Dec. 8, 2004
Notre Dame juniors MB Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood H.S.) and OH Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.) were named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s (AVCA) All-Northeast Region Team when the organization announced its regional honors last night. In addition, senior OH Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers H.S.) was tabbed honorable mention all-region. Kelbley is one of just two juniors in Division I to be a three-time all-region selection, while Brewster was a repeat performer, as well.
The Irish placed multiple players on the all-region/district team for the sixth consecutive year and and ninth time in the last 10 seasons. Notre Dame is one of just eight schools that boast multiple players (Brewster and Kelbley) who had gained all-region accolades at least once before. The others are #1 Nebraska, #8 USC, #10 Texas, #14 Florida, #15 Louisville, #16 Colorado State, and #18 Texas A&M.
Kelbley is just the fourth Notre Dame player ever to be named first-team all-region/district on three occasions, joining OH Jaimie Lee (1995-97), S Denise Boylan (1997, ’99-2000), and OPP Kristy Kreher (1999-2001). The Bascom, Ohio, native and libero Paula Gentil from the University of Minnesota are the lone juniors in the country to have garnered all-region honors in each of their collegiate seasons. Kelbley earlier 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.
Brewster, the BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Player and one of only two Division I players to be averaging over 1.50 blocks (1.54) and 1.50 digs (2.18) per game, also was one of just two players to be unanimous first-team all-BIG EAST selections. A three-time BIG EAST Player of the Week who led the league in blocking in both league and overall action for the third year in a row, Brewster ranks 21st nationally in blocking after leading Division I in 2003. She also is a big reason Notre Dame ranks third in the country in team blocking.
Loomis, who was a first-team all-region honoree in 2002 and ’03, became the ninth Notre Dame player to gain some type of all-region/district accolades on three occasions. She joined Kelbley, Lee, Boylan, Kreher, S Janelle Karlan (1991-93), OH Christy Peters (1992-94), OPP Jenny Birkner (1994-96), and S Kristen Kinder (2001-03) in that group. Loomis registered 34 solo blocks this season to lead the Irish, who are second in the country in that category (117 total).
The BIG EAST Conference took seven of the 12 spots on the all-Northeast Region team, which also includes players from the Ivy League, America East, the Atlantic 10, and the Patriot League. Pittsburgh, which was swept by the Irish in both the regular season and in the title match of the BIG EAST Championship, placed three on the squad, with senior MB Megan Miller – the conference’s player of the year – and juniors OH Gini Ullery and L Megan McGrane earning mention. In addition, junior OH Jackie Ahlers of St. John’s and junior OPP Kelly Duan of Syracuse garnered mention. Another Panther, OH Diana Andreyko, was the Northeast Region Freshman of the Year after being the league’s rookie of the year, and she also was honorable mention all-region.
The all-region selections, determined by a committee consisting of one head coach from each of the region’s conferences, showed a couple of differences from the BIG EAST awards, which were based on voting by the league’s head coaches. Of the seven all-region selections, five were also all-BIG EAST first-team honorees. But four non-first teamers were also recognized by the AVCA, while Connecticut senior OH Jamie Hadenfeldt – who was on the all-BIG EAST first team – was not. Kelbley was a second-team all-league honoree, but three players who were not even named to either of the all-conference teams – McGrane, Andreyko, and Loomis – were recognized by the AVCA. Allison Anderson of Boston College, who beat out McGrane for BIG EAST Libero of the Year and was a second-team all-league selection, received no AVCA honors.
Rounding out the all-Northeast Region team were Ivy League Player of the Year senior MB Kaego Ogbechie of Harvard, America East Player of the Year and Setter of the Year sophomore Blair Buchanan of Albany, Atlantic 10 Player of the Year senior OH Christy Utnage from Dayton, Patriot League Co-Player of the Year junior MB Cutrina Biddulph of American, as well as Dayton sophomore MB Faye Barhorst. Additionally, Erin Appleman of Yale was named the Tachikara/AVCA Northeast Region Coach of the Year on Wednesday after helping the Bulldogs to their first Ivy League title since 1978 and the conference’s first-ever win in the NCAA tournament.
A total of 21 players faced by Notre Dame this season earned all-region mention from the AVCA, including 14 on the all-region teams. Some of the top defensive performances by the Irish came against those players:
â€¢ Notre Dame held Ahlers to six kills on -.130 hitting (9 errors, 23 attempts) and just one dig in its sweep of St. John’s on Oct. 24. â€¢ Senior OH Kelly Wing of UC Irvine, the Big West Conference Player of the Year and an all-West Region selection, hit just .073 (14 kills, 11 errors, 41 attempts) in a three-game loss to the Irish on Nov. 26. â€¢ Senior OH Sandra Bandimere of Sacramento State, tabbed honorable mention all-Pacific Region, had just six kills on .047 hitting (4 errors, 43 attempts) when the Hornets lost 3-0 to Notre Dame on Sept. 11. â€¢ The Irish defense held Illinois State’s offense, guided by honorable mention all-Central Region selection senior S Kelly Rikli to .163 hitting in a win on Oct. 13. â€¢ OPP Sarah Pavan of Nebraska, the Central Region Freshman of the Year and an all-region selection, hit just .176 (36-20-91) in two matches against the Irish, while her teammate, sophomore S Dani Busboom (honorable mention all-region) led the Cornhuskers to just a .188 hitting mark on Sept. 3 vs. Notre Dame. â€¢ Pittsburgh’s Ullery and Andreyko both struggled against the Irish, hitting just .168 (38-17-125) and .191 (29-12-89) in two matches against Notre Dame, while McGrane (6.50 digs per game vs. ND) was outperformed by the Irish libero, Meg Henican (New Orleans, La./Isidore Newman H.S.), who had 8.33 digs per game in their two head-to-head matchups.
Notre Dame finished the season with a 21-9 record after winning its ninth BIG EAST regular-season crown in 10 years, as well as its eighth league tournament title. The Irish, who hit the 20-win plateau for the sixth consecutive year and 13th time in 14 years under head coach Debbie Brown, gained their 13th consecutive NCAA tournament invitation, defeating Valparaiso in the opening round before falling at 14th-seeded Wisconsin.
The AVCA will announce its All-America teams (three teams of 12 plus honorable mention selections) on Dec. 15. In 2003, Brewster, Kelbley, Loomis, and Kinder were tabbed honorable mention.
See below season biographical sketches of Notre Dame’s 2004 all-region honorees:
#12 Lauren Brewster
Jr. â€¢ MB â€¢ 6-3 â€¢ Brentwood, Tenn. â€¢ Brentwood H.S. â€¢ Impact VBC
Unanimous first-team 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 earned all-league accolades in each of last three seasons … named BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Player, notching 27 kills (3.86) on .319 hitting to go with tournament-high 14 blocks (2.00) in helping Irish to eighth title … has established herself as one of the best all-around defensive players in the country, as she is one of only two players in Division I to be averaging over 1.50 blocks (1.54) and 1.50 digs (2.18) per game (also Texas A&M’s Melissa Munsch) … ranks second in Irish record book in career block average (1.66) and hitting percentage (.316) … led BIG EAST in blocking in league matches for third consecutive year, with average of 1.66 … also led conference in overall blocking (21st in Division I) to notch her seventh 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 … a major reason the Irish are tops in the conference and third in Division I in the category (3.37) … has 30 solo blocks in helping Notre Dame rank second nationally in that category (117) … joins teammate Lauren Kelbley as the only players in the conference who ranks among the top 10 in three statisticial categories in both overall and BIG EAST action … in all matches, ranks first in blocking, fourth in points (4.76), and sixth in hitting percentage (.313) … in league play, was first in blocks, second in hitting percentage (.326), and sixth in points (4.75) … also a big factor in Irish leading league in opponent hitting percentage in conference action (.134) … on other Irish career lists, ranks third in total blocks (532) and eighth in kill average (3.15) … led the Irish in blocking for third consecutive season and was also tops in kills (406/3.62), points (533/4.76), and attack percentage (.313) … ranked second in service ace-to-error ratio (0.84, 26 SA, 31 SE) and fourth in digs (244/2.18) and aces (26/0.23) … had 10 or more kills in 26 of 30 matches (tied for fifth-highest single-season total in Irish history) … in second round of NCAA tournament against Wisconsin, became 16th player — and just the fifth middle blocker — in school history to register 1,000 kills … had 11+ kills in 15 consecutive matches from Sept. 4-Oct. 24, the fourth-longest streak of double-digit kills in school history … led team in blocks in 23 matches this season, while also being tops in points 15 times, kills on 14 occasions, hitting percentage 12 times, and 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 woth two digs and two blocks in the decisive frame … had 11 double-doubles to bring career total to 17 … easily the top defensive middle blocker/hitter in the BIG EAST, boasting a combined block and dig average of 3.72 (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 … 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 … had 19 kills on .366 hitting to go with 11 digs and seven blocks for 22.5 points … posted double-double vs. UC Irvine, with 10 kills on .333 hitting plus 11 digs, while adding eight blocks … had 14 kills on .393 hitting plus nine digs against Long Beach State … notched double-double in NCAA first round against Valparaiso, with 14 kills on .306 hitting to go with 11 blocks for 20 points … was only Irish player in double figures in kills against Wisconsin in the second round of the NCAAs, finishing with 13 kills on .265 hitting to go with 10 digs for another double-double … 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 92 matches during her career, starting 89 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 320 of 334 games for a 95.8% mark that stands third-best all-time.
#6 Lauren Kelbley
Jr. â€¢ OH/MB â€¢ 6-1 â€¢ Bascom, Ohio â€¢ Hopewell-Loudon H.S. â€¢ Black Swamp VBC
Three-year all-BIG EAST selection is one of only two current Division I juniors who have gained all-region accolades in each of her first three years … tabbed honorable mention All-America by the AVCA in 2003 … gained second-team all-conference honors in 2002 and `04 and was a first-team honoree in `03 … stands as the only Notre Dame player ever to be tabbed to the BIG EAST’s all-conference teams in each of her first three seasons … named rookie of the year for both the BIG EAST and the AVCA’s Northeast Region in `02 … ranks among top 10 in Irish career record book in hitting percentage (5th, .293), kill average (5th, 3.27), matches with 10+ kills (8th, 62), block average (8th, 1.04), and matches with 20+ kills (T-7th, 7) … against Long Beach State on Nov. 27, became the 15th Irish player to post 1,000 career kills … moved to middle blocker to outside hitter for final two matches of last season and has remained there in `04 … led Irish in kill average (372/3.68) and was second in hitting percentage (.244), points (449/4.45), and ace average (0.33) … joins teammate Lauren Brewster as the only players in the conference who ranks among the top 10 in three statisticial categories in both overall and BIG EAST action … ranks sixth in BIG EAST in aces, seventh in points, and ninth in kills … conference-only leaders had her fifth in points (4.77), eighth in hitting percentage (.278), and 10th in kills (3.92) … missed three late-season matches due to a foot 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 … had 10+ kills in 22 of 27 matches in which she played this season, and 53 of her last 64 … had 20+ kills five times, including in back-to-back matches, after doing so just twice in her first two collegiate seasons … had 33 service aces after having just 13 in `03 … led Irish in kills in 14 matches and was tops in aces 14 times, points 12 times, and hitting percentage on six 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 … was a key factor in the Irish claiming their eighth BIG EAST tournament championship, posting 34 kills (4.86) on .387 hitting … posted 20 kills on .425 hitting in semis agaisnt Boston College after missing previous two matches … had 14 kills on .343 mark in final against Pittsburgh … notched 14 kills with .357 attack percentage in win vs. UC Irvine … registered 19 kills and season-high eight blocks in Notre Dame’s first-ever win against Long Beach State … three of those kills came after Irish were facing match point, down 14-12 in the fifth game … drilled successive kills on final two points of the match … in the matches she missed due to injury, Irish were 1-2 and hitting just .169, as opposed to a .241 attack percentage and 20-7 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 313 of 334 games (93.7%, which ranks fourth all-time) during her career … had started 58 matches in a row before the BC tilt.
#1 Emily Loomis
Sr. â€¢ MB/OPP/OH â€¢ 6-1 â€¢ Ft. Wayne, Ind. â€¢ Bishop Luers H.S. â€¢ Fort Wayne VBC
Three-year all-BIG EAST selection was honorable mention this year after being on the first team in 2002 and second team in `03 … also garnered AVCA all-Northeast Region honors in each of last two seasons and was honorable mention All-America in `03 … finished career with 1,321 kills to rank fifth on the Irish all-time kills list … 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) … ranked second on Irish in blocks (126/1.16), third in kills (313/2.87) and points (395/3.62), and fourth in hitting percentage (.238) … a big reason Notre Dame led the league in team blocking and is third in Division I (3.37) … leads team with 34 solo blocks after having just 20 in ’03 … a major part of the Irish ranking second in the country in total block solos (117) … had eight or more kills 18 times in 20 matches at outside hitter, averaging 3.17 kills on .263 hitting to go with 1.21 blocks and 3.93 points … ranked ninth in BIG EAST in blocking … had 10+ kills in 15 matches to bring her career total to 72, which ranks third in school history … turned in best match of her career at Long Beach State in regular-season finale, slamming career-high 29 kills on season-high .414 hitting to go with six blocks (three solo) for career-best 33.5 points in leading Irish to first-ever win over the 49ers … kill total was the most for any ND player since 2000 and 11 better than her previous season high … notched double-doubles (13th and 14th of career) vs. Notre Dame’s two Missouri Valley Conference foes, Illinois State and Northern Iowa … had one of best matches of 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, season-high 12 digs, and four blocks for 17 points against the Panthers … also had a double-double (14 kills, 10 blocks) against Valparaiso in the opening round of the NCAA Championship … 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 … posted 12 kills against Boston College in the BIG EAST semifinals … had eight kills on .333 hitting to go with five blocks in sweep of UC Irvine … started 116 of 120 matches during her career, including each of the last 80 (dating back to Sept. 27, 2002) … was a key contributor for the Irish throughout her career, appearing in 96.1% (420 of 437) of the games during her career, the second-highest percentage in school history … played in all but one of the 120 matches … also in the Irish career record book in solo blocks (5th, 94), attack attempts (4th, 3453), kill average (9th, 3.15), matches with 20+ kills (T-7th, 7), matches with team-high kills (7th, 37), and total blocks (9th, 409) … 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.