Sept. 16, 2016
By Robby Hamman
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- The Notre Dame volleyball program is off to its best start in over a decade, improving to 8-2 on the season after sweeping Maryland Eastern Shore in the opening match of the Spartan Classic.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Irish got off to a fast start and never looked back against the Hawks. Notre Dame dominated the first set en route to a 25-12 victory. Junior Sam Fry led the Blue and Gold with five kills in the first frame. Notre Dame continued its strong play in the second stanza, winning the set by a score of 25-20 to draw within one set of taking the match. The Irish made quick work of the third and final frame, cruising to a 25-13 win to secure the match at 3-0.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Fry was great in the Notre Dame attack, posting a team-best 14 kills on just 23 attempts for a season-high hitting percentage of .522. The junior also paced the Irish in aces with three and added two blocks and a dig to lead the squad to its eighth win of the season.
THE TURNING POINT
The Irish set the tone early and never looked back, as the team never trailed in both the first and third sets. After a decisive first set win the second was tied at 11-11. Notre Dame then took the lead for good and led the rest of the way.
STAT OF THE MATCH
The Irish attack was a model of efficiency on Friday, posting a hitting percentage of .305, the team's second best mark of the season. Fry (.522), Katie Higgins (.364) and Jemma Yeadon (.300) each posted percentages of .300 or better while notching five or more kills.
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- The Irish are off to an 8-2 start for the first time since 2005.
- Notre Dame's current four-match win streak is its best since reeling off four in a row in September 2013.
- Caroline Holt posted her third double-double of the season with 31 assists and 11 digs.
- The Irish served up eight aces in the match, marking the fourth time they have recorded eight or more in 2016.
- UMES was held to a hitting percentage of just .098, which is the second lowest percentage from an opponent this season.
- Notre Dame is now 1-0 against UMES in the all-time series.
For complete coverage of the tournament, visit Spartan Classic Tournament Central.
The Irish face No. 22 Michigan State in the nightcap on Friday at 7 p.m. and then wrap up their stay in East Lansing against DePaul on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Notre Dame returns to the Joyce Center on Friday, Sept. 23 for the ACC opener against Louisville at 7 p.m.
Tickets are available by visiting UND.com/BuyTickets.
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 sport management and business administration, and earned his master's degree in business administration from Defiance College in 2013.