Irish split final road trip of season with Clemson, GT
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, November 21, 2016
Notre Dame split its road trip over the weekend, coming away with a sweep of Clemson while falling short against Georgia Tech.
The Irish (20-10, 11-7 ACC) finishing the year with a strong 12-4 record away from Purcell Pavilion, including a 4-0 record at neutral-site games.
In the first game of the weekend, Notre Dame visited the Tigers (6-24, 1-17), the last place team in the conference. Freshman outside hitter Jemma Yeadon stood out in the match, contributing 16 kills on a .500 percentage in three sets.
In the first set, the two teams stayed close up until the Irish held an 18-17 lead. The Irish proceeded to score seven of the next eight points to close the set. Sophomore libero Ryann DeJarld, who recorded her milestone 100oth career dig in the set, served five straight points during that closing run.
In the second set, Notre Dame continued to put pressure on Clemson and came away with a 25-20 victory.
The Irish shined in the third set, dominating it throughout en route to a 25-9 victory. Notre Dame jumped out to a quick 13-4 lead in the set, then in a seven-point run later in the set, DeJarld had three service aces.
Junior setter Taylor Zwitckl contributed 24 assists in the match for the Irish, while junior outside hitter Sydney Kuhn earned 11 kills, joining Yeadon as the only players on the team to notch double-digit kills on the day.
The Irish were not as successful against the Yellow Jackets (23-7, 14-4) in the second contest of the weekend. The Irish lost in three sets Sunday, unable to overcome the Yellow Jackets’ 16 blocks and .304 kill percentage on the day.
The Irish lost the first set 25-18, dropped the second set by a tightly contested 29-27 count and dropped the third, 25-12, to close out the match.
The second set was close throughout, with the biggest lead in the match coming in the middle when the Irish won five straight points to go up 16-13. The set stayed within two points for the remainder, with Georgia Tech earning the final two-point lead of the set, taking it 29-27.
Yeadon earned double-digit kills for the fourth consecutive game with 11. DeJarld led the team with in digs with 11, earning her 27th double-digit dig game of the season.
Senior middle blocker Katie Higgins and junior middle blocker Sam Fry were the only two Irish players other than Yeadon with a positive kill percentage. Higgins lead the team with .500 mark while also contributing nine kills.
The Irish will finish up the regular season with two matches at home this week. First, Notre Dame matches up with Boston College on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Then, in the final game of their regular season, the Irish will take on Syracuse on Friday at 1 p.m. Both games will take place at the Purcell Pavilion.