Aug. 31, 2002
For the second consecutive match in a row, the University of Notre Dame volleyball team (2-0) struck the ball hard and straight to overpower its opponent in the Shamrock Invitational. Switching between six players with more than six kills during a three-game victory (30-19, 30-24, 30-23) over Cincinnati (0-2) in the Joyce Center on Saturday evening, the Irish improved their home court winning streak to 24 matches. Notre Dame has not lost at home since Sept. 7, 2000, and are just three matches away from tying the school record for consecutive home court wins.
Much like the victory on Friday over Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Irish utilized their accurate hitters in the front row. Freshman Lauren Kelbley had 12 kills on .600 hitting and Lauren Brewster posted put up eight kills on .412 hitting. Junior outside hitter Jessica Kinder enjoyed a career night with 10 kills and was all over the court collecting 11 digs. Emily Loomis (8), Kristen Kinder (6) and Katie Neff (7) joined their teammates with more than six kills.
Kristen Kinder led the offense through a smooth match, posting 34 assists and 11 digs with three blocks.
Speaking of blocks, Notre Dame was spectacular at the net once again. With 6-5 Neff and 6-3 Brewster in the front row (along with over 6-0 outside hitter Emily Loomis) the Irish but up 15 team blocks for the second match in a row. Everyone played a part in the Notre Dame defense at the net. Brewster led the team with 10 blocks (one solo), while Neff had four, Loomis five and Jessica Kinder and Lauren Kelbley posted two each.
When Cincinnati was able to get a ball through the front-row defense, they found it tough to hit the floor. Libero Janie Alderete led the team with 19 digs (while adding six assists), but Alderete was one of just five players with double-digit digs. Loomis had 14, senior tri-captain Keara Coughlin dug 12 balls and twin sisters Kristen and Jessica Kinder had 11 a piece.
Cincinnati was led by Julie DuPont with 16 kills.
The 25th-ranked Irish squad will go for the Shamrock Invitational title tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. against Cal Poly. Notre Dame is the only undefeated team in the tournament, as Wisconsin-Milwaukee defeated Cal Poly in three games earlier on Saturday.