Ryann DeJarld Named ACC Defensive Player of the Year

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Senior Ryann DeJarld has been named the Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year, the ACC announced today (Nov. 26) following a vote by the conference’s 14 head coaches.

DeJarld, junior Jemma Yeadon and the freshmen trio of Sydney Bent, Charley Niego and Zoe Nunez were all tabbed with Second Team All-ACC honors. Bent, Niego and Nunez were also named to the ACC All-Freshman Team.

It is the first time in program history that three freshmen have been named to a conference’s All-Freshman Team in the same season, and the five total conference honorees are the most the program has received since joining the ACC.

DeJarld becomes the first player in program history to earn conference Defensive Player of the Year recognition. In 2018, she paced the ACC with 532 digs and an average of 5.02 digs per set while anchoring an Irish defense that led the conference by limiting opponents to a .164 hitting percentage. Earlier this season, DeJarld became the first Notre Dame player to break the 2,000-digs threshold, and her 2,340 career digs rank third among active NCAA players. She also earned CoSIDA District 5 Second Team All-Academic honors earlier this month.

Bent finished third on the Irish with 270 kills while appearing in 27 matches during her freshman campaign. She notched 10+ kills on 13 occasions this season, including seven of the final eight contests and a 24-kill effort vs. NC State on November 9. Bent proved to be a reliable two-way player for Notre Dame as well, collecting 174 digs and 67 blocks in 97 sets this year.

Niego led the Irish attack with 339 kills and finished second to DeJarld with 307 digs in her freshman season. The Chicago, Illinois, native notched double-doubles in 12 of 18 conference contests in 2018, including a 16 kill, 29 dig effort at NC State on September 23. Like Bent, Niego became a force for the Irish attack down the stretch, recording double digit kills in the final eight matches of the season.

Nunez racked up 1,113 assists and an average of 10.60 assists per set in her freshman season as Notre Dame’s primary setter, both of which ranked fourth in the ACC. She collected 40+ assists in 16 matches this season, including a 64-assist effort on the road vs. Georgia Tech on September 30. She also notched 205 digs for the Irish defense.

Yeadon earns Second Team All-ACC accolades for the second consecutive season after posting 272 kills and a team-high 3.44 kills per set in 24 matches. She earned double digit kills in 15 contests this season, and nine of 13 ACC matches she participated in. Yeadon opened the campaign by earning Golden Dome Invitational Most Valuable Player honors after helping the Irish earn three sweeps and a tournament crown.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Payton Caffrey, Florida State
SETTER OF THE YEAR: Wilma Rivera, Louisville
FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Polina Shemanova, Syracuse 
COACH OF THE YEAR: Dan Fisher, Pittsburgh
Leah Meyer***, Jr., MB, Duke
Andie Shelton, Gr., S, Duke
Payton Caffrey, Jr., OH, Florida State
Taryn Knuth**, So., MB, Florida State
Wilma Rivera**, Sr., S, Louisville
Melanie McHenry**, Jr., OH, Louisville
Molly Sauer****, Sr., L, Louisville
Haley Templeton****, Sr., S, Miami
Layne Van Buskirk^**, Jr., MH, Pitt
Nika Markovic***, Jr., RS, Pitt
Kayla Lund**, So., OH, Pitt
Stephanie Williams***, Jr., OH, Pitt
Santita Ebangwese^***, Sr., MB, Syracuse
Polina Shemanova, Fr., OH, Syracuse

Brooke Bailey, So., OH, Clemson
Kelsey Wicinski, Sr., L, Florida State
Mikaila Dowd, Fr., OH, Georgia Tech
Elizaveta Lukianova, So., OH, Miami
Kylie Pickrell**, Sr., S, NC State
Teni Sopitan, Sr., OH, NC State
Melissa Evans**, So., RS, NC State
Ryann DeJarld***, Sr., L, Notre Dame
Charley Niego, Fr., OH, Notre Dame
Sydney Bent, Fr., OH, Notre Dame
Zoe Nunez, Fr., S, Notre Dame

Jemma Yeadon***, Jr., OH, Notre Dame
Amber Witherspoon, Sr., MB, Syracuse
Jaila Tolbert***, Sr., RS, Virginia Tech

Gabby Easton, S, Clemson
Solei Thomas, RS, Clemson
Ade Owokoniran, OH, Duke
Mikaila Dowd, OH, Georgia Tech
Mariana Brambilla, OH, Georgia Tech
Zoe Nunez, S, Notre Dame
Charley Niego, OH, Notre Dame
Sydney Bent, OH, Notre Dame

Polina Shemanova, OH, Syracuse

^denotes unanimous selection
*denotes number of All-ACC honors