Tuesday, 26 September 2023

NCAA Womens Volleyball

How Midwest Product Sydney Palazzolo has become ‘glue’ for Irish – Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Official Athletics Website

How Midwest Product Sydney Palazzolo has become ‘glue’ for Irish – Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Official Athletics Website

By Ashton Pollard
Associate Athletics Communications Director

TOLEDO, Ohio — “G-O-S-Y-D-1-2.”

Those seven characters were impossible to miss for those visiting Savage Arena at the University of Toledo on Sunday. The Irish were the visitors, but it was like home for junior Sydney Palazzolo, whose several cousins in attendance held up her name and number to show support for the Irish outside hitter. 

Palazzolo, who hails from outside of Detroit, played Sunday’s match just 90 miles from her hometown of Shelby Township, Mich. More than two dozen family members showed up to support her, just as they have throughout her first year in South Bend. Palazzolo spent her first two seasons at High Point University before deciding to return to the Midwest. 

“It means so much to have my family close by,” Palazzolo said. “I didn’t realize how much I missed it when I played at a school farther away. Coming closer to home, so much of my family has gotten to come see me play already, and it’s still non-conference [play]. It’s always fun getting to say hi to family after the game. Sometimes I get homesick, so it’s nice that my family can come here because it makes it feel more like home.”

When her family makes the trek — whether it’s to Toledo, South Bend or beyond — they surely get a show. Through just eight matches, Palazzolo has separated herself from the pack and become one of the best players in the ACC. She leads the conference with 4.5 kills and 5.1 points per set. An ACC player has recorded 23 kills or more in a game just seven times this year, and Palazzolo is responsible for three of them. No other player has more than one. 

“Sydney is one of the best all-around players that we’ve had here,” Head Coach Salima Rockwell said. “She does everything at a high level. Being able to leave her in for six rotations has been huge for us. She attacks at a high level, she passes really well, we can keep her in the back row and get offense out of her there. She has one of the best serves on the team, probably in the conference.

“She’s really, really good at everything.”

‘I knew volleyball was the one’

Rockwell, who is in her second season at the helm in South Bend, recognizes an elite talent when she sees one. A Penn State three-time All-American and four-time national champion, she was brought to Notre Dame to get the Irish over the hump in one of the nation’s best volleyball conferences. Utilizing the transfer…

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