Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Lauren Kelbley Named BIG EAST Volleyball Rookie Of The Year

Nov. 22, 2002

The BIG EAST Conference held its annual awards banquet on the eve of the BIG EAST volleyball championship in Pittsburgh, Pa., and a University of Notre Dame player nabbed a major award for the fourth straight year.

Freshman Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio) was named the 2002 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year by the league’s coaches on Friday evening.

A 6-3 middle blocker, Kelbley led the Irish in hitting with a .349 mark and was second on the team in blocks (1.10) and third in kills (2.71). She was honored as the rookie of the week twice during the regular season and her strong play at the net has helped the Irish rank as the best blocking team in the nation for much of the season. Kelbley ended the 2002 regular season on a string of double-digit kill matches (10, 13, 15) and hit .643, .481 and .609 in those contests.

Sophomore outside hitter Emily Loomis was the lone Irish representative on the all-BIG EAST first team. Loomis has led Notre Dame in kills for the entire season, chalking up 335 in 93 games (3.60). She enjoyed a nine-match stretch of double-digit kills this season, including four 20-kill matches during that streak.

Kelbley landed on the all-BIG EAST second team with teammate Kristen Kinder. Kinder is the Irish setter, helping the team to a .263 hitting percentage on the year and into the top 30 in the nation in that category. She has also posted seven double-double matches this season.

Notre Dame’s final award on the evening went to freshman middle blocker Lauren Brewster, who was named to the honorable mention all-BIG EAST team. Brewster has been ranked among the leaders in the nation for block average this season and is on pace to set a freshman record at Notre Dame for blocks in a season. She led the BIG EAST in block average the entire season, ending up with 148 blocks and a 1.66 average.

Virginia Tech’s Greg Smith took home the BIG EAST Coach of the Year award after leading his team to the conference championship in its second season of BIG EAST competition. Miami’s Mallorey James took home the BIG EAST Setter of the Year trophy, while teammate Valeria Tipiana was named the BIG EAST Player of the Year.

The championship begins Saturday, Nov. 23, when Notre Dame faces fourth-seeded Connecticut at 1 p.m.

All-BIG EAST First Team

Marcella Gamarra, Miami

Mallorey James, Miami

Christine Lambert, Connecticut

Emily Loomis, Notre Dame

Cheryl Stinson, Virginia Tech

Valeria Tipiana, Miami

All-BIG EAST Second Team

Shayla Bush, Rutgers

Ana Lang, Virginia Tech

Lauren Kelbley, Notre Dame

Kristen Kinder, Notre Dame

Megan Miller, Pittsburgh

Carrie Norris, Pittsburgh

All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention

Jackie Ahlers, St. John’s

Sara Albert, Georgetown

Lauren Brewster, Notre Dame

Wendy Hatlestad, Pittsburgh

Lauren Warner, Georgetown

Melissa Wooley, Connecticut