Nov. 15, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Prep standouts Maddie Dilfer, Sam Fry, Sydney Kuhn and Maddie Plumlee have signed National Letters of Intent (NLI) to continue their volleyball careers with the University of Notre Dame, head coach Debbie Brown announced Friday.
"Signing day is an exciting time for us and we are really happy with the four we signed," said head coach Debbie Brown. "It's a strong class that is very talented and competitive. They play high above the net, which will be a key to our success in the future.
"We feel like we met our needs with this class. We like to sign a setter every other year and we did that. We brought in two middles last year so we knew we just needed one middle this year. We also brought in two quality outside hitters that will add to our depth at that position. Overall, we are very pleased with how the class of 2018 will fit in to our program."
A two-time honorable mention Under Armour All-American as a setter, Dilfer led the USA Volleyball Youth National Team to a bronze medal at the Junior Women's Division of the High Performance Championships.
Hailing from Saratoga, Calif., and Valley Christian High School, Dilfer helped her team win the West Catholic Athletic League championship in 2013 with a perfect 6-0 after going a combined 0-12 a freshman and sophomore. Prep Volleyball named her a top-50 junior recruit in 2012.
Dilfer is the daughter of Trent and Cassandra Dilfer and has two younger sisters, Tori and Delaney.
"Setting is just so critical to the success of a team and Maddie is a great student of the game," said Brown. "A setter has to be able to understand offenses and has to be creative about where to put the ball and Maddie can do that. She is ultra competitive, a strong leader and has good communication with her passers and hitters. In addition, she is very skilled and a great athlete."
Fry joins the program from Ursuline Academy in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was an Under Armour honorable mention All-American as a senior and finished her career as the school's all-time leader in kills (1,052) and blocks (346).
Behind Fry, Ursuline won the 2012 Division I state championship and ended the year ranked No. 26 in the country by Prep Volleyball.
Fry is the daughter of Greg and Shari Fry, and has an older brother, Matt, a younger brother, Jake, and three younger sisters, Jordan, Hunter and Remi. Her mother, the former Shari Matvey, was a standout for the Irish basketball program in the late 70's and early 80's, becoming the first player in school history to reach the 1,000 point plateau.
"We were fortunate to see Sam early and often," said Brown. "She has a strong connection to Notre Dame, is competitive and very driven and thus really wants to make a difference in the program. She has a good arm and can hit well out of the back row. She is developing an all-around game, but her strength is in the middle."
An outside hitter from Wichita, Kan., Kuhn won the Wendy's High School Heisman as a senior after leading her team to third place in the state tournament and earning all-tournament honors.
The daughter of Eric and Julia Kuhn, Sydney helped lead the Kapuan Mt. Carmel Catholic High School basketball team to a state championship as a junior.
Kuhn has an older sister, Samantha.
"Sydney is a middle turned outside," said Brown. "The impressive thing about Sydney is that she played all six rotations as a middle so she is a really good natural passer. I do believe the outside is more her natural position and she is continuing to develop in that role. She has a strong competitive streak and her coaches raved about her ability to rise to the occasion on the biggest stage. She carried a big load on her high school and club team and we are excited about her all-around game."
A second team Under Armour All-American, Plumlee finished her career with over 1,000 kills after setting a school record with 514 as a senior. The Winona Lake, Ind., native played volleyball in Raleigh, N.C., at Saint Mary's School and earned TISAC Conference Player of the Year as a senior.
The outside hitter is the daughter of Perky and Leslie Plumlee and has three older brothers, Miles, Mason and Marshall.
"Maddie's height above the net is her biggest attribute," said Brown. "She jumps high and is a terrific athlete. She is going to be a really great net player for us on offense and defense. We really look for her to be a consistent point scorer for us."
The 2013 version of the Irish (11-14, 5-9 ACC) are in the Sunshine State this weekend for matches with Miami (7 p.m. Friday) and No. 22 Florida State (12 p.m. Sunday).
For more information on the Notre Dame volleyball team follow the Irish on Facebook (/NDVolleyball) and Twitter (@NDVolleyball).
NOTRE DAME VOLLEYBALL NOVEMBER 2013 SIGNEES
THE DILFER FILE: Set to graduate from Valley Christian High School in the spring of 2014 ... earned four letters in volleyball and one in track & field ... led the USA Volleyball Youth National Team as the setter and a team captain to a bronze medal in the junior women's division of the High Performance Championships ... named a 2012-13 Under Armour honorable mention All-American as a setter as a junior and senior ... honored as Prep Volleyball's No. 55 Senior Ace in 2013 ... first team all-league as a senior ... named to the all-tournament team at the Santa Barbara Tournament of Champions ... led squad to a championship in the West Catholic Athletic League after posting a perfect 6-0 record ... named a Prep Volleyball Top-50 Junior Recruit during third year ... also named first team Mercury News and all-league ... helped team win Central Coast Section championship and finish as runner-up in Northern California ...selected second team all-league and named team MVP as a sophomore ... honored as Valley Christian High School's Freshman Athlete of the Year ... named a scholar athlete all four years ... played club volleyball for the Vision Volleyball Club ... was a team captain on every team since the age of 13 ... active off the court ... was a student leader for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), a chapel coordinator for the Associated Student Body, a star tender for the Shining Stars Respite for students with special needs, a children's Sunday School volunteer at Calvary Church, a home builder for Club Dust mission trips to Mexico, a volunteer for the 2nd Mile San Francisco Bay Area community betterment program and a "big buddy" for the Valley Christian High School Little Warier Nation group that mentored elementary aged children ... was on the honor roll all four years in high school ... received the highest grade award in Algebra II and Latin III ... full name is Madeline Grace Dilfer ... born in Fresno, Calif., to Trent and Cassandra Dilfer ... lives in Saratoga, Calif. ... has two younger sisters, Tori and Delaney ... father, Trent, played football at Fresno State and later won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens to highlight 14-year NFL career ... mother, Cassandra, swam at Fresno State and was coached under Olympic swimming coach Teri McKeever ... aunt, Tegan Lynch, played volleyball at Colorado ... grandfather, Frank Lynch, played football at California (Berkley) ... grandfather, John Franzman, played baseball at Arizona ... uncle, Taylor Franzma, pole vaulted at Fresno State ... undecided on major ... will enroll in First Year of Studies.
THE FRY FILE: Set to graduate from Ursuline Academy in the spring of 2014 ... earned three letters in volleyball ... named a 2012-13 Under Armour honorable mention All-American as a middle blocker ... finished career with school records in kills (1,052) and blocks (346) ... named first team all-state and all-conference as a senior while totaling 343 kills and hitting at a .500 clip ... also posted a school record by averaging 1.43 blocks per set (120 for year) ... helped team advance to the state regional finals ... led team to a state championship (Division I) as a junior to earn a No. 26 final ranking by Prep Volleyball ... again named first team all-state and all-conference in addition to first team all-city and all-district accolades ... named to Prep Volleyball's All-America team and was a National Junior of the Year finalist ... led conference and set school records with 434 kills and 126 blocks ... hit .470 ... in first year on the varsity as a sophomore, led team to state regional finals while earning second team all-conference honors ... also named third team all-district and honorable mention all-city after totaling 275 kills and 100 blocks while attacking at a .460 clip ... named to the academic honor roll all four years ... played club volleyball for the Elevation Volleyball Club ... led team to three appearances at USA Volleyball Junior National Tournament, highlighted by a fifth place finish in 2011 to earn all-tournament team honors ... has played the piano since first grade, participating in numerous recitals ... also rides horses (dressage), volunteering at horse shows ... full name is Samantha Leigh Fry ... born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio to Greg and Shari Fry ... has an older brother, Matt, a younger brother, Jake, and three younger sisters, Jordan, Hunter and Remi ... mother, Shari (Matvey), graduated from Notre Dame in 1983 after playing four years on the basketball team and becoming the first 1,000 point scorer in program history ... brother, Matt, is slated to graduate from Notre Dame in the spring of 2016 ... aunt, Renee, and uncle, Tim Reilly, both graduated from Notre Dame in 1985 ... father, Greg, played football at Columbia University ... uncle, Tim, played hockey at Notre Dame ... intends to enroll in the Mendoza College of Business ... will enroll in First Year of Studies.
THE KUHN FILE: Set to graduate from Kapaun Mt. Carmel Catholic High School in the spring of 2014 ... earned four letters each in volleyball and basketball ... won the Wendy's High School Heisman as a senior ... earned all-metro honors and was named first team all-city as an outside hitter and second team all-city as a defensive specialist ... named to the all-tournament team after helping team finish third at state ... totaled 356 kills, 282 digs, 45 blocks and 26 service aces ... as a junior helped squad claim third at state in addition to earning first team all-city and all-state honors ... also named all-metro ... had 324 kills, 37 blocks and 41 service aces ... named first team all-city and second team all-state as a sophomore after totaling 291 kills, 385 digs, 37 blocks and 36 service aces ... selected second team all-city as a freshman after totaling 273 kills, 187 digs, 28 service aces and 27 blocks ... in basketball helped team win a state championship as a junior ... played for the Shockwave Volleyball Club, ICT Elite Volleyball Club, ICT Elite Mavs Volleyball Club and the Alodia Sparq basketball team ... member of the National Honor Society as a junior and senior ... earned second honors on the honor roll as a freshman and superior honors as a sophomore and junior ... full name is Sydney Michelle Kuhn ... born in Wichita, Kan., to Eric and Julia Kuhn ... has an older sister, Samantha ... father, Eric, played basketball at Wichita State ... mother, Julia, played volleyball at Kansas State ... great uncle, Robert Schaefer graduated from Notre Dame ... great-great uncle Victor Schaefer was the librarian at Notre Dame ... undecided on major ... will enroll in First Year of Studies.
THE PLUMLEE FILE: Set to graduate from Saint Mary's School (Raleigh, N.C.) in the spring of 2014 ... earned four letters in volleyball as an outside hitter ... finished career with over 1,000 kills ... named a second team Under Armour All-American ... totaled 514 kills as a senior to earn TISAC Conference Player of the Year honors ... also named all-conference ... selected as a Prep Volleyball Senior Ace, which highlights the top 250 seniors in the country ... named all-metro ... set school record with 36 kills in a match ... named all-metro and NCISAA 3A all-state as a junior ... selected as a Prep Volleyball honorable mention All-American ... named a team MVP ... tabbed the Junior Athlete of the Year for school ... selected all-conference and team MVP as a sophomore ... named to Prep Volleyball's Frosh 59 after earning all-conference honors as a freshman ... tabbed team MVP ... named to the honor roll during first three years ... was a student ambassador for school ... played for the Triangle Volleyball Club ... helped Triangle 17 Black club team receive an open bid to the Lone Star Classic in Dallas as a sophomore ... team ended up finishing up 11th at nationals ... assisted Triangle 18 Black club team in qualifying for Lone Star Classic as a junior ... full name is Madeline Leigh Plumlee ... born in West Lafayette, Ind., to Perky and Leslie Plumlee ... grew up in Winona Lake, Ind. ... has three older brothers, Miles, Mason and Marshall ... comes from a basketball family as all three brothers have played basketball at Duke, with Marshall still in school ... Miles was drafted by the Indiana Pacers in 2012, while Mason was drafted by the Brooklyn Nets in 2013 ... father, Perky, played at Tennessee Tech ... mother, Leslie, played at Purdue ... grandfather, Albert Schultz played basketball at Michigan Tech prior to joining the U.S. Air Force ... uncle, William Schultz, played basketball at Wisconsin-Eau Claire prior to being called into military duty ... uncle, Chad Schultz, played basketball at Wisconsin-Oshkosh ... undecided on major ... will enroll in First Year of Studies.
-- Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director