Oct. 24, 2003
CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – An outstanding blocking night allowed the 14th-ranked University of Notre Dame volleyball team (17-2, 7-0) overcome a poor hitting night to win its 10th consecutive contest, a 3-0 (30-26, 30-21, 30-23) decision against Boston College (15-6, 2-3) Friday evening in Power Gymnasium. The nation’s top blocking team, the Irish challenged a number of school records en route to registering 19 blocks in the match.
Notre Dame, which upped its block average to 3.71, had four in the first game, seven in the second, and eight in the third for a total one shy of the Irish record for blocks in a three-game match. Heading into the week, the nation’s second-best blocking team, Cornell, was averaging 3.32 per game.
Sophomore MB Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood H.S.) led the way with four solos and seven block assists. It marked the fourth time this season – and second in three matches – that she had 10 or more blocks in a match. Brewster missed the Notre Dame record for blocks in a three-game match by two and the record for solo blocks in a three-game match by one. She is now averaging 1.83 blocks per game. Prior to this week, Brewster was third in the nation in blocks, with 1.67. The Division I leader, Rachel Wagener of Maryland, was averaging 1.77 heading into this week.
Junior OPP/OH Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers H.S.) also was strong on Friday, getting in on six blocks, including three of the solo variety.
The Irish net play was a big reason Boston College struggled offensively, finishing with a .007 hitting percentage.
Notre Dame also had trouble getting going offensively, hitting .165 on the evening, matching its second-worst performance of the season. The Irish were led by Loomis, who had 11 kills on .333 hitting, and Brewster, who had seven on a .353 hitting mark.
In a solid all-around game, Loomis also contributed eight digs. Leading Notre Dame was sophomore L/OH Meg Henican (New Orleans, La./Isidore Newman H.S.), who had 10. Seniors Jessica Kinder (Fresno, Calif./Bullard H.S.) and Kristen Kinder (Fresno, Calif./Bullard H.S.) added seven each.
The winning streak is the sixth of 10 or more matches in Irish history and the first since an 11-match streak in 2000.
Notre Dame is off to its best start since 1994 and has won 25 of its last 27 games.
The Irish also have won eight in a row away from home and six straight on opponents’ home courts, with both just two shy of the school records.
After completing a three-match east-coast road swing over fall break, Notre Dame will play its next four matches in the Joyce Center, beginning Wednesday against Illinois State at 7 p.m. (EST).