Robby Hamman | November 29, 2017
The Irish are dancing for the first time in five seasons. The University of Notre Dame volleyball team has been selected to play in the 2017 NCAA Championships, making its first appearance since the 2012 season. The Irish are headed to Lexington, Kentucky, to take on Western Kentucky at 5 p.m. ET on Friday, Dec. 1 in the first round.
Notre Dame (22-9, 12-8 ACC) finished the regular season strong, winning six of its last seven matches to build momentum heading into postseason play. The Irish have a number of notable victories this season, including defeating then-No. 24 Ohio State (9/10), No. 23 Michigan State (9/15) and No. 21 Florida State (10/1).
Friday's matchup against the Hilltoppers will be the first meeting between the two programs. Western Kentucky is 30-3 on the season and earned an automatic bid into the field by winning the Conference USA Tournament title.
With a victory, Notre Dame will play the winner of No. 4 seed Kentucky and ETSU for a chance to move on to the round of 16.
Irish head coach Jim McLaughlin is no stranger to the NCAA Championships, as Notre Dame's 2017 selection marks the 20th time one of his teams will play in the tournament.
McLaughlin has led six teams to semifinal appearances (four times on the women's side and twice with men's teams) and has captured two NCAA national championships. McLaughlin is the only coach in NCAA history with a national championship on both the men's and women's sides.