Oct. 23, 2016
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- For the first time in program history the Irish traveled to Virginia Tech (8-13, 3-7 ACC) and left with a victory, as Notre Dame (18-4, 9-1 ACC) put on a dominant performance in the 3-0 sweep of the Hokies on Sunday afternoon. The win is Notre Dame's 10th in its last 11 matches.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame continued its stretch of great play out of the gate, as the Irish picked up a first set win for the 10th time in as many opportunities. Notre Dame wasted little time taking control of the first frame, as the team went on a 6-0 run to grab an early 9-3 lead. The hosts managed to make it a one-point set at 17-16 but the Irish would not allow the Hokies to get any closer, as they went on to win the opener 25-20.
Notre Dame's momentum carried over into the second set. Already leading at 14-11, the Irish finished the stanza by winning 11 of the final 15 points to win the second comfortably at 25-15 to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the match. The Irish emphatically finished the match with a strong third set, as Notre Dame never trailed in the final frame. The team jumped out to an early 9-3 lead and coasted to a 25-18 victory to secure the straight-set triumph.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Katie Higgins recorded a team-high 11 kills in the win at Virginia Tech. The senior did not waste many opportunities around the net, posting a hitting percentage of .476. This marks the seventh match this season Higgins has reached double figures in the kill category. The Kearney, Nebraska native also paced the Irish in blocks with four on Sunday.
NOTRE DAME STAT OF THE MATCH
The Notre Dame attack did a great job of hitting around, over and through the Virginia Tech block, as the Hokies recorded just one block in the match, which is tied for the lowest figure recorded against the Irish this season. Notre Dame hit .296 as a team for the day, as Higgins, Rebecca Nunge and Sam Fry each posted attack percentage of .400+ with at least five kills.
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- Notre Dame's nine conference wins are the most the program has ever recorded in ACC play.
- Notre Dame has won 10 of its last 11 matches.
- The Irish evened the all-time series against the Hokies at 4-4.
- 13 of Notre Dame's 18 wins have come in straight sets, including seven in ACC play.
- The Irish improve to 10-1 when playing away from Purcell Pavilion in 2016.
- Notre Dame has now won the opening set in 10 straight matches.
- The Irish registered seven aces, with Sidney Kuhn and Natalie Johnson each posting two.
- Sam Fry had 10 kills in the win, marking the eighth time the junior has finished in double figures this season.
- Caroline Holt recorded 37 assists in the match and has now had 30+ assists in 20-of-22 outings.
- DeJarld recorded 20+ assists for the seventh time this season with 22 in the victory.
The Irish return to Purcell Pavilion to take on Miami at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 28 and No. 12 Florida State at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30.
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.