Irish prepare to host Golden Dome Invitational to kick off season
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, August 23, 2018
The Irish will start the regular season Friday as they take on Weber State at Purcell Pavilion in the Golden Dome Invitational. In addition to the Wildcats, Notre Dame will be hosting Toledo and Northern Kentucky on Saturday to wrap up the event.
The season-opener will also be the debut for new head coach Mike Johnson. Johnson, a former associate head coach, has six years of experience as a head coach, most recently at Xavier, where he led the Musketeers to over 20 wins in each of his seasons in charge.
Notre Dame is ranked No. 4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference volleyball preseason poll for the second straight season. Senior Ryann DeJarld and junior Jemma Yeadon were on the Preseason All-ACC Team.
As one of the top liberos in the country, DeJarld had 747 digs in her junior season, setting a single-season program record. She also averaged 6.12 digs per set, as well as set the Notre Dame record for career digs in three seasons at 1,808. She earned American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American honorable mention honors last season and will be looking to build on her accolades in her junior campaign.
Yeadon, one of the team’s most consistent hitters, averaged a team-high of 3.91 kills per set on 453 sets total in last season. She also recorded 315 digs, 70 blocks, and 29 aces.
Notre Dame is entering the season off of a 22-10 record from 2017, recording back to back 20-win seasons for the first time since 2004 and 2005 with nine of their 14 home matches coming against ACC foes.
The matchup against the Wildcats will be the first in a series of four home games, before the Irish take the road for a long stretch, playing nine of their next 10 games away from Notre Dame.