Team Celebration vs. Michigan (9-20-18)

Notre Dame Opens ACC Play On Road At UNC And NC State

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame opens ACC play on the road this weekend, heading east to face North Carolina and NC State. The Irish face the Tar Heels at 6:30 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 21, and then take on the Wolfpack at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 23. Both matches will be streamed on ACC Network Extra via the WatchESPN app.

Location: Friday – Chapel Hill, N.C. | Sunday – Raleigh, N.C. 
How To Watch: ACC Network Extra (Friday) | ACC Network Extra (Sunday)
Live Stats: Click Here (Friday) | Click Here (Sunday)
Twitter Updates: @NDVolleyball
Game Notes: UNC & NC State Notes

Notre Dame and UNC will meet on the court for the 13th time in series history on Friday. The head-to-head series is currently level at 6-6. The Irish were victorious in the most recent matchup, downing the Tar Heels in straight sets last season on Nov. 17 inside Purcell Pavilion.

Notre Dame and NC State are set to square off for the ninth time in program history on Sunday. The match will break a deadlock in the all-time series, as the record is currently 4-4. The two sides split the season series in 2017, both teams winning at home in five sets.

The Irish have been dominant from the service stripe this season, averaging 1.88 aces per set through 10 matches to rank first in the ACC and 11th in the country. Notre Dame pounded out a season-high 12 aces against both Weber State and Oakland. Freshman Sydney Bent paces the Irish with an average of 0.48 aces per set.

Ryann DeJarld became Notre Dame’s all-time career dig record holder last season as a junior. The Chicago native has 2,003 digs over her four seasons, becoming the only player in program history to reach the 2,000-dig mark. DeJarld also set the single-season digs record in 2017, amassing 747 digs for an average of 6.12 digs per set (ranked fourth in the country).

All six of Notre Dame’s wins have come in straight-set fashion during the 2018 season. The Irish have recorded sweeps over Weber State, Toledo, Northern Kentucky, Oakland, Miami (OH) and Chattanooga.

The freshmen duo of Zoe Nunez and Charley Niego have featured heavily on the court for the Irish this season. Nunez has been the team’s starting setter and Niego has received action at outside hitter. Nunez currently has 312 assists, 75 digs, 21 blocks and 19 kills while Niego is second on the team in kills with 85 and third in digs with 84.

Another freshman who is coming on strong is Sydney Bent. The outside hitter is coming off the best performance of her young career with personal bests in kills (13) and digs (12). Bent also leads the Irish in aces with 15.

The Irish have been great on defense this season, holding opponents to a hitting percentage of just .119. Notre Dame currently has the third-best hitting-percentage allowed this season in the country. The Irish have held four opponents under .100 this season.

One of the main reasons the Irish defense is playing so well is the ability of the backline to generate big dig numbers. Notre Dame paces the ACC in digs per set with an average of 17.71. DeJarld leads the way for the Irish, averaging 5.74 digs per set.