Undefeated Irish set for first road trip
Observer Sports Staff | Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Coming off a sweep at last weekend’s Golden Dome Invitational, Notre Dame looks to continue their success as they begin their first road trip of the season.
The Irish (3-0) faced Valparaiso, Rhode Island and New Mexico State in the Golden Dome Invitational, winning all three matches to claim the title for the second straight year. While they handled Rhode Island (0-3) in straight sets, Valparaiso (1-2) and New Mexico State (2-1) proved to be more difficult opponents with both matches going into a fourth set. Notre Dame had two players named to the all-tournament team, including junior libero Ryann DeJarld, who was named tournament MVP, recording 87 digs over the course of the weekend.
Looking ahead, the Irish will travel to the BGSU/Toledo Invitational this weekend. On Friday, they will take on VCU and Bowling Green, before closing out the weekend with a matchup against Toledo.
After utilizing several different starting lineups at the Golden Dome Invitational, head coach Jim McLaughlin will have to decide whether to use his more experienced players like sophomore outside hitter Jemma Yeadon, who started 29 of 32 matches last season, and junior middle blocker Meg Morningstar, who had 35 starts in the last two years, or less experienced competitors, including junior middle block Kristin Baer, who made her first career appearance in the start against Rhode Island.
Looking at the opposition, VCU enters the tournament with two wins under their belt against Texas State and Sam Houston State, but the Rams (2-1) fell short against Texas A&M, losing that match in three sets. Hosting the Hampton Inn Invitational, Bowling Green lost their first match of the season at the hands of the University of Illinois at Chicago in a five-set thriller, recorded a win in three sets against Duquesne and fell to an undefeated Xavier team in the final match. Toledo opened their season at the Fort Wayne Invitational, losing to both Southern Illinois University and Fort Wayne but grinding out a win against Quinnipiac in a five-set match.
Notre Dame takes the court at 11 a.m. on Friday against VCU at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green, Ohio.