Sept. 30, 2016
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Notre Dame is 3-0 in ACC play for the first time since joining the league in 2013 after earning a 3-1 win over Duke on Friday evening. The victory gives the Irish a record of 12-3 on the season, it's best start through 15 matches since the 2005 campaign.
HOW IT HAPPENED
For the third straight match the Irish got off to a great start and won the first frame. Notre Dame never trailed in the highly contested first set, taking the opener by a score of 25-23. The second set turned into a marathon, as it featured 16 ties and four lead changes. With a 30-29 lead, Rebecca Nunge posted her seventh kill of the match to deliver the Irish the set at 31-29 and give them a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Irish trailed for much of the third set but made a late rally to earn a match point at 24-23. However, Duke managed to reel off the next three points to take the set 26-24 and send the match to a fourth set. The fourth set began as a see-saw affair, as the score was tied at 12-12 and neither team led by more than two points. The Irish then went on a 4-0 run to get some breathing room and never looked back, going on to win by a score of 25-17 to take the match at 3-1.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
On a night when there were many worth candidates of the Player of the Match distinction, freshman Jemma Yeadon stood out. The Mercer Island, Washington native put on her best performance in a Notre Dame uniform on Friday, setting career highs in kills (18), digs (29) and blocks (7) to lead the Irish to the victory. Yeadon also added an ace and assist in the winning effort.
NOTRE DAME STAT OF THE MATCH (I)
The Irish block has struggled at times this season but was a huge force against Duke, recording 19.5 blocks on the evening to thwart the Blue Devil attack all evening. The 19.5 blocks are not only the most on the season but the most since posting 20.0 against Villanova in a five-set match during the 2007 season. Junior Sam Fry led the Irish with a career-high 12 blocks.
NOTRE DAME STAT OF THE MATCH (II)
Five players reached double figures in the kill column, marking the first time since a five-set match at Ohio in 2012. Yeadon led the way with 18 followed by Nunge (12), Fry (10), Kuhn (10) and Katie Higgins (10).
HEAD COACH Jim McLaughlin'S TAKE
On the atmosphere inside Purcell Pavilion...
"The crowd was awesome tonight. They gave us a lot of energy. It's our responsibility when we have a good crowd to make sure we play well and I think the girls feel it."
On the the improvements the team has made this season...
"I think when we are on our assignments and we are looking at the right things and staying focused we can get in good spots and we are allowing ourselves to do that now. Early in the season the emotion and energy would get the best of us but now we are clear in our mind and seeing the game better."
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- Notre Dame's 12-3 record on the season marks the best start since 2005.
- The Irish are now 7-5 against Duke in the all-time series, claiming their first ACC victory and first win over the Blue Devils since 2006.
- Notre Dame has won four straight matches and eight of their last nine.
- Ryann DeJarld led the team with a career-high 31 digs, which ranks sixth in the Notre Dame record books for digs in a match.
- For the first time in at least six years the Irish had three players with 25+ digs in a match as DeJarld (31), Yeadon (29) and Kuhn (27) each surpassed the mark.
- Caroline Holt, the ACC leader in assists, recorded 55 assists in just four sets, marking the third time this season she has tallied 50+ assists in a match.
- For the first time this season three Notre Dame players recorded double-doubles in the same match as Sam Fry (10 kills, 12 blocks), Sydney Kuhn (10 kills, 27 digs) and Yeadon (18 kills, 29 digs) each completed the feat.
The Irish host Wake Forest for their second match of the weekend at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 2. Notre Dame is back on the road next weekend for matches at Syracuse at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 7 and at Boston College at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 9.
To purchase tickets visit 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.