NOTRE DAME, Ind – Notre Dame defeated Oakland (25-14, 25-16, 25-20) on Friday night for its fourth straight win to open the season and continued the trend of winning in straight-set fashion.
The Notre Dame defense was the story of the evening, holding the Golden Grizzlies to a sub-zero hitting percentage of -.009.
Junior Jemma Yeadon had a strong performance, leading the team in kills with 12 and added seven digs and three blocks. Seniors Ryann Dejarld and Meg Morningstar also had notable evenings, as Dejarld had 20 digs and Morningstar paced the Irish with nine blocks.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish got off to a great start, building an early 9-1 lead n the first set. Freshman Sydney Bent helped set the tone from the service line, hammering out three of Notre Dame’s seven aces in the first frame. Following an Oakland timeout, the Irish went on a 7-0 scoring run to take the first set (25-14).
The Irish managed to carry their momentum from the first frame into the second, leading the visitors 10-4 in the early stages. The Grizzlies called a timeout when the Irish lead grew to 17-10. However, it did little to stop the Fighting Irish, as they won the second set by closing out the stanza by scoring each of the last four points to make the score 25-16.
Notre Dame continued the trend of strong starts to sets in the third, as the Irish raced out to an 8-2 advantage. Oakland battled back to challenge the Irish in the third period, cutting the lead to just two at 20-18. The two-point deficit is as close as Notre Dame would allow the Golden Grizzlies to get as the Irish completed the sweep by winning the third set 25-20.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Meg Morningstar dominated the net on defense all night, posting a season-high nine blocks to go along with a team-high hitting percentage of .500.
STAT OF THE MATCH
Notre Dame’s defense stifled the Oakland attack all evening, as the Irish held the Grizzlies hitting percentage to -.009. The Irish totaled 14 blocks while limiting Oakland to 19 kills.
HEAD COACH MIKE JOHNSON’S TAKE
On the serve setting the tone early in the match…
“I really liked what Sydney Bent did early in the match, we made some good serves early. This team needs to learn to maintain it through the course of the match. So we have to improve it.”
On how the block did…
“Our block helped us for sure. I think we have to play better and read better. I think we can improve in all areas. If our back row can be better, I think we can play better.”
On Jemma Yeadon’s performance…
“Jemma Yeadon had a very aggressive mentality. Jemma went for it. I like that and I want a whole team of people like that.”
The Fighting Irish face their first real test of the 2018 season at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 2 when they travel to West Lafayette for an intrastate showdown against No. 20 Purdue. The match will air live on ESPNU.