Nov. 18, 2005
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Notre Dame’s Debbie Brown became the first five-time BIG EAST Women’s Volleyball Coach of the Year, and her team led all schools with a quintet of players on the all-conference teams when the 2005 league awards were announced Thursday evening at the annual BIG EAST banquet, held in the Marriott Louisville Downtown. Seniors MB Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood H.S.), libero Meg Henican (New Orleans, La./Isidore Newman H.S.), and OH/MB Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.) were first-team honorees, while sophomores OH Adrianna Stasiuk (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South H.S.) and S Ashley Tarutis (Long Beach, Calif./Los Alamitos H.S.) earned spots on the second team.
Notre Dame – which was 13-1 in conference action to earn a share of its 10th regular-season championship in 11 years of league membership – had five players on the all-BIG EAST teams for the first time ever. No other school had more than three players tabbed to the all-conference teams, which recognized two groups of 12 for the first time (after previously having two teams of six and another group of six honorable-mention selections). Conference co-champion Louisville, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse all had three honorees. The Irish had put four players on the all-BIG EAST teams on five occasions: 1995, ’97, ’99, 2000, and ’01. In 2000, ND had five players earn accolades, as Denise Boylan, Christi Girton, and Kristy Kreher were first-team picks, Marcie Bomhack was on the second team, and Kim Fletcher was tabbed to the now-defunct all-rookie team.
The Irish were the only squad to have three first-team honorees, and Brewster, Kelbley, and Henican became the first trio of classmates to be on the all-BIG EAST first team in the same season. Notre Dame has now placed three on the first team on five occasions (also in 1995, ’97, 2000, and ’03) and has now accounted for exactly one-third (24 of 72) of the total spots on the all-BIG EAST first team in its time as a league member. Brewster was one of four players to be unanimous first-team picks, a distinction she also earned in 2004. She also was a first-teamer in 2003. Brewster became the sixth player from any school ever to be a three-time pick on the all-BIG EAST first team. She joined Notre Dame’s Jaimie Lee (1995-97) in that group, as well as Pittsburgh’s Ann Marie Lucanie (1991-93) and Jennie Driscoll (1994-96), Perrette Arrington from Seton Hall (1992-94), and Villanova’s Stacy Evans (1994-95, ’97).
Kelbley – also a first-team pick in 2003 and a second-team honoree in both 2002 and ’04 – became just the third player from any school ever to be tabbed to one of the all-BIG EAST teams in each of her four seasons, joining Pittsburgh’s Jennie Driscoll (1993-96) and Villanova’s Stacy Evans (1994-97). Kelbley also is the seventh Irish player to earn multiple spots on the all-BIG EAST first team. Brewster and Kelbley are just the second set of classmates to both be in that group, joining current AVP beach professionals Angie Harris and Jaimie Lee (1994-97).
Henican and Pittsburgh’s Megan McGrane – who was tabbed the BIG EAST Libero of the Year for the second time (also in 2003) in the award’s three years of existence – made history as the first liberos ever to be named to the all-BIG EAST first team. Henican earned the first postseason all-conference recognition of her career, as did Stasiuk and Tarutis.
League newcomers nabbed the other two major awards, as senior OH Lena Ustymenko from Louisville was the BIG EAST Player of the Year, and Cincinnati’s MB Jessie Nevitt was the rookie of the year.
Brown also was tabbed the BIG EAST Coach of the Year in 1995, 2000, ’01, and ’03. She has now won the conference-coach-of-the-year award on 10 times in her career, having previously done so in the Pac-10 (1986) and four times in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (1991-94). Since the BIG EAST’s award debuted in 1991, only two other coaches have won it multiple times (Connecticut’s Ellen Crandall in 1993 and ’94; Syracuse’s Jing Pu in 1996 and 2004), and no one else has won more than a pair of them.
Her 15th year leading Notre Dame has seen the Irish turn in one of their best seasons ever. Brown’s squad currently stands 24-2, which matches the best 26-match record in Irish history, and ranked eighth in the CSTV/AVCA poll. Notre Dame became the first school ever to begin the season unranked and then ascend into the top five in that listing, reaching a program-best fifth on Oct. 31. The Irish have knocked off a quartet of top-15 teams (#11 Texas, #8 USC, #6 Florida, and #6 Louisville) and began 22-1 for the first time in program history.
Notre Dame, seeded first after winning a share of its 10th BIG EAST regular-season championship, will look for its ninth title in the BIG EAST Championship, which runs Friday-Sunday in the Kentucky International Convention Center. The Irish (24-2, 13-1), ranked eighth in the CSTV/AVCA poll, will get underway on Friday by taking on eighth-seeded Villanova (21-10, 8-6) at 12:30 p.m. (EST).
See below biographical updates on Notre Dame’s all-conference honorees.
Lauren Brewster, Senior, MB, Brentwood, TN, Brentwood H.S. – One of the top middle blockers in the nation has the ability to dominate matches both offensively and defensively … the second All-American in program history earned third-team accolades in 2004 and is one of the most accomplished and decorated players ever to play for the Irish … tabbed the BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year in 2005 after being the conference tournament MVP in ’04 … first-team all-BIG EAST pick in final three seasons (unanimous in ’04 and ’05) to become just second player in Irish history to earn a spot on that team three times … has continued to excel in her final season, saving her best performances for the biggest matches … in the five Irish matches against nationally-ranked teams (ND has won all of them), she is averaging 4.69 kills per game on .302 hitting to go with 1.69 blocks per game … has increased her scoring production, as she currently boasts career highs in both kill average (4.03) and points per game (5.11) … one of the co-captains on a Notre Dame team that has established itself as one of the best in school history … voted to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 5 First Team, becoming the first Irish player since 1998 to earn academic all-district accolades from the College Sports Information Directors of America … moved on to the national ballot for Academic All-America, as one of just nine players from teams currently in the national top 25 … the 2003 NCAA blocking champion ranks among the top 25 in Division I in that category for the fourth consecutive season (21st, 1.52 per game) … also has Notre Dame among the top five nationally in team blocking (5th, 3.52 per game) for the fourth consecutive season … one of just two players who is among the BIG EAST leaders in four categories, ranking second in blocks, fourth in points (5.11 per game), and seventh in kills (4.03) and hitting percentage (.320) … combines with Lauren Kelbley to make ND the only team with two in the league leaders in points and pairs with Carolyn Cooper to give the Irish two of the BIG EAST’s top five blockers … in conference action, she finished third in hitting percentage (.396), fourth in points (5.03), fifth in blocks (1.43), and seventh in kills (4.02) … leads Notre Dame in all four of those categories and is bidding to lead the Irish in both kills and hitting percentage for the second consecutive season after no Irish player had done that since 1991 (Marilyn Cragin) … was team’s top performer during torrid start to season that saw Irish pull off three upsets of top-15 teams … tabbed MVP of The Inn at Saint Mary’s Shamrock Invitational (10 GP, 46 K, .310, 15 B, 10 D, 56.5 pts.) and the UTSA Dome Rally (10 GP, 52 K, 18 B, 63.5 pts.), one of the nation’s top in-season tournaments, featuring four nationally-ranked teams, to bring her career total of tournament MVP awards to five … became the first player from any school since the Irish joined the league in 1995 to be the solo BIG EAST Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks, winning the honor on Sept. 5 and 12 … her eight awards of that type are by far the best in Irish history … also has been listed on BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll five times (8/29, 10/10, 10/31, 11/7, 11/14) … became the first Notre Dame player since 1993 to be named National Player of the Week by any organization, winning the honor from Collegiate Volleyball Update on Sept. 6 after the Shamrock Invitational … posted 10 kills on .381 hitting to go with four digs and two blocks in the two game fives in that tournament, leading the Irish to a pair of victories … averages 2.60 kills on .284 hitting to go with 2.88 points in her career in fifth games … is all over the Irish record book, ranking among the top 10 in 13 categories … already broke the ND record for career block assists (562, previous record was 516 by Mary Leffers from 1996-99) … is just 29 blocks away from the total blocks record of 699 set by Mary Kay Waller from 1985-88 … also ranks second all-time in attack percentage (.317) and block average (1.63) … stands just 24 kills away from becoming the fifth player in Irish history – and the first to play predominantly at middle blocker – to register 1,400 career kills … is the only player to rank among Notre Dame’s all-time top five in both hitting percentage and kill average … on other career lists, ranks fourth in matches with 10+ kills (74) and solo blocks (108), fifth in kill average (3.35), tied for fifth in matches leading the team in kills (41), and seventh in matches with 20+ kills (8) … combines with Lauren Kelbley to be just the second set of classmates to post 1,300 kills each … together they have put together 2,731 kills, the second-highest total by Notre Dame classmates (3,023 by current AVP players Angie Harris and Jaimie Lee from 1994-97) … has played in 411 of the 425 games over the past four seasons, a 96.7% mark that is on pace to break the Irish record (currently 96.5% by Jenny Birkner from 1993-96) … has played in all 118 matches and could join Birkner and Janelle Karlan (1990-93) as the only Irish players ever to play in every match during their Notre Dame careers … her outputs in 2005 place among the all-time Irish season top-10 lists in kill average (8th), hitting percentage (10th), and block average (10th) … already holds three of the top nine season block averages in ND history … led Irish in blocks 16 times, points 13 times, kills 10 times, attack percentage on nine occasions, and twice in aces … has had nine or more kills in 25 of 26 matches this season and 10+ in 21 (74 during her career) … has hit over .300 in 12 of the last 13 matches (.400+ eight times, .500+ three times) and on 16 occasions overall this season … has hit .500+ on 17 occasions during her career and has notched double-digit blocks 15 times … began the season with 16 kills on .416 hitting and six blocks in a three-game win against Michigan … registered 18 kills and 12 blocks (her 18th career double-double) to go with five digs and two aces for 25.5 points in five-game upset of #11 Texas … delivered solo block on Dariam Acevedo on game point to put Irish up 2-0 … had three kills – including one on match point – and two blocks in final 11 points after Irish trailed 8-6 in decisive game vs. Longhorns … followed that up with a career-high 28 kills on .328 hitting and season-high 31 points the next day vs. Arizona State … that marked the second-most kills ever by a Notre Dame middle blocker and the most by any player in the Joyce Center since 2000 … had 17 kills and six blocks in upset of #8 USC … posted 20 kills – a career high in a three-game match – on .429 hitting to go with seven blocks for 24.5 points in upset of #6 Florida … had 14 kills on .448 hitting vs. Seton Hall … posted 17 kills on .389 hitting against St. John’s and 16 kills on .483 hitting at Connecticut the following day … posted 15 kills on .545 hitting at DePaul … registered eight blocks vs. Illinois State … had 12 kills on 22 errorless swings for .545 hitting vs. South Florida … hit season-high .571 (10 kills, 2 errors, 14 attempts) and had eight blocks against Georgetown … once again came through with big match against a top-10 team, posting 20 timely kills on .366 hitting against Louisville … kill at 26-26 ignited late run in first game that ended 30-28 … posted kills on three of final five points in game two after Louisville cut lead to 27-26 … broke 25-25 game-four tie with a kill that sent Irish to victory … joined Adrianna Stasiuk, who also had 20 kills, to be the first Irish duo to have 20 kills each since Oct. 8, 2000 (Christi Girton-30, Kristy Kreher-22) … had 17 kills on .481 hitting at West Virginia and 20 on .364 hitting at Pittsburgh … did not make an error in two matches over the final weekend of the BIG EAST season, slamming 19 kills on 42 attempts (.452) and adding nine blocks against Villanova and Rutgers.
Meg Henican, Senior, L/OH, New Orleans, LA, Isidore Newman H.S. – One of the nation’s top liberos and the top defensive player in Notre Dame history is an unsung hero for the Irish … has earned very few individual honors despite being a standout player over the past few seasons … combined with Pittsburgh’s Megan McGrane to become the first liberos ever to be named to the all-BIG EAST first team, in 2005 … one of the top defensive players and passers ever to play for the Irish … will likely finish her career with every school record involving digs, though she has been aided by the addition of the libero position … second-year team captain has led the Irish to one of their best seasons in program history … extremely solid passer and serve receiver has been tops on the team for each of the last three seasons … has led ND to its three best serve-receiving seasons in Irish history … after the school record for low opponent ace average in the first 23 years of the program was 1.11 per game (in 1996), she has led Irish teams that averaged 0.94 per game in 2003 and 0.96 in ’04 before surrendering just 0.69 per game in ’05 … has taken 50% of opposing serves this season, allowing just 19 aces in 973 attempts (98.0% reception percentage) … had a streak of 238 consecutive receptions without an error from Sept. 25-Oct. 15 … also has been the catalyst for one of the top defensive teams in Notre Dame history … the Irish led the BIG EAST in digs in conference action (17.70 per game; runner-up West Virginia had 16.76) after never before placing higher than sixth (in both 2003 and ’04, when Henican was the team’s top defensive player) … ND also leads the league in overall digging (18.05; best-ever finish is sixth) and ranks among the NCAA leaders for the first time ever (24th) … Irish average would rank as second-best in program history (record is 18.25 in 1992) … stands just 61 digs shy of the Irish career record of 1,640 by Christy Peters (1991-94) … ranks fourth in BIG EAST leaders in digs (4.66 per game) and finished third in dig average in conference matches (5.04), matching the best-ever finish by a Notre Dame player (which she did in 2004) … leads Notre Dame in both digs and reception percentage and ranks second in assists (37/0.41) … became the first Irish player ever to post 400+ digs in three seasons … posted career-high 74 digs on career-best .163 hitting during early portion of the season when she was playing outside hitter … also has posted career highs in both service aces (19/0.21) and points (104.5/1.15) this season … is on pace to break Peters’ record for career dig average (4.01; Peters – 3.72) and has already broken her marks for matches leading the team in digs (62; Peters – 55) and matches with 10+ digs (88; Peters – 79) … had her school-record streak of 32 consecutive matches with 10+ digs broken when she finished with just eight digs against Oklahoma on Sept. 10 … since then, has put together a streak of 21 straight matches with double-digit digs, the second-best string in program history … also has to her credit both of the two longest streaks of consecutive matches leading the Irish in digs, an 11-match string in 2004 and another 11-match streak including the final 10 matches of last year and the ’05 season opener … her dig total of 424 this season ranks as the fifth-highest in Irish history, while her average of 4.66 is second only to her 4.94 mark in 2004 … her move into the libero jersey also kick-started the Irish offense, which is averaging 16.78 kills per game on .288 hitting over the last 18 matches (after averaging 14.81 kills on .200 hitting in first eight) … has led team in aces on four occasions … started at outside hitter in first eight matches of season (and played there in one game of the ninth match) … in 32 games at OH, had 72 kills (2.29 per game) on .158 hitting to go with 118 digs (3.69) and 18 blocks (0.56) … opened season with 22 digs and 23 errorless receptions … posted career-high six blocks in five-game upset of #11 Texas, while also taking 46 serves without making an error … had season-high 15 kills on .303 hitting plus 21 digs for season-best 18.5 points against Arizona State … posted 10 kills on .300 hitting to go with 12 digs and four blocks in upset of #8 USC … had solo block on Staci Venski (who had 20 kills in the match) to put ND up 31-30 in game two (which ND won 32-30) … had 11 kills against Oklahoma … in upset of #6 Florida, had a kill at 29-29 in game-two victory … took 45 serves without an error against LSU … made error on first reception attempt of third game vs. Seton Hall on Sept. 25 and then went 238 in a row before making an error in the first game against DePaul on Oct. 15 … had 22 digs at Loyola Chicago and season-high 26 in sweep of Syracuse (37 receptions without an error) … had 18 digs and 38 receptions without an error at Marquette … posted 19 digs and took 43 serves without an error vs. Valparaiso … received 60 serves without an error at St. John’s (a season high), while also accounting for 22 digs … had 19 digs at Illinois State … posted 22 digs and took 42 serves without making an error in upset win against #6 Louisville … had 23 digs and didn’t make a reception error (23 attempts) at West Virginia … posted 21 digs and no reception errors (21 attempts) against Villanova.
Lauren Kelbley, Senior, OH/MB, Bascom, OH, Hopewell-Loudon H.S. – Talented and versatile player has established herself as one of the best in Notre Dame history … stands as the only current college player to have been an AVCA all-region selection in each of the last three seasons … also was AVCA honorable mention All-America in 2003 and ’04 … one of just three players from any school ever to be tabbed to the all-BIG EAST teams in each of her four seasons (first team in 2003 and ’05, second team in ’02 and ’04) … key leader on one of the best teams in Notre Dame history … one of the most-reliable producers ever to wear an Irish uniform, as she has posted 10+ kills on 83 occasions during her career (21 In 2005), the second-best total in program history (88 by current AVP player Angie Harris from 1994-97) … has improved her serving throughout her career, increasing her ace output in each of the last three seasons … leads Irish in 2005 with 39 aces (0.43 per game) and has made just 36 service errors … her season totals place her seventh on the all-time Irish list of top season service aces and tied for 10th in total aces … ranks fifth in BIG EAST in aces and also is seventh in points (4.56 per game) … combines with Lauren Brewster to make Notre Dame the only school with multiple players among the league leaders … in league-only action, she was tied for eighth in the BIG EAST (17/0.36) … in addition to leading team in aces, also ranks second on Irish in kills (333/3.66) and points (415/4.56) and third in hitting percentage (.278) and service ace-to-error ratio (1.08) … ranks among Irish career leaders in 11 categories, including fourth in kill average (3.35), tied for fourth in service aces (116), and sixth in kills (1,355) … other rankings include fourth in percentage of games played (95.1%), tied for fifth in matches with 10+ kills (9), sixth in ace average (0.29), seventh in hitting percentage (.289) and percentage of matches played (97.5%), ninth in matches leading the Irish in kills (36), and 10th in total blocks (391) … combines with Lauren Brewster to be just the second set of classmates to post 1,300 kills each … together they have put together 2,731 kills, the second-highest total by Notre Dame classmates (3,023 by current AVP players Angie Harris and Jaimie Lee from 1994-97) … has led Irish in aces 14 times this season and has been tops in kills eight times, points six times, attack percentage on four occasions, and blocks three times … listed on BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Oct. 3 … began season with 15 kills on .361 hitting to go with three aces against Michigan … recorded first career double-double against Arizona State, finishing with 18 kills and 10 digs, plus four blocks for 22 points … posted season-high 25 kills and three aces for 29 points in Notre Dame’s four-game upset of #8 USC … had seven kills in game two, including two that erased game points after the Women of Troy (already up a game) led 29-27 … final kill came on match point to give ND first win over USC since 1995 … her 10th kill against #6 Florida came at 28-28 in the third game to give the Irish a match point – which they converted … also had a kill to finish game one … had 15 kills on .412 hitting and five blocks and three aces at Tulane … posted 13 kills on .367 hitting against Seton Hall … pounded 24 kills on 32 attempts for .688 attack percentage at Loyola Chicago … also matched career high with four aces (and no service errors) against the Ramblers … had 15 kills on .324 hitting vs. Syracuse … posted 13 kills and three blocks vs. Valparaiso … posted 14 kills and no errors on 22 swings for .636 hitting mark against DePaul … turned in season-best six blocks at Illinois State … had nine kills on 18 attempts for .444 hitting vs. South Florida … had 11 kills, seven digs, three aces, and two blocks in four-game win against #6 Louisville … finished with 13 kills on .357 hitting vs. Cincinnati … registered 14 kills on .565 hitting against Saint Louis … had 16 kills and five digs at Pittsburgh.
Ashley Tarutis, Sophomore, S, Long Beach, CA, Los Alamitos H.S. – Fiery second-year starter has a knack for winning … has led Notre Dame to a 44-10 record in her starts, including a 5-1 mark against teams ranked among the national top 15 … named to all-BIG EAST second team in 2005 (no setters earned first-team accolades) … leads conference and ranks 27th nationally in assists per game (12.97) … helped Irish to lead the conference in assists per game (15.55) in league action and rank second in hitting percentage (.289) and kills (16.79) … in overall action, has Notre Dame third in conference in both hitting percentage (.256) and kills per game (16.10) … ranks second on team in service aces (25/0.27) and service ace-to-error ratio (1.09), as well as third in digs (234/2.57) and service percentage (.946) … in second season as a starter, has increased assist average (from 10.27 in 2004 to 12.97 in ’05), hitting percentage (.204 to .242), team hitting percentage (.227 to .256), dig average (2.38 to 2.57), service percentage (.935 to .946), service ace-to-error ratio (0.89 to 1.09), and block average (0.26 to 0.45) … already has more assists (1,180) and blocks (41) than she did in her rookie season … helped the Irish led the BIG EAST in digs in conference action (17.70 per game; runner-up West Virginia had 16.76) after never before placing higher than sixth … ND also leads the league in overall digging (18.05; best-ever finish is sixth) and ranks among the NCAA leaders for the first time ever (24th) … Irish average would rank as second-best in program history (record is 18.25 in 1992) … also a big reason that ND has a service ace-to-error ratio of 0.781, which would rank as second-best in Irish history … her assist average would rank as the third-highest season mark in Notre Dame history … already ranks sixth in Irish career record book in assists (2,330) and is third in assist average (11.48) … also ranks eighth in service ace average (0.28) … has Notre Dame averaging 16.10 kills per game, which would be the fourth-best mark in program history … has led a resurgent Irish offense that is averaging 16.77 kills on .288 hitting over the last 18 matches after averaging 14.81 on .200 hitting in the first eight matches … has played in every match over the past two seasons and led the Irish in assists in each … also has been tops in aces five times this season (12 in career) … was named to BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll twice (Sept. 25 & Oct. 17) … has 14 double-doubles this season to bring her career total to 26 … has led Irish to .300+ hitting on nine occasions this season (after doing so just six times a year ago), including three marks over .400 … orchestrated a near-perfect Irish attack at DePaul on Oct. 15, as Notre Dame posted its highest hitting percentage in 20 years (and second-highest ever), finishing with 53 kills and six errors on 90 attempts for a .522 mark … in final game, her offense had 14 kills and one error on 16 swings (DePaul dug just one ball) for an .812 hitting mark, the highest in any game in the 15-year Debbie Brown era … led Irish to back-to-back five-game victories against #11 Texas and Arizona State to claim the Shamrock Invitational championship … had career-high 65 assists and 18 digs, while leading Irish to .266 hitting against the Sun Devils … posted 56 assists and 10 digs in leading ND over #8 USC … came back two days later with 46 assists and 13 digs in three-game sweep of #6 Florida … set team to .319 hitting mark against Seton Hall (including three kills of her own on as many swings) and followed that up with a .385 hittng day at Loyola Chicago … recorded 51 assists at Marquette and 56 at St. John’s … turned in 16 digs against Valparaiso … posted 42 assists and set Irish to .355 hitting mark at Connecticut … had 51 assists, nine digs, and four blocks at Illinois State … set team to .451 hitting against South Florida and .393 mark vs. Georgetown … led Irish to upset of #6 Louisville and finished with 63 assists, a career high for her in a four-game match … had 43 assist the following day against Cincinnati … notched 48 assists – a career high for a three-game affair – in leading team to .417 hitting against Saint Louis … helped team hit .308 at West Virginia … had 46 assists and led Irish to .326 hitting against Villanova.
Adrianna Stasiuk, Sophomore, OH, Park Ridge, IL, Maine South H.S. – Notre Dame’s best all-around player has been a big contributor for the second year in a row … has settled into role as starting outside hitter after playing libero in early portion of season … named to all-BIG EAST second team … made Notre Dame the first school ever to have multiple players honored as Collegiate Volleyball Update’s National Player of the Week (following Lauren Brewster) by winning the award on Oct. 25 after having outstanding all-around week … averaged 4.30 kills on .396 hitting to go with 3.90 digs and 1.50 blocks for 5.75 points per game in wins against Illinois State, South Florida, and Georgetown … during that week, she posted match-high numbers on nine occasions in six different categories during the week … is the only non-libero among the BIG EAST leaders in digs, coming in sixth in overall play (320/4.10) and finishing eighth in conference action (174/3.70) … combines with Meg Henican to make ND the only team to have two players among the conference digging leaders … also one of the team’s top two serve receivers, combining with Henican the last two years to make that an Irish strength … a year ago, they held opponents to just 0.96 aces per game (the second-best mark in program history) … this season, the Irish are surrendering just 0.69 per game, which would smash the Notre Dame record (0.94 in 2003) … has taken 30% of serves and made just 18 errors in 591 attempts, a reception percentage of 97.0% … went five straight matches without a reception error from Oct. 5-17 … also has combined with Henican to make this one of the best defensive teams in Notre Dame history … the Irish led the BIG EAST in digs in conference action (17.70 per game; runner-up West Virginia had 16.76) after never before placing higher than sixth … ND also leads the league in overall digging (18.05; best-ever finish is sixth) and ranks among the NCAA leaders for the first time ever (24th) … Irish average would rank as second-best in program history (record is 18.25 in 1992) … ranks second on team in digs, as well as third in kills (219/2.81), assists (36/0.46), and reception percentage, and fourth in blocks (61/0.78) and points (273.5/3.50) … … in second season as a starter, has increased kill average (from 2.49 in 2004 to 2.81 in ’05), hitting percentage (.168 to .222), serve percentage (.887 to .914), dig average (2.96 to 4.10), and point average (2.38 to 3.51) … in career record book, already ranks third in dig average (3.43) and fifth in service ace average (0.29) … has put together an outstanding defensive season, as her dig average would rank as the third-highest season average ever (behind Henican’s marks in 2004 and ’05) … is on pace to combine with Henican to break the Irish record for combined digs by teammates that they set a year ago (883) … posted first Notre Dame triple-double since 1998 as a rookie and has eight double-doubles this season to bring her career total to 17 … posted four consecutive double-doubles (vs. Marquette, Valparaiso, St. John’s, and Connecticut), matching the third-longest string in Irish history … has had 10+ kills 11 times this season and has hit the 20-dig mark on four occasions (after not doing that at all in 2004) … has led team in digs nine times, kills and points on five occasions each, plus four times in aces, and three times in attack percentage and blocks … missed first three matches of season due to an offseason rib injury … returned in first career appearance as Irish libero against #8 USC and responded with career-high 29 digs and 21 receptions without an error in leading ND to upset victory … had 24 digs two days later in helping Notre Dame to a sweep of #6 Florida … posted 24 digs against LSU … has played only at outside hitter since Sept. 27 … had 14 kills on .355 hitting to go with 21 digs against Marquette … followed that up with 13 kills and 12 digs, plus 24 receptions without an error against Valparaiso … had 16 kills and 10 digs at St. John’s and 10 kills and 11 digs, plus four blocks vs. Connecticut … turned in 12 kills on .579 hitting at DePaul … had 20 kills on .349 hitting to go with 16 digs and four blocks for career-high 22.5 points against Illinois State … notched nine kills on 17 swings (.471) and 13 digs and four blocks vs. South Florida … posted 14 kills on .419 hitting to go with 10 digs and season-high seven blocks (career-high four solo) vs. Georgetown … cranked career-high 21 kills to go with 18 digs in leading Notre Dame to an upset of #6 Louisville … combined with Lauren Brewster to be the first set of Irish teammates to hit 20 kills apiece in a match since Oct. 8, 2000 (Christi Girton-30, Kristy Kreher-22) … converted at 29-28 in game one and ended match with another kill … had 14 digs at West Virginia and 13 at Pittsburgh … registered seven kills on 23 errorless swings (.304) against Villanova, while accounting for 15 digs and five blocks … notched 10 kills and 14 digs vs. Rutgers.