Sept. 1, 2017
By Robby Hamman
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- The Notre Dame volleyball program (5-0) is off to its best start in over a decade, as the Irish improved to 5-0 on Friday evening with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-17) victory over Bowling Green (1-3) to remain undefeated on the season.
Rebecca Nunge and Jemma Yeadon each notched a team-best 12 kills for the Irish. Ryann DeJarld continued her impressive form to begin the season, as the libero recorded 22 kills to anchor the Notre Dame defense.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Playing its second match of the day, Notre Dame claimed the opening set against the hosts by a score of 25-21. The Irish jumped out to a 14-7 advantage and led by as many as nine (20-11) in the opening set. Bowling Green closed the gap late but was unable to get closer than three points before the Irish took the first set.
After being deadlocked early in the second stanza at 8-8, Notre Dame took control of the set by winning eight of the next 10 points to go on top 16-10. The Falcons managed to cut the Irish advantage to three points at 19-16 but Notre Dame won the next three points to snuff out the comeback and went on to take the second set 25-19.
A Natalie Johnson ace gave Notre Dame an early 7-6 advantage in the third frame, a lead the Irish would not relinquish for the remainder of the set. Notre Dame gradually increased its lead throughout the final frame, going on to win the set by a final score of 25-17.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Sophomore Jemma Yeadon has been the definition of consistency for the Irish this season, posting her fourth double-double in as many outings in 2017 against the Falcons. The powerful outside hitter has excelled both in the attack and on defense, as all four double-doubles have consisted of kills and digs. Yeadon finished Friday evening with 12 kills and 11 digs in the winning effort.
ND STAT OF THE MATCH
DeJarld entered the weekend as the NCAA leader in digs per set on the young season and continued her dominant run from the back line on Friday evening. The junior finished the three-set match with a team-high 22 digs and has now finished with 20+ digs in all five matches this season.
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- Notre Dame's 5-0 start to the season is the best since the program began the 2005 campaign 7-0.
- The Irish improve to 10-2 against Bowling Green in the all-time series history.
- Natalie Johnson has recorded at least one ace in all five matches this season and has accrued 14 aces in 2017. Johnson finished with a team-high two aces against the Falcons.
- DeJarld continued her streak of matches with 20+ digs to five after posting 22 in the win.
- Jemma Yeadon has recorded a double-double in all four matches she has played in this season.
- Sam Fry led the Irish with three blocks and has posted at least three blocks in four of five matches in 2017.
Notre Dame wraps up its stay in the state of Ohio on Saturday evening, as the Irish make the short drive to Toledo to take on the Rockets in the final match of the BGSU/Toledo Invitational. The match is slated to start at 7 p.m. ET.
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Robby Hamman joined Fighting Irish Media as athletics communications assistant director in September 2016, coordinating efforts for the volleyball and men's lacrosse program. Hamman is a 2010 graduate of Bethel College, where he earned bachelor's degrees in