Oct. 16, 2016
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Notre Dame bounced back from Friday's heartbreaking loss to No. 8 North Carolina in resounding fashion on Sunday afternoon with a sweep of NC State. The Irish are now 16-4 on the season and 7-1 in the ACC.
HOW IT HAPPENED
For the eighth consecutive match Notre Dame was the first to register a set victory on the scoreboard, as the Irish used a 9-3 run in the middle of the first set and went on to take the frame by a final of 25-19 to go up 1-0 in the match. The second set was tied at 3-3 in the early stages but Notre Dame then reeled off seven straight points to gain a 10-3 advantage, a lead it would not relinquish as the Irish claimed the second stanza 25-17 to get within one set of winning the match at 2-0.
The third set was the tightest of the match. In a set that featured six ties and three lead changes the Wolfpack held a 20-17 lead late in the frame, as the visitors tried to push the match to four sets. However, the Irish battled back by winning six of the next seven points to take a 23-21 lead. A kill by senior Katie Higgins at 24-23 gave the Irish the set at 25-23 to complete the sweep of the Wolfpack.
NOTRE DAME PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Already entering the match with Notre Dame's best attack percentage on the season, Higgins put on a clinic of efficient hitting on Sunday against NC State. The senior led the team with 11 kills on 16 swings, while making just one error to finish with a hitting percentage of .625, which is her third highest mark of the season. The Kearney, Nebraska native also paced the Irish in blocks on the afternoon with six.
NOTRE DAME STAT OF THE MATCH
The Irish defense continues to impress in 2016, as Notre Dame held the Wolfpack to a hitting percentage of .080 for the match, including a sub-zero mark of -.025 in the second set. Sunday marks the fourth match on the season that the Irish have held the opposition under .100 for hitting in a match and it is the lowest percentage recorded against Notre Dame this season.
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- Notre Dame has won eight of its last nine matches.
- The Irish evened the all-time series against the Wolfpack at 3-3 with Sunday's win.
- 11 on Notre Dame's 16 wins have come in straight sets, including five in ACC play.
- The Irish improve to 9-2 when playing away from Purcell Pavilion in 2016.
- Notre Dame has now won the opening set in eight straight matches.
- The Irish hammered out six aces, with freshman Jemma Yeadon leading the charge with three.
- With 11.5 blocks the Irish reached double figures for the seventh time this season.
- Higgins led the Irish in kills with 11, marking the sixth time she has finished a match with 10+ kills.
- Caroline Holt averaged over 11 assists per set in the win, recording 34 on the day.
- Sophomore Ryann DeJarld recorded 15+ assists for the 11th time this season with 17 in the winning effort.
Notre Dame is back on the road next weekend, as the team takes on Pitt at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 21 and then plays at Virginia Tech at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 23.
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.