Sept. 17, 2016
By Robby Hamman
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- For the second time this season Notre Dame managed to win a match after dropping the opening two sets, as the squad rallied to a 3-2 victory over DePaul at the Spartan Classic. The Irish finish the non-conference portion of their schedule with a 9-3 record.
HOW IT HAPPENED
For the second time in as many matches, the Irish got off to a slow start and had to play from behind. The Blue Demons took the opening frame 25-19, winning 10 of the final 14 points to take the set. Notre Dame trailed for the majority of the second stanza, as it was never able to string together enough points to regain the lead. DePaul won the set 25-19 and led the match 2-0.
Notre Dame looked like a different team in the third game and led for almost the entire set. Freshman Jemma Yeadon was the catalyst, recording four kills and three aces to keep the Irish in the match at 2-1. The fourth set was a see-saw battle thoughout as neither side was able to create separation. With the scored tied at 21-21, Notre Dame won four of the last five points to force a decisive fifth set.
In the shortened final frame the Irish held a 10-8 advantage but DePaul took the next three points to go on top 11-10. However, Notre Dame was not be denied, as the team closed the match by winning five of the final six points to complete the comeback victory at 15-12.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Yeadon had the best match of her young career for the Irish, as the freshman posted a career-high 14 kills and four aces to lead Notre Dame to the triumph. 10 of Yeadon's 14 kills and three of her four aces came in the third set and later to ignite the team. The Mercer Island, Washington native also added five digs, two blocks and an assist to complete her impressive performance.
ND STAT OF THE MATCH
Notre Dame was agressive from the service line throughout the match, as the team blasted 11 aces on Saturday afternoon. The 14 aces are tied for the most the team has recorded this season. Eight different players notched at least one ace in the win with Yeadon, Ryann DeJarld, Sam Fry, and Sydney Kuhn each posting multiple aces.
THE TURNING POINT
The strong third set turned the tide for the Irish against DePaul. After trailing 2-0 Notre Dame started to find a rhythm in the third, which allowed the team to get momentum and make the comeback. The Blue and Gold recorded kills on 14 of its 25 points in the sets with Yeadon and Meg Morningstar leading the way with four apiece.
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- Notre Dame's nine non-conference wins are the most since the 2011 season.
- The Irish are now 15-4 against DePaul in the all-time series.
- The Blue and Gold's 61 kills are the second most the team has recorded this season.
- Caroline Holt surpassed the 50-assist mark for the second time in her Notre Dame career, as she finished with 52 on the afternoon.
- Rebecca Nunge's 12 kills mark her second-highest total in a match in 2016 and her third double-digit kill performance.
- Ryann DeJarld had 20 digs, reaching the 20-dig plateau for the fourth time this season.
- With two aces against the Blue Demons, Sam Fry has recorded at least one ace in 9-of-12 matches this season.
For complete coverage of the tournament, visit Spartan Classic Tournament Central.
After two consecutive weekends away from home 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.