Nov. 13, 2016
By Robby Hamman
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Sophomore libero Ryann DeJarld became just the fourth player in Notre Dame history to reach the 500-dig milestone in a single season on Sunday, as the Chicago native finished the match with a team-high 32 digs. Unfortunately for the Irish (19-9, 10-6 ACC) it was not enough, as Virginia (7-21, 4-12 ACC) rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the match to win 3-2.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame put together one of its best sets of the season in the first frame on Sunday, as the Irish took the opener 25-13. Notre Dame never trailed in the set and hit .462 as a team with 13 kills on 26 swings and just one error.
Virginia jumped out to a 12-7 lead early in the second stanza but it was short lived. Notre Dame scored the next five points to tie the set at 12-12. After trading points to get to 16-16, the Irish on seven of the next eight points to take control of the second at 23-17 and went on to win 25-20 to take a 2-0 lead in the match.
The Cavaliers came out of the intermission refocused, as they took an early 12-6 lead in the third set. However, the Irish battled back and the match was tied at 22-22 in the late stages of the frame. Virginia managed to win three of the last four points to take the set 25-23 and stay in the match. The Cavaliers then carried their momentum into the fourth stanza, as the visitors controlled the majority of play in the set and won 25-15 to force the decisive fifth frame.
Notre Dame regrouped and got off to a strong start in the fifth, as the Irish led 6-3 in the shortened fifth set. Once again the Cavaliers refused to go away, as Virginia claimed the next five points to go on top 8-6. The set was close the rest of the way and the two teams were deadlocked at 13-13 until the Cavaliers won the next two points to give them the set at 15-13 and escape Notre Dame with a 3-2 comeback win in the match.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Coming off the first triple-double performance of her career, Rebecca Nunge nearly pulled off an even more impressive feat against Virginia. The sophomore flirted with a quadruple-double on Sunday, finishing with 18 assists, 10 kills, eight digs and seven blocks to stuff the stat sheet. Nunge now has four double-doubles on the season, all coming in the last six outings.
STAT OF THE MATCH
The Irish produced their third highest blocking total of the season against the Cavaliers, accumulating 16.5 team blocks over five sets. Junior Sam Fry had a huge day at the net, leading the team with 12 blocks in the match. The 12 blocks match a career high for the Cincinnati native. Nunge was second on the squad with seven blocks, while senior Katie Higgins and freshman Jemma Yeadon each added four. Sunday was the 11th time the Irish have finished in double digits in the block category.
- The Irish won the first set for the 14th time in 16 ACC matches.
- DeJarld has 507 digs on the season and is just four digs from reaching the 1,000-dig milestone for her career.
- DeJarld's 32 digs are the second most she has tallied this season. The sophomore has surpassed the 30-dig mark three times in 2016.
- Jemma Yeadon recorded a team-high 14 kills, marking the 15th time this season she has finished with 10+ kills.
- Sam Fry matched her career high in blocks on Sunday with 12 and has now reached double figures in the statistical category three times in 2016.
- Taylor Zwickl posted season highs in assists (25), digs (9) and aces (3).
- With eight aces in the match Notre Dame has notched five or more aces in 22-of-28 matche this season.
- The Irish are now 1-5 against Virginia in the all-time series.
- Notre Dame is 8-6 when playing in Purcell Pavilion this season.
Notre Dame is back on the road next weekend, as the team travels to Clemson for a 7 p.m. match on Friday, Nov. 18 and then heads to Georgiat Tech for a matchup with the Yellow Jackets at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 20. 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.