Sept. 8, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Sophomore MB Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.) was named the BIG EAST Conference Co-Player of the Week on Monday after earning MVP honors and helping the Notre Dame volleyball team to the tournament title in the Longhorn Classic over the weekend. Also gaining a share of the honor was Gini Ullery of Pittsburgh.
Kelbley, who was named to the all-tournament team for both the season-opening Four Points Sheraton Classic and the Longhorn Classic, slammed 30 kills in two matches last week, while making just five errors for a .446 attack percentage. In addition, she was in on a team-high 14 blocks. Against Houston, Kelbley registered a career-high 22 kills on .462 hitting to go along with eight blocks in helping the Irish to a come-from-behind 3-2 victory. She hit .412 vs. host Texas, while notching eight kills (with only one error) and six blocks. Through the first two weeks of the season, Kelbley leads the BIG EAST with a .394 attack percentage.
The 22 kills was the most by a Notre Dame player since OPP/OH Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers H.S.) had 22 in the five-game Irish upset of #10 Pepperdine in the championship of the Golden Dome Invitational on Sept. 14, 2002. Loomis was last week’s BIG EAST player of the week.
The award marked the third league honor copped by Kelbley in her collegiate career and her first player-of-the-week designation. She was the BIG EAST Rookie of the Week twice in 2002 (Sept. 2 and Oct. 13).
Boston College’s Alison Shepp was named the conference rookie of the week, also announced Monday.
After opening the season with five matches away from home, Kelbley and the Irish will begin a seven-match homestand Tuesday, taking on undefeated Valparaiso at 7 p.m. (EST) in the Joyce Center. That begins a stretch of five home matches in eight days, including this weekend’s Shamrock Invitational, which features matches against Indiana, Utah, and South Carolina.