Nov. 25, 2016
By Megan Golden
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The University of Notre Dame (22-10, 13-7 ACC) defeated Syracuse (7-23, 6-14 ACC), 3-1, with final set scores of 25-16, 13-25, 25-16 and 25-11 in its senior send-off and regular-season finale on Friday at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
The Irish finished the regular season with 15 more wins in the 2016 campaign than they had in the 2015 season. Notre Dame won a program-high 13 Atlantic Coast Conference games this season.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Notre Dame never trailed during the first set, winning, 25-16. The Irish opened the set with a 3-0 lead, and the Orange were unable to overcome the deficit. Junior Sam Fry and freshman Jemma Yeadon led the team with four kills, and Notre Dame closed the set with a 10-5 run to solidify the victory.
The Irish dropped the second set, 25-13, marking the first set it has lost to Syracuse this season. The Irish began the set with a 5-3 lead, but Syracuse’s 14-1 run put the Irish in a 17-6 hole that they did not recover from.
The Irish won the third set, 25-16, in a fairly dominant frame for Notre Dame. With the set tied at 5-5, Notre Dame claimed six of the next seven points to go on top 11-6, a lead it would not relinquish. Junior Sydney Kuhn recorded seven kills in the set.
Notre Dame took advantage of a 6-0 run early in the fourth set, getting off to a commanding 10-2 lead and cruised to a 25-11 win to take the set and finish the match at 3-1.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Junior Sydney Kuhn collected 18 kills for just the second time in her career, including seven in the third set and six in the fourth. The 18 kills are just one shy of her career high, set on October 28 versus Miami.
STAT OF THE MATCH
Five Irish players finished with 10-plus digs, including juniors Sydney Kuhn (11), Natalie Johnson (18) and Taylor Zwickl (10) and sophomores Rebecca Nunge (13) and Ryann DeJarld (25). The match marks the first time Notre Dame has accomplished the feat since October 25, 2014, when it lost, 2-3, at Virginia (Natalie Johnson, 23; Hanna Muzzonigro, 16; Sydney Kuhn, 13; Jo Kremer, 11; Jeni Houser, 11).
- The Irish improve to 23-7 all-time and 2-0 in the season series against Syracuse.
- Notre Dame finishes the season 10-6 at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
- Notre Dame’s defense held Syracuse to a -.089 hitting percentage in the first set and .075 (34-23-146) overall, marking the second straight match it has held an opponent below .100.
- The Irish combined to record 80 digs for the seventh time this season.
- Fry finished with a .444 hitting percentage (8-0-18), her highest mark since November 18 at Clemson (.500).
- DeJarld recorded 25 digs, marking the fourth time she has had 25-plus digs this season.
- Nunge’s 13 digs set a career high, surpassing her previous high of 11 (twice; last, November 9 at Louisville).
-- ND --
Megan Golden, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since August of 2016. In her role, she coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame women's lacrosse and cross country/track and field programs. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Golden is a 2014 graduate of Saint Mary's College and former Irish women’s basketball manager. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, she worked in public relations with the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox.