Rookie Ashley Tarutis helped Notre Dame to its best offensive weekend in matches at Rutgers and Seton Hall.

Irish No. 1 In Northeast In First Region Rankings

Sept. 28, 2004

The University of Notre Dame women’s volleyball team (5-4) was No. 1 in the Northeast Region in the first edition of the Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I Region Ranking, released yesterday. The Irish were ranked 27th overall in the Rich Kern Percentage Index (RKPI), which mimics the NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) published at the end of the season.

The Division I Region Ranking takes into consideration the RKPI of all Division I teams, then ranks each region based on the overall ranking. These rankings are not associated with the official NCAA Division I Regional Rankings, but are provided to give schools input as to how they may be ranked within the region using a computerized formula similar to the NCAA.

Notre Dame finished the 2003 season first in the AVCA Northeast Region rankings, finishing with a 13-2 record against regional foes. The BIG EAST Conference took up seven of the 15 positions – including each of the top four – in the first set of ’04 rankings. Defending league co-champion Pittsburgh (vs. ND on Nov. 12 in the Joyce Center) came in right behind the Irish in the region and 45th overall, while Rutgers (Oct. 9, away) was third in the Northeast and 52nd overall and St. John’s (Oct. 24, home) was fourth in the region and 87th overall. The top non-BIG EAST team in the Northeast Region was Penn, who came in at 99th overall.

Twenty of the 26 teams on Notre Dame’s schedule are ranked among the top 15 in their respective regions, including seven of the foes already faced by the Irish. Leading the way are eight teams that are among the top five in their regions: Nebraska (#1 in Central Region, #3 overall), Long Beach State (#2 in West Region, #10 overall), Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Loyola Chicago (#3 in Midwest Region, #68 overall), Michigan (#4 in Mideast Region, #20 overall), St. John’s, and South Carolina (#4 in South Region, #30 overall).

Other BIG EAST teams listed in the Northeast Region were Villanova (#7, #110 overall), Syracuse (#11, #133 overall), and Connecticut (#14, #149 overall).

Full listings of both the Division I Region Ranking and the complete RKPI are available at and

Following an eight-day layoff, Notre Dame will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., today to face the Wolverines in a battle of teams appearing in the top 30 of the RKPI at 7 p.m. (EDT) in Cliff Keen Arena. The match will feature live internet audio available to College Sports Pass subscribers via and also will be televised by Comcast Sports Local in southeast Michigan on a tape-delayed basis, airing on Friday, Oct. 1 at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) and Sunday, Oct. 3 at 3:30 p.m.