Irish down Cavaliers, Hokies on ACC road trip
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Notre Dame passed a difficult road test this weekend, securing conference victories over Virginia and Virginia Tech away from home.
Friday night, sophomore outside hitter Jemma Yeadon led the charge for the Irish (13-4, 3-3 ACC), recording 24 kills on the night and matching her career high. She also tallied 13 digs, four blocks and three service aces on the night.
The Irish beat the Cavaliers (4-13, 0-6 ACC) in a close 31-29 victory in the first set, and they continued their success by commanding the court in the second set. They gained an early lead and held onto it to win the second set 25-15.
As a result of a momentary lapse, Notre Dame tied the third set at 22-22 but gave up the last three points to allow Virginia to take the third set 25-22.
The Irish took an early lead in the fourth set, but the Cavaliers fought back to make it 13-11. From there Notre Dame took control, extending its lead to 19-12 at one point and finishing the set with a 25-16 win.
Notre Dame’s performance against Virginia was characterized by their strong defensive side, with senior middle blocker Sam Fry contributing 10 blocks, matching her season high, and junior outside hitter Rebecca Nunge delivering seven blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Lauren Woodard also contributed 12 kills in the victory.
On Sunday afternoon, the Irish defeated Virginia Tech (7-10, 1-5 ACC) by a score of 3-1, with Yeadon continuing her dominant performance with 15 kills on the day.
Senior setter Caroline Holt was also a key contributor for the Irish, putting in a team-high 42 assists. Freshman defensive specialist Madison Cruzado earned her first career start against the Hokies and tallied eight digs.
Notre Dame took the first set by a score of 25-17 but allowed the Hokies to tie the match at 1-1 after falling in the second set 25-21.
After Notre Dame went ahead early in the third set, Virginia Tech managed to come back and tie it at 17-17. Led by Fry, the Irish completed the set in a tight 25-23 victory.
They closed the afternoon with a 25-19 win, recording 7.5 blocks as a team in this last set. Holt and Fry each picked up six blocks on the day while junior middle blocker Meg Morningstar added five of her own.
Junior libero Ryann DeJarld picked up 23 digs against the Hokies and 21 digs versus the Cavaliers, giving her her thirteenth and fourteenth matches with 20+ digs in a match this season. DeJarld also recorded four service aces in the match.
Looking ahead, the Irish will host Georgia Tech on Friday at 7 p.m. and Clemson on Sunday at 1 p.m. with both matches taking place at Purcell Pavilion.