Nov. 19, 2004
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Notre Dame juniors MB Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood H.S.) and OH Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.) and senior OH Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers H.S.) all gained all-BIG EAST accolades for the third consecutive year, when the conference’s annual awards, based on by voting by the conference’s head coaches, were revealed Friday. Brewster was a first-team selection for the second consecutive year, while Kelbley was on the second team, and Loomis was honorable mention. Notre Dame also became the first outright BIG EAST regular-season champion ever to be shut out of the league’s major awards.
Brewster was one of just two players to be unanimous first-team selections. A three-time BIG EAST Player of the Week who led the league in blocking for the third consecutive year and is the only player in the conference to be averaging over 1.00 blocks and 1.00 digs per game, she became just the sixth Notre Dame player – and first middle blocker – to be tabbed first-team all-BIG EAST on multiple occasions. In that elite group, she is joined by OPP Jenny Birkner (’95, ’96), OH Jaimie Lee (’95, ’96, ’97), OH Angie Harris (’95, ’97), S Denise Boylan (’99, ’00), and OPP Kristy Kreher (’00, ’01). Brewster also was an honorable mention selection as a rookie in 2002.
Kelbley became the first Irish player ever to be named to one of the two all-BIG EAST teams in each of her first three campaigns, despite missing three late-season matches due to injury. She also was a second-team honoree – and the league’s rookie of the year – in 2002 before moving up to the first team a season ago. She and Brewster are two of only three players (also Rutgers’ Ashleigh Young, who was not an all-conference selection) to be listed in the BIG EAST leaders in three categories in both overall and conference-only action.
Loomis was tabbed honorable mention after being a second-team selection in 2003 and a first-team honoree as a sophomore.
Despite a late-season injury that caused her to miss 40 percent of the BIG EAST season and vanish from the conference-only league leaders, senior MH Megan Miller was named the BIG EAST Player of the Year. She was just the second competitor to garner the honor without playing on a team that won at least a share of the regular-season BIG EAST championship. The other was Miami’s Valeria Tipiana, the 2002 winner even though the Hurricanes finished second to the Irish during the regular season.
Pittsburgh OH Diana Andreyko was tabbed the BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, while Boston College’s Allison Anderson was named Libero of the Year, and Syracuse’s Jing Pu was Coach of the Year.
The Panthers, as the lone team to win multiple major awards and the only squad to have four players earn all-league honors, dominated the awards for the second year in a row. In 2003, Pittsburgh – then league co-champions with Notre Dame – won three major awards and had four all-conference selections.
In addition to being the first outright champions to come up empty in the major awards, Notre Dame was just the second solo champ to place only one player on the all-BIG EAST first team, joining the 2002 Irish squad. It also marked only the second time that an outright champion had fewer than four players gain all-league accolades since the BIG EAST began recognizing three teams in 1996. The other was the Irish squad in that initial year, which also had just three selections.
Notre Dame, which won its ninth BIG EAST regular-season title in 10 years as a league member, will seek its eighth league tournament title this weekend. The top-seeded Irish will open play in the BIG EAST Championship on Saturday at 1 p.m. (EST) in the semifinals against fourth-seeded Boston College. The title match is set for 2 p.m. on Sunday.
See below brief season biographical sketches of Notre Dame’s 2004 all-conference honorees:
Lauren Brewster â€¢ Jr. â€¢ MB â€¢ 6-3 â€¢ Brentwood, Tenn.: Preseason all-BIG EAST selection is the defending NCAA Division I blocking champion (1.78) who also helped the Irish lead the nation in team blocking in `03 (3.72) … tabbed first-team all-BIG EAST, AVCA all-Northeast Region, and honorable mention All-America last year … three-time conference player of the week … has established herself as perhaps the best all-around defensive player in the conference, as she is the only player — at any position — to be averaging over 1.00 blocks (league-leading 1.48) and 1.00 digs (2.16, by far tops among middle blockers) … one of only three middles in Division I (along with Texas A&M’s Melissa Munsch and Nevada’s Salaia Salave’a) to average over 1.00 blocks and 2.00 digs … ranks second in Irish record book in career block average (1.65) and hitting percentage (.316) … led BIG EAST in blocking in league matches for third consecutive year, with average of 1.66 … it was her sixth BIG EAST statistical championship (also blocking in both league and overall matches in 2002 and `03 and hitting percentage in conference action last season), the most in program history … also leads league in overall blocking and is a major reason the Irish are tops in the conference and 10th in Division I in the category (3.26) … also a big factor in Irish leading league in opponent hitting percentage in conference action (.134) … one of only three players to be among the BIG EAST leaders in three categories in both overall and conference action … in all matches, ranks first in blocking, fourth in points (4.69), and sixth in hitting percentage (.315) … in league play, is first in blocks, second in hitting percentage (.326), and sixth in points (4.75) … on other Irish career lists, ranks fifth in total blocks (493) and eighth in kill average (3.12) … leads the Irish in blocking (133/1.48) for third consecutive season and is also tops in kills (328/3.64), points (431/4.79), and attack percentage (.312) … ranks second in service ace-to-error ratio (0.93, 25 SA, 27 SE), tied for third in service aces (0.28), and fourth in digs (133/2.16) … has had 10 or more kills in 21 of 24 matches and also has seven double-doubles … had 11+ kills in 15 consecutive matches from Sept. 4-Oct. 24, the fourth-longest streak of double-digit kills in school history … has led team in blocks in 19 matches this season, while also being tops in kills and points 12 times each, hitting percentage on 10 occasions, and in aces nine times … posted first triple-double by an Irish player since 1998, ending with 17 kills, 13 digs (matching career high), and 11 blocks against Illinois State … largely responsible for Irish winning the fifth game of that match, when she had four kills on four attempts to go with two digs and two blocks in the decisive frame … in a race with classmate Lauren Kelbley (939) to be the 15th Irish player to register 1,000 career kills, currently standing 69 away at 931 … easily the top defensive middle blocker/hitter in the BIG EAST, boasting a combined block and dig average of 3.64 (no one else is above 2.29) … has been tabbed league player of the week six times during her career, the most in Irish history … comes into the BIG EAST Championship on a hot streak, as she was named BIG EAST Player of the Week on Nov. 15 after leading Notre Dame to 3-0 wins against Pittsburgh and West Virginia in the final weekend of league play to hand the Irish their ninth regular-season league title … averaged 4.17 kills on .469 hitting (just two attack errors) to go with 3.17 digs and 2.17 blocks in the two matches … earned second BIG EAST Player-of-the-Week award on Oct. 25 after leading Irish to 3-0 road upset of #14 Utah, which snapped Utes’ school-record 12-match winning streak and dealt them their first home defeat in more than a year … notched 18 kills on .567 hitting to go with seven digs in that contest … in three matches during that week, converted half of her attack attempts for kills, ending with 44 (4.00 per game) on a .409 hitting percentage … added 22 digs (2.00) 10 blocks to go with 52.5 points (4.77) … named BIG EAST Player of the Week on Sept. 13 after helping the Irish win the Cal Poly Invitational (16 G, 60/3.75 K, .336 hitting, 3 BS/23 BA/1.62 TB, 41/2.56 D, 78.5/4.91 pts.) … tabbed Cal Poly Invitational MVP after leading all players in hitting percentage (.372) and finishing second in blocks (18/1.64), fourth in kills (42/3.82), and fifth in service aces (4/0.36) … tabbed to all-tournament team in Gamecock Invitational after averaging 3.75 kills on .365 hitting to go with 1.25 service aces, 2.62 digs, 0.88 blocks, and 5.44 points per game … picked up slack for the injured Lauren Kelbley against Northern Iowa, leading all players with a career-high 27 kills, while just missing a triple-double (nine digs, eight blocks) … led all players in five statistical categories – kills (17), hitting percentage (.500), service aces (4), blocks (4), and points (23) — in helping ND to first win over Michigan State since 1994 … turned in the top serving performance for an Irish player since 1995 by notching career-high six aces — including four on a single rotation in game three — against South Carolina … had 10 kills and then-career-high eight digs to go with seven blocks in season opener vs. Loyola University Chicago … reset career high with nine digs in just three games in first match against #2 Nebraska … registered 18 kills in back-to-back matches, doing it first on .452 hitting in Notre Dame’s five-game near-upset of the Cornhuskers … duplicated the feat against Valparaiso, while adding eight blocks and 13 digs to reestablish her career high in the latter category for the third time in four matches … had 14 kills, 13 digs, and seven blocks against Fresno State before notching 15 kills on .323 hitting to go with 11 digs vs. Sacramento State … matched career high with .684 hitting percentage at Cal Poly, notching 13 kills on 19 errorless swings … had five blocks in the third game of match against the Mustangs … had 13 kills and 12 digs against South Carolina … finished Gamecock Invitational with 10 aces and only one service error in 47 times serving … had 13 kills on .500 hitting at Rutgers … had 14 kills and 11 digs at Brigham Young … notched 12 kills on .435 hitting … had nine kills on .320 hitting in 3-0 win at Georgetown in bid to extend streak of matches with 10+ kills to 16 … carried Irish to 3-0 win vs. league rival Pittsburgh, with 12 kills an no errors for .545 attack percentage, to go with 12 digs and eight blocks … had 13 kills on .407 hitting vs. West Virginia … set Irish record for block assists (161) in 2002 and established freshman records for total blocks (175) and block average (1.68, ranked 4th in Division I) … has played in all 86 matches during her career, starting 83 of them, including 49 in a row before yielding her spot to Kelly Corbett on Senior Night, when the Irish started with Brewster’s position in the back row … has played in 298 of 312 games for a 95.5% mark that stands third-best all-time.
Lauren Kelbley â€¢ Jr. â€¢ OH/MB â€¢ 6-1 â€¢ Bascom, Ohio: Preseason all-BIG EAST selection is one of only two current Division I juniors who have gained all-region accolades in both of the last two years … tabbed honorable mention All-America by the AVCA in 2003 … gained all-conference honors in both 2002 (second team) and `03 (first team) … named rookie of the year for both the BIG EAST Conference and the AVCA’s Northeast Region in `02 … ranks among top 10 in Irish career record book in hitting percentage (5th, .300), kill average (5th, 3.23), matches with 10+ kills (8th, 57), block average (8th, 1.05), and matches with 20+ kills (T-7th, 6) … moved to middle blocker to outside hitter for final two matches of last season and has remained there in `04 … leads Irish in kill average (289/3.66) and service ace-to-error ratio (1.00, 27 SA, 27 SE), and is second in points (349.5/4.42) and aces (0.34), and third in hitting percentage (.249) … one of only three players to rank among league leaders in three different categories in both overall and BIG EAST-only action … in all matches, ranks fifth in service aces, seventh in points, and 10th in kills … conference-only leaders have her fifth in points (4.77), eighth in hitting percentage (.278), and 10th in kills (3.92) … has missed three of last four matches due to an injury … named to Cal Poly Invitational all-tournament team … led all players in that tournament in both kill average (44/4.00) and ace average (7/0.64) and was third behind teammates Lauren Brewster and Adrianna Stasiuk with a .264 hitting percentage … has had 10+ kills in 17 of 21 matches in which she has played this season, and 48 of her last 58 … has had 20+ kills four times, including in back-to-back matches, after doing so just tice in her first two collegiate seasons … in a race with classmate Lauren Brewster (931) to be the 15th Irish player to register 1,000 career kills, currently standing 61 away at 939 … has 27 service aces after having just 13 in `03 … has led Irish in kills in 11 matches and has been tops in aces and points 10 times each and hitting percentage on four occasions … became first Notre Dame player in nearly four years to have 25 kills in a match when she posted that sum on .304 hitting in four games against Seton Hall … turned in one of the best matches of her career in five-game contest vs. Valparaiso, matching career best with 22 kills on .365 hitting, while setting a career high with nine digs and adding seven blocks and two service aces for a total of 27.5 points … had 15 kills and matched then-career high with six digs in season opener against Loyola University Chicago … was only Irish player with double-figure kills against #2 Nebraska on Sept. 3, finishing with 10 and just two errors for a .381 attack percentage … registered 15 kills against the Huskers the following night … led Irish with 17 kills in five-game win over Fresno State … had 15 kills on .364 hitting in three games against Sacramento State, with 10 of those kills coming in the second game … notched 12 kills and matched career high with four aces at Cal Poly … had 12 kills on team-high .273 hitting against South Carolina in final of Gamecock Invitational … set career high with 24 kills on. 404 hitting at Michigan for a total of 27 points … had 12 kills on .474 hitting at Rutgers … notched 20 kills to go with five digs and four service aces (matching career high) in five-game win against Illinois State … outstanding in Notre Dame’s two biggest conference wins … turned in team-high 16 kills on .387 hitting to go with four digs and four blocks vs. Connecticut despite sitting out first 30 points of a game … came back from injury for 14 kills, seven digs, and four blocks against Pittsburgh in contest that eventually determined the league’s regular-season champion … in the matches she has missed due to injury, Irish are 1-2 and hitting just .169, as opposed to a .232 attack percentage and 15-6 record in contests in which she has played … had played in first 82 matches of her collegiate career before sitting out against Boston College … also missed matches vs. West Virginia and Northern Iowa … has played in 291 of 312 games (93.3%, which ranks fifth all-time) during her career … had started 58 matches in a row before the BC tilt.
Emily Loomis â€¢ Sr. â€¢ MB/OPP/OH â€¢ 6-1 â€¢ Ft. Wayne, Ind.: Preseason all-BIG EAST selection after being tabbed for all-league honors in both 2002 (first team) and `03 (second team) … also garnered AVCA all-Northeast Region honors in each of last two seasons and was honorable mention All-America in `03 … currently ranks seventh on Irish all-time kills list with 1,242 (Christi Girton, at 1286, is sixth) and has a chance to finish in the top five (currently Jessica Fiebelkorn, at 1299) … the only Notre Dame student-athlete ever to earn all-BIG EAST honors in two distinctly different sports, as she also is a four-time all-league performer in the high jump for the Irish track and field team (including the 2003 outdoor conference champion) … moved from opposite to middle blocker for final two matches of 2003 and started in that position this season before switching to outside hitter on Oct. 2 (where she played during her first two collegiate campaigns) … ranks second on Irish in blocks (92/1.06), third in kills (234/2.69), and fourth in points (294.5/3.39), and hitting percentage (.229) … a big reason Notre Dame leads the league in team blocking and ranked 10th in Division I heading into the week (3.26) … leads team with 25 solo blocks after having just 20 in all of `03 … has had nine or more kills 11 times in 14 matches at outside hitter (50 games), averaging 2.98 kills on .261 hitting to go with 1.06 blocks and 3.65 points … ranks 10th in BIG EAST in blocking … has had 10+ kills in 12 matches to bring her career total to 69, which ranks fifth in school history … notched double-doubles (13th and 14th of career) vs. Notre Dame’s two Missouri Valley Conference foes, Illinois State and Northern Iowa … had top match of the season in five-game win over Redbirds, ending with 18 kills, 11 blocks, and 25 points … in final contest in the Joyce Center, registered 15 kills, 12 digs, and four blocks for 17 points against the Panthers … shared team honors with 15 kills on .316 hitting in season opener vs. Loyola University Chicago … also had eight digs and six blocks (four solo) for a team-high 20 points vs. the Ramblers … had 12 kills, seven blocks, and four digs for 17 points vs. Fresno State … started against Sacramento State, but played only briefly in the first game in an attempt to rest her on a day with two matches … finished with 1.22 block average in the Cal Poly Invitational, which ranked sixth among the tournament leaders, while her four solo blocks were the most by any player in the event … had 11 kills, six digs, and five blocks against Michigan … notched 14 kills while only making one error for a .361 attack percentage against Seton Hall … had 13 kills on team-best .333 hitting in five games against Brigham Young … notched 10 kills on .304 hitting vs. St. John’s and 11 kills on season-best .391 attack percentage at Georgetown … led Irish in kills (nine), hitting percentage (.250), and points (11) at Villanova … key part of Notre Dame’s sweep of league rival Pittsburgh, ending with 13 kills on .344 hitting … has started 111 of 115 matches during her career, including each of the last 74 (dating back to Sept. 27, 2002) … has been a key contributor for the Irish throughout her career, appearing in 97.5% (398 of 408) of the games during her career, which has her on pace to set a Notre Dame record … has played in all but one of the 114 matches … also in the Irish career record book in solo blocks (5th, 85), attack attempts (5th, 3241), kill average (9th, 3.12), matches with 20+ kills (T-7th, 6), matches with team-high kills (7th, 35), and total blocks (9th, 375) … in 37 games (10 matches) as a middle blocker, averaged 2.30 kills on .181 hitting to go with 1.41 digs, 1.05 blocks, and 3.03 points.