Oct. 21, 2002
HONOLULU, Hawaii – The University of Notre Dame volleyball team took advantage of fall break to escape the cold weather of South Bend, Ind., and travel to Hawai’i to take on the #2-ranked Rainbows in two matches (Oct. 21 & 22). The trip represented the first time the Irish had traveled to Hawai’i to face the Rainbows since 1996. The Irish were greeted in a less than welcoming fashion, as they were defeated in three games (30-26, 30-23, 30-17) on Monday before 6,501 fans at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu.
Notre Dame, which entered the match ranked first in the nation in blocks (3.81), had another strong performance in that area with 10 blocks for the match. Freshman middle blocker Lauren Brewster, currently ranked 12th in the country in blocks per game, led the Irish with five blocks (1 solo). Junior Katie Neff had 11 kills with only one error on 33 attempts (.303 hitting pct.) and four blocks. Junior outside hitter Jessica Kinder added 10 kills with only one error on 25 attempts (.360).
Ultimately, the Irish efforts were not enough as the Rainbows prevailed in progressively easier fashion. The first game was close as Hawai’i won 30-26. The second game saw Hawai’i win with more room to spare at 23-30. In the final game, the Rainbows sealed the deal going away with a 30-17 victory. Kim Willoughby led Hawai’i with 23 kills on 49 attempts (.306). The Rainbows, leading the country in hitting percentage (.339), hit .329 as a team for the match.
The Irish will get a second chance against the Rainbows tonight (Oct. 22) at 7:00 p.m. at the Stan Sheriff Center.