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ND Volleyball

Irish return home to face Georgia Tech

| Thursday, October 12, 2017

After a big win on the road at Virginia Tech, the Irish return home for a match against the Yellow Jackets of Georgia Tech. The Irish sit in 6th place in the ACC standings heading into the match, while the Yellow Jackets find themselves in the 11th spot. About midway through the season, the Irish have improved significantly, especially on an individual level. Nevertheless, the team looks to develop a more cohesive unit as the season continues, and Irish head coach Jim McLaughlin stressed this cooperation heading into the match.

Irish sophomore outside hitter Jemma Yeadon attempts a kill during Notre Dame’s 3-1 win over Valparaiso on Aug. 25.Chris Collins | The Observer

Irish sophomore outside hitter Jemma Yeadon attempts a kill during Notre Dame’s 3-1 win over Valparaiso on Aug. 25.

“We’re at a point right now where each one of the girls is doing a better job doing their individual jobs,” McLaughlin said. “Now, we want to become more cooperative.”

With quite a young team, the Irish remain confident about their levels of improvement and the future looking forward.

“We’re becoming a little bit more cooperative at this point,” McLaughlin said. “We’re learning all of the lessons you have to learn. This is a young team that’s getting better, and we’re still fighting everyday to just make little improvements.”

Of course, as for any team, correcting mistakes is key. The Irish have zoned in on their consistency this season, looking to display good volleyball, day in and day out.

“We’re playing good volleyball in segments, we’re just looking at consistency” McLaughlin said. “This consistency starts with individual focus for the Irish. A lot of that is a function of good focus, just longer periods of being able to focus on the things that tell you what to do. When you have good focus, you have more energy. So those two factors are pretty big. And just being more disciplined, and with that comes consistency. We just need longer periods of good play.”

The Irish have yet to face the Jackets this season, but, in any case, McLaughlin emphasized that the Irish will look to focus on their own game and keep things in their hands.

“We haven’t faced them, but they beat a couple good teams early,” he said. “They’re pretty physical … really the most important thing is how we play and what we do and being able to do that with a little bit more consistency.”

After a brief road stint in Virginia, the Irish will return to the Purcell Pavilion, where they look to the fans for support and reap the benefits of extended rest. McLaughlin stressed the value of playing at home in front of their growing fan base.

“It’s big … we’re getting a better fan base, and it’s growing as we get better,” he said. “It’ll continue to grow, and we want to play well when we’re at home for those fans. We don’t have to travel, we’re more rested, we get an extra day of practice, so we benefit in many ways.”

With home advantage and back-to-back wins on the road, the Irish look to rise in the ranks of the ACC this week. Notre Dame and Georgia Tech will face off Friday at 7 p.m. at the Purcell Pavilion.

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