Sept. 2, 2016
By Michael Scholl
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Looking to get off to its best start in over a decade, the Notre Dame volleyball team dropped a straight-set match to Coastal Carolina (21-25, 20-25, 26-28) on Friday night at Purcell Pavilion. The match kicked-off the Shamrock Invitational for the Irish, who will now look to rebound with matches against Howard and No. 24 Purdue on Saturday.
Freshman Jemma Yeadon (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island) continued her breakout, leading the Irish with 13 kills and 12 digs, while hitting at a .407 clip. Sophomore outside hitter Rebecca Nunge (Newburgh, Ind./Castle) added 10 kills, while Sam Fry (Cincinnati, Ohio/Ursuline) contributed seven kills. Junior setter Caroline Holt (Bloomington, Ill./Central Catholic/Loyola-Chicago) had 39 assists and eight digs.
Coastal moved to 4-0 on the year, with Annayka Legros using a blistering .667 hitting percentage to record 13 kills while also adding five blocks. Leah Hardeman added 13 kills and 11 digs. The Chanticleers run the attack through two setters, with Sara Booth posting 23 assists and Kate Federico contributing 19. Booth led the back row with 12 digs.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Yeadon's double-double was her second such performance in just three matches played as a rookie. She was the team's leading contributor in scoring at 13.5 points and hit over .400, but head coach Jim McLaughlin knows she has plenty of room to grow.
"She was pretty good hitting the ball, but she's got to be complete," McLaughlin said. "For her first game, she's going to get it going. I believe in her, like I believe in all these kids."
THE TURNING POINT
The Irish struggled in the first two sets, making seven service errors in the opening frame while recording just 23 kills over the first two games combined. The third was a different story, as Notre Dame raced out to a 14-7 lead before Coastal clawed back in with an 8-2 run. Things remained even down to the end, as both teams had chances to win the set.
Notre Dame held a 24-23 lead thanks to a Fry kill, but turned in a service error. Coastal responded with a kill from Dora Lulic to take a 25-24 lead. Maddie Plumlee (Winona Lake, Ind./Saint Mary's (N.C.)) tied it at 25 with a kill for the Irish before the teams traded points again to 26. Tahelia Bishop then took over for Coastal, recording consecutive kills to take the match.
On the match...
"I told our team, they played against a really good team. (Coastal) is a solid team, a veteran team and a mature team. They won the serve and pass."
On the third set...
"The best thing about the match was we came out with a nice edge in game three. As we build this identity of the team, I hope that forms a little more. That becomes more a part of us."
On the slow start...
"We were a little nervous games one and two and got on our heels a little bit. Those guys took advantage of it, but there were times we played okay.
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- In taking the first set, Coastal snapped a 12-set winning streak for the Irish on the Purcell Pavilion floor. Notre Dame entered having swept the last four matches at home versus Clemson (final home contest of 2015), Seton Hall, Cleveland State and Western Michigan.
- Notre Dame was looking for its first 4-0 start to a season since 2005. That year, the Irish won the first seven matches en route to a 30-4 mark and trip to the NCAA Sweet 16.
SHAMROCK INVITATIONAL UPDATE
Purdue cruised to a three-set victory over Howard to open the tournament, 25-14, 25-20, 25-20. Danielle Cutting paced the Boilers with a dozen kills, while Azariah Stahl and Faye Adelaja each added 10 kills. Stahl added 14 digs for a double-double, matching Carissa Dalmer for the team high in digs. The Bison were paced by 11 kills from Khaila Donaldson.
To stay up-to-date on the tournament, visit UND.com's Shamrock Invitational Tournament Central.
Four matches to conclude the Shamrock Invitational take place on Saturday at Purcell Pavilion. The Boilers and Chanticleers provide the breakfast session at 10 a.m., followed by Notre Dame and Howard at 12:30 p.m.
The afternoon session features Howard versus Coastal at 4:30 p.m., with the in-state rivalry between Notre Dame and Purdue set for 7 p.m. The Saturday evening contests are "Jam the Joyce", with all tickets just $3.
Tickets are available by visiting UND.com/BuyTickets.
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.