hit .250 as a team in the opening set.
The second stanza was a back-and-forth affair, with neither side able to take control of the set. The Irish held an 11-10 lead early in the frame and from that point on neither side held more than a two-point advantage for the remainder of the set.
The Irish were on top by a score of 22-21 late in the set but once again Michigan managed to close the set strongly. The Wolverines won four of the final six points, including the last two to win the stanza 25-23.
The Irish put together their most complete set of the afternoon in the third, as Notre Dame never trailed for the entirety of the frame. Kills from Yeadon and Meg Morningstar early in the set gave the Irish a quick 4-0 lead. After Michigan closed the gap to one at 11-10 before Notre Dame pushed the lead back to four at 16-12 thanks to a kill from Bent.
The lead grew to as many as six points on a number of occasions before finishing with a 25-19 victory to draw within one set of leveling the match.
Notre Dame’s set three win was the first frame the Wolverines dropped in 2018, snapping a streak of 32 consecutive set victories.
Notre Dame built an early three-point advantage in the fourth frame, jumping out to a 10-7 lead. The Wolverines were able to tie the set at 12-12. After the score moved to 16-16, Michigan scored five straight points to grab a 21-16 advantage. From there the Wolverines closed out the set to win the match, taking the fourth 25-19.
ND PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Niego had her best match of her Notre Dame tenure against the Wolverines, finishing with a career-high 13 kills while also tallying 14 digs. The freshman also added two blocks to complete her performance.
ND STAT OF THE MATCH
Senior libero Ryann DeJarld posted a team-high 20 digs in the match to become the first Notre Dame player in program history to reach the 2,000-dig mark in her career. The senior has 2,003 career digs and became the program’s career dig record holder last season as a junior in 2017.
Notre Dame heads east to open ACC play, traveling to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to take on UNC at 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 21. The match will air on ACC Network Extra.