Nov. 12, 2017
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Notre Dame (19-8, 9-7 ACC) won its third straight match on Sunday afternoon inside Purcell Pavilion, rolling to a straight-set win over Virginia (7-19, 3-13 ACC) by a score of 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-17). The victory gives the Irish a sweep of the Cavaliers in the season series.
Senior Caroline Holt put the Irish hitters in good spots all match, as the setter racked up 35 assists over the three sets of play. Sophomore Jemma Yeadon posted a team-high 13 kills and finished with a hitting percentage of .306 to lead Notre Dame. Senior Sydney Kuhn also had a noteworthy performance, finishing with a team-high 16 digs and eight kills.
HOW IT HAPPENED
For the second time in as many outings, the Irish got off to a blistering start in the match. Notre Dame won eight of the first nine points in the first frame to take an early 8-1 lead over the Cavaliers. Virginia tried to get back into the set, cutting the Irish lead to three at 14-11 but Notre Dame responded by taking nine of the next 10 points and won the opener 25-18.
Virginia kept the second set much more competitive than the first but Notre Dame still led for the majority of the stanza and pulled out a 25-22 win to take a 2-0 lead in the match. Sam Fry had a big second-set performance, registering five kills on seven swings to help the Irish hit .250 for the frame.
After the 10-minute intermission, the Irish came out and made quick work of the Cavaliers in the third set, winning the frame 25-17 to complete the sweep at 3-0. Similar to the first set, the Irish built a large early lead and never relinquished it, as the squad held a 12-3 advantage through 15 points. Notre Dame's lead never fell below six points before closing out the set and winning the match 3-0. The Irish saved their best-attacking performance for last on Sunday, posting a hitting percentage of .333 off 16 kills in the third.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Fry was ultra-efficient in the attack for Notre Dame, posting nine kills on just 15 swings for a hitting percentage of .600, her best of the season. Fry has now recorded a hitting percentage of .500+ in four matches in 2017. The senior also tied for the Irish lead in blocks for the match with three.
STAT OF THE MATCH
The Irish minimized their mistakes against the Cavaliers, committing a season-low seven attacking errors over the three sets, as opposed to the visitors' 17 attacking errors. Sunday's performance marks the third time Notre Dame has kept its attacking errors in single digits this season.
HEAD COACH Jim McLaughlin'S TAKE
On getting off to early leads in sets...
"We want to start faster. We have to play clean and with high energy and sometimes people can let up a little bit. I thought we had good energy and played hard but we were clean and that is a good combination."
On the efficient performances of Sam Fry and Jemma Yeadon...
"We just need to get Sam the ball more. She is hitting with range and is seeing the block well and changing direction in the air at times. We just have to get her the ball more.
"Jemma has been working hard in practice and she is getting her feet to the ball. She is finishing better and I think she is also starting to see the block better. She has benefited from that but she just continues to work and get better."
NOTES OF THE MATCH
- With the win, the Irish swept the season series against Virginia, as Notre Dame defeated the Cavaliers in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Oct. 6 by a score of 3-1.
- Notre Dame improves to 9-2 in three-set matches in 2017.
- Holt's 35 assists are tied for the second most she has recorded in a three-set match this season.
- Yeadon's 13 kills mark the 23rd time this season that the sophomore has notched 10+ kills in a match.
- With 16 digs Kuhn has recorded 15 or more six times this season.
- After recording 15 digs on Sunday, junior Ryann DeJarld is just four digs shy of setting the Notre Dame single-season record for digs. DeJarld has 625 and is looking to pass former standout Meg Henican, who logged 628 in the 2005 season.
The Irish return to the Purcell Pavilion court next weekend, as they host North Carolina in an ACC showdown at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 17.
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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