Aug. 26, 2016
By Michael Scholl
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The Notre Dame volleyball team swept Seton Hall (25-23, 25-20, 25-19) in its season opener on Friday night at Purcell Pavilion. The Irish never trailed in the final two sets.
The balanced effort was paced by 10 kills from Maddie Plumlee (Winona Lake, Ind./Saint Mary's (N.C.)), while Sydney Kuhn (Wichita, Kan./Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic) added nine kills and nine digs. Sam Fry (Cincinnati, Ohio/Ursuline) and Rebecca Nunge (Newburgh, Ind./Castle) added eight kills apiece.
Setter Caroline Holt (Bloomington, Ill./Central Catholic/Loyola-Chicago) posted 30 assists in her Irish debut to go along with 13 digs. Ryann DeJarld (Chicago, Ill./McAuley) anchored the defense with 16 digs, while matching a career high with three service aces.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Kuhn provided the most balanced play of the night, recording her nine kills on a .333 hitting percentage. She was just shy of a double-double by recording nine digs, while also contributing an assist and a block.
THE TURNING POINT
After a back-and-forth opening set which featured 11 ties and four lead changes, the Irish picked up the pace. The momentum towards a sweep really began to pick-up steam in the third set when, with a 7-4 lead, Fry aced the Pirates to make it 8-4. Notre Dame never looked back en route to a 25-19 match-clinching victory.
On the season opener...
"It was a good win to get under our belt. The first one's always tough. I thought our spontaneity was good. We dug and we created some opportunities. It's always great to get that win."
On the first set...
"We were rough. We weren't in rhythm. There were some jitters and some tightness, but we played well in the third set. It's a building process and we're going to keep building."
On the turnaround for tomorrow's 12:30 p.m. match...
"The coaches will go study the film. (Tomorrow) breakfast at 9:20 then film (with the team). The team gets in a routine, which is good."
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- The Irish have now won six consecutive sets at Purcell Pavilion, thanks to a sweep of Clemson in last year's home finale.
- The match was played on the court from the 2012 London Games, which is on loan to Notre Dame while the program is anticipating its on new floor.
- Notre Dame is now 20-1 all-time against Seton Hall. The victory avenges a loss to the Pirates last season.
- DeJarld recorded a career-high six assists.
GOLDEN DOME INVITATIONAL ROUND UP
Cleveland State secured a four-set victory over Western Michigan in the matinee match on Friday (25-17, 25-27, 25-23, 25-23). Grace Kauth led the Vikings with 19 kills, while Alexis Middlebrooks added 16 kills. Western was paced by Sydney LeMay's 16 kills.
Action continues with four matches on Saturday, Aug. 27:
10 a.m. - Western Michigan vs. Cleveland State
12:30 p.m. - Notre Dame vs. Cleveland State
4:30 p.m. - Cleveland State vs. Seton Hall
7 p.m. - Notre Dame vs. Western Michigan
For full coverage, including links to live video, ACC Network Extra coverage, and game tracker, visit the Golden Dome Invitational Tournament Central.
-- ND --
Michael Scholl joined Fighting Irish Media as athletics communications assistant director in August 2016, coordinating efforts for the volleyball and baseball programs at his alma mater. The South Bend native earned a degree in political science from the College of Arts & Letters in 2009 before going on to work in athletics communications at Providence College, Vanderbilt and Cincinnati. He is currently pursuing a master's degree in sport administration at the University of Cincinnati.