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No. 15 Irish Welcome Three '02 NCAA Qualifiers For Shamrock Invitational

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Sept. 12, 2003

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 15th-ranked University of Notre Dame volleyball team (5-1) welcomes a trio of NCAA tournament participants from 2002 to the Joyce Center this weekend for the only home tournament of the regular season, the Shamrock Invitational. The Irish, who have come away champions from five of the previous eight Shamrock tournaments, will take on Indiana (4-2) on Friday at 7 p.m. (EST), Utah (4-2) on Saturday at the same time, and South Carolina (2-4) on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. (EST).

FOLLOWING THE SHAMROCK INVITATIONAL: Fans and media unable to attend the Shamrock Invitational will have a number of ways of keeping up with the action. Notre Dame?s official athletic website,, will feature links to live scoring of all five matches throughout the weekend, as well as live internet audio broadcasts of the matches involving the Irish, featuring Lorne Oke and Stephen Hinkel, available to subscribers of College Sports Pass. Live stats can be accessed at, which will be available as soon as the match begins. Be advised, however, that statistics displayed are not official until the match is completed. For other ways to follow the Irish, see ?Keeping Up With ND Volleyball? on page 7 of this release.

SNAPSHOT OF THE IRISH: Notre Dame?s women?s volleyball program has experienced a wealth of success since the arrival of head coach Debbie Brown in 1991. In her 12+ seasons, Brown has guided Notre Dame to a winning record every year, compiling a 305-103 (.746) mark. The Irish have earned 11 consecutive berths to the NCAA Championship, including three trips to the round of 16 (1994, ?95, and ?97) and a ?93 quarterfinal finish. Since joining the BIG EAST Conference in ?95, Notre Dame has dominated the league, winning seven regular-season and seven tournament titles in eight years. Overall, the Irish are 87-4 in regular-season BIG EAST play and 16-1 in conference tournament action. Notre Dame is 49-0 in BIG EAST matches in the Joyce Center.

The 2003 Irish team returns 12 monogram winners and six starters from last year?s squad that was 24-8 and earned the No. 16 seed in the NCAA Championship, playing host to first- and second-round play. The Irish also finished second in the nation in blocks per game (3.66) with all the players responsible for that number returning to the fold.

This year?s squad features a new 6-2 rotation, with senior S Kristen Kinder (the ?01 BIG EAST Setter of the Year) and sophomore S Kelly Burrell combining to orchestrate the attack. On the right side, junior OPP/OH Emily Loomis, the ?02 BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Player and a preseason all-conference selection, leads the Irish in kills after doing the same a year ago. Senior OPP Katie Neff also returns for her second year as a major contributor. The middle is patrolled by a pair of sophomores named Lauren. MB Lauren Kelbley, the ?02 BIG EAST and AVCA Northeast Region Rookie of the Year and last week?s league player of the week, and MB Lauren Brewster, who set the Notre Dame record for block assists (161) last year, return for the Irish after stepping in immediately as freshman starters. On the left side, OH Jessica Kinder, twin sister of Kristen, and OH Meg Henican provide a great deal of punch. Both are outstanding defensively, with Henican occasionally seeing time at libero and Kinder having set a school record on Tuesday for digs in a three-game match (28). L Danielle Herndon, the lone freshman on the Irish, is the starting libero.

LAST TIME ON THE COURT: Hot hitting early and an outstanding defensive performance combined to help Notre Dame register a 3-0 victory (30-21, 30-17, 32-30) in its home opener, over Valparaiso, Tuesday night in the Joyce Center, sending the Crusaders to their first loss in nine matches this season. Senior OH Jessica Kinder (Fresno, Calif./Bullard H.S.) set a school record with 28 digs, the most ever by an Irish player in a three-game match, while junior OPP/OH Emily Loomis’ (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers H.S.) 24 kills were just one shy of the Notre Dame record for a three-game contest.

Kinder’s performance, which featured 10 digs in the first game, three in the second, and 15 in the final frame, bettered the previous record by three. Loomis continued her remarkable hitting, slamming 24 kills on 42 attempts without making an attack error. Her .571 attack percentage was the highest mark turned in by a Notre Dame player this season. In the final game, Loomis had 12 kills on 16 attempts — a .750 attack percentage.

Though Kinder showed the way defensively, the whole Irish team got in on the act. All 12 players who saw action registered at least one dig, tallying 81 as a team for an average of 27 per game.

Notre Dame’s offensive accuracy also was exceptional. Over the first two games, the Irish outscored Valparaiso by 22 points, due in large part to a .368 hitting percentage. In those frames, Notre Dame made a total of just three attack errors (with two coming on Valparaiso blocks), including none in the second game.

IRISH GAIN HIGHEST RANKING SINCE 1996: After claiming the championship of the Longhorn Classic over the weekend, Notre Dame jumped six spots to 15th in this week’s USA Today/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25, released Monday. The ranking marks the highest for the Irish since Sept. 30, 1996, when they were 12th.

Four ?03 Irish opponents are listed in this week?s top 25, including three in the top 10. Stanford (Nov. 29, away) leads the way at fourth, while Northern Iowa (Nov. 11, away) is sixth, Pepperdine (L, 1-3) is eighth, and Arizona (W, 3-1) is 14th. North Carolina (Oct. 21, away), Utah (Sept. 13, home), Miami (Nov. 9, home), and Eastern Washington (W, 3-1) received votes, but were not in the top 25.

LOOMIS, KELBLEY FIRST TWO BIG EAST PLAYERS OF WEEK: Sophomore MB Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.) was named a BIG EAST Co-Player of the Week Sept. 8 after her tournament-MVP performance in the Longhorn Classic. Kelbley followed teammate OPP/OH Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers H.S.), who was named the first conference player of the week of the season on Sept. 1.

In the Longhorn Classic, Kelbley slammed 30 kills, 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.

Loomis led the Irish with 42 kills and 14 blocks in the opening weekend of play, while posting a .365 hitting percentage. Against #10 Arizona, she had 14 kills and only two errors for a .522 attack percentage. In the Eastern Washington match, she hit .412, registering 18 kills. Overall, she was responsible for 51 points.

The two-week stretch marked the first time since Nov. 5 & 12 of 2001 that Notre Dame grabbed the BIG EAST Player of the Week award in consecutive weeks, with Kristy Kreher and Kristen Kinder (Fresno, Calif./Bullard H.S.) earning shares of the award in back-to-back weeks. Since then, only one other school has accomplished the feat, with Pittsburgh?s Megan Miller copping player-of-the-week honors in consecutive weeks a year ago (Sept. 23 & 30).

ALL-TOURNAMENT TWOSOME: Irish junior OPP/OH Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers H.S.) and sophomore MB Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.) have made a habit of earning all-tournament honors this season. The pair was named to the Four Points Sheraton Classic all-tournament team in the opening weekend, helping Notre Dame to a 2-1 record highlighted by an upset of #10 Arizona. In the second weekend, Loomis and Kelbley were named to the Longhorn Classic all-tournament team, with the latter being named the event?s MVP.

In the first weekend, Loomis had 42 kills on .365 hitting and was in on 14 blocks. Kelbley slammed 39 kills on a .360 attack percentage. In the most recent tournament, Loomis had 29 kills with a .368 hitting percentage, while Kelbley hit 30 on .446 hitting to go along with 14 blocks.

JESS DIG IT: On Tuesday vs. Valparaiso, Notre Dame senior co-captain OH Jessica Kinder (Fresno, Calif./Bullard H.S.) set a Notre Dame record with 28 digs, the most ever by an Irish player in a three-game match. Her performance, which featured 10 digs in the first game, three in the second, and 15 in the final frame, bettered the previous record by three. Tracey Shelton scrambled for 25 digs in a three-game win over Butler on Oct. 25, 1989. Other than Shelton and Kinder, no other Irish players have ever had more than 21 digs in a straight-game match. Kinder’s previous career high was 22 vs. Pepperdine last September in a five-game affair. She came into Tuesday having registered 40 digs over the first five matches of the season. Kinder?s 28 were the most in any length match for an Irish player since October 25, 1993, when Christy Peters had 31 at Arizona State in a four-game contest.

LETHAL LOOMIS: Junior OPP/OH Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers H.S.) just missed setting an Irish record on Tuesday vs. Valparaiso, when she finished with 24 kills, just one shy of the school record for a three-game contest. On September 15, 1995, Angie Harrris had 25 kills in a three-game win against Colorado. Loomis joined Christy Peters in the 24-kill club. Peters turned the trick in a straight-game defeat against Long Beach State in Chicago on September 11, 1993.

Loomis continued her remarkable hitting, slamming 24 kills on 42 attempts without making an attack error. Her .571 attack percentage was the highest mark turned in by a Notre Dame player this season. In the final game, Loomis had 12 kills on 16 attempts — a .750 attack percentage.

ACCURATE ATTACKING: Though Notre Dame?s team attack percentage is .253 through the first six matches, a pair of Irish players have posted outstanding hitting numbers. Sophomore MB Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.), who was leading the BIG EAST Conference in the category heading into this week, has 80 kills and just 13 errors in six matches for a .411 hitting percentage. Meanwhile, junior OPP/OH Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers H.S.) is hitting .410, with 95 kills and only 15 errors. Also hitting well is sophomore MB Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood H.S.), who has 68 kills and 22 errors for a .333 attack percentage.

At times, the Irish have put up good hitting numbers as a team this season. Notre Dame?s best hitting of the season came in the opener vs. #10 Arizona, when it hit .324. It was one of the top attack percentages in a four-game match in school history. In all, the Irish have had four games in which they have posted attack percentages above .400. The most recent occurrence was the second game against Valparaiso on Tuesday. In it, the Irish had 18 kills on 38 attempts without an attack error for a .474 hitting percentage. Through the first two games against the Crusaders, Notre Dame made just three attack erros (with two coming on Valpo blocks).

Prior to Tuesday, the last time the Irish did not make an attack error in a game was the fifth game vs. USC on November 24, 2000. In that game, Notre Dame had eight kills on 18 attempts, but dropped the game 15-11. The last time the Irish did not commit an attack error in a full-length game (the fifth vs. USC was a rally scoring game to 15) was October 28, 2000 in the first frame against St. John?s, when Notre Dame had 14 kills on 22 swings.

HOME COOKIN?: Notre Dame enters the Shamrock Invitational holding a number of impressive home winning streaks. In regular-season action in the Joyce Center, the Irish have won 34 matches in a row, dating back to a 3-0 loss to #7 Colorado State on Sept. 23, 2000. Since joining the BIG EAST Conference in 1995, Notre Dame has never lost at home to a league opponent, posting a 49-0 record.

YOU DIG ME?: After averaging just 11.80 digs per game through the first six matches, the lowest average in the BIG EAST Conference, Notre Dame?s defense exploded for 81 digs in just three games vs. Valparaiso on Tuesday, an average of 27 per frame. The Irish came out with 29 in the first game and had 17 in the middle set prior to scrambling for 35 in the final frame. The performance was just seven shy of the school record for digs in a three-game match. On October 18, 1991, the Irish had 88 in a three-game win vs. Butler. The 81 digs marked the most by the Irish in any length match since they had 108 in five games against Illinois State on Nov. 14, 2001.

PACKED HOUSE: Notre Dame?s season-opening crowd of 828 vs. Valparaiso marked the best opening-night turnout for the Irish since 1,350 fans were at the 1997 opener vs. Louisville. Tuesday?s attendance marked a 30 percent hike from last season?s first home match and continued a streak of increased attendance at Irish volleyball matches. Dating back to last season, each of the last eight matches has featured crowds of at least 800. In 2002, Notre Dame averaged 1,064 fans per contest throughout the season, good enough for 25th in the nation.

… THE HARDER THEY FALL: Notre Dame?s season-opening 3-1 victory over #10 Arizona in the Four Points Sheraton Classic gave the Irish a top-10 upset in each of the last two seasons. On September 14, 2002, Notre Dame outlasted 10th-ranked Pepperdine in the championship match of the Golden Dome Invitational in the Joyce Center. The win over the Wildcats was the eighth in the program?s history over a top-10 opponent.

HAIL TO THE CHAMPIONS: Notre Dame?s championship in the Longhorn Classic marked the fourth consecutive season the Irish have come away with at least one in-season tournament title, but was the first for Notre Dame outside the Joyce Center since the 2000 Lady Seminole Classic. The Irish won the Shamrock Invitational in each of the last three seasons and also were victorious in the ?02 Golden Dome Invitational

FIVE IN A ROW (AGAIN): A win on Friday would give the Irish a five-match winning streak. It would mark the 13th consecutive season (every year under head coach Debbie Brown) that Notre Dame put together at least one winning streak of five or more. The Irish had three in 2002, winning five straight in mid-September, seven in a row to end that month and begin October, and six in a row to end October and begin November.

START ME UP: By defeating Arizona, Notre Dame stayed perfect in season openers in the 13-year tenure of head coach Debbie Brown. Overall, Brown is 18-1 in season openers, including 5-1 at Arizona State, while the Irish are 19-5 all-time.

This season marked just the third time in the Brown era that Notre Dame opened on the road and the first time since 1990 the Irish opened outside the state of Indiana.

The season opener also was the first time Notre Dame played a ranked opponent in the first match of the season. The win was the first-ever for Notre Dame over a nationally-ranked foe in the month of August. Overall, the Irish are 12-3 all-time in August.

START ME UP II: In beating Valparaiso, Notre Dame continued its tremendous success in home openers, winning its first home match in each of the last 14 years, including all 13 under head coach Debbie Brown. The last time Notre Dame lost its home opener was 1989, when Western Michigan gained a five-game triumph in the Notre Dame Invitational. Overall, the Irish are 18-5 in home openers.

IRISH AMONG THE BIG EAST LEADERS: A number of Irish players were among the BIG EAST Conference statistical leaders through two weeks of play. Sophomore MB Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.) leads the league in hitting percentage with a .394 mark. She also ranks among the leaders in blocks (5th, 1.30) and points (8th, 4.50). Junior OPP/OH Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers H.S.) is 10th in both hitting percentage (.366) and blocks (1.05), while sophomore MB Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood H.S.) is eighth in hitting at .377.

In the team statistics, Notre Dame was near the top in both hitting percentage and blocks. The Irish are second in the latter at 2.70 per game after finishing second in the nation in the category in 2002. In attack percentage, Notre Dme is third at .252. The Irish are holding their opponents to .182 hitting, good enough for fifth-best in the conference.

COMING ALL THE WAY BACK: Notre Dame?s victory against Houston marked the first time the Irish lost the first two games before rallying for a win since Sept. 2, 2000. On that date, Notre Dame lost the opening games (15-5, 15-10) to #15 BYU before coming back with a trio of 15-10 game victories to pull the upset in the Joyce Center. It had been since Nov. 14, 1999 since the Irish overcame a 2-0 deficit for victory away from home. Georgetown took the first two games (15-1, 15-11) before Notre Dame ran off wins of 15-7, 15-6, and 17-15 to preserve an undefeated conference record in the regular-season finale.

MARATHON GAMES: After having never scored more than 35 points in a game prior to this season, the Irish accomplished that feat twice in just over a week. On Aug. 30, Notre Dame outlasted Eastern Washington 37-35 in the opening game of a 3-1 victory, setting an Irish record for points in a game. Then, on Sept. 6, Notre Dame edged Texas 36-34 in the second game of a 3-0 win. The previous Irish record for points in a game was 35, in a 37-35 second-game loss to Virginia Tech on Nov. 17, 2002.

RARE WINS: In the Longhorn Classic, Notre Dame gained victories over a pair of teams that had previously been very successful against the Irish. Prior to this year, Houston had won four of five meetings with Notre Dame, while Texas was 7-1 vs. the Irish. Debbie Brown, however, has had more luck against the Cougars, now boasting a 4-1 mark against them as a head coach.

HIGH AS A KITE: A number of Irish players have registered career highs already this season. Some of the more notable performances are highlighted below.

Sophomore MB Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood H.S.) turned in three career bests against #5 Pepperdine on Aug. 30, with 17 kills on 29 attempts for a .483 attack percentage (her best in a four-game match). Brewster also matched her career-high of six digs against Texas and set a new best in hitting percentage in a five-game match with a .476 mark vs. Houston.

Sophomore MB Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.) set career-high marks in kills twice already this season, most recently with 22 vs. Houston. She also had a career-high 39 attacks against the Cougars.

Senior OH Jessica Kinder (Fresno, Calif./Bullard H.S.) set a pair of personal bests against Houston, dishing out 10 assists and hitting .368, her best career mark in a five-game match. In addition, she had a career-high 28 digs vs. Valparaiso, in setting an Irish record for digs in a three-game match.

In addition, sophomore S Kelly Burrell (Phoenix, Ariz./Xavier Preparatory School) had a career-best 12 digs vs. Texas and senior OPP Katie Neff (St. Louis, Mo./Cor Jesu Academy) matched her best performance with seven blocks in the Houston match.

Junior OPP/OH Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers H.S.) posted a career-best 24 kills vs. Valparaiso. Also in the Valpo match, junior DS/MB Kelly Corbett (Mountain View, Calif./St. Francis H.S.) had a career-high six digs and sophomore MB/OPP Carolyn Cooper (Houston, Texas/Lutheran South Academy) posted personal bests with six kills and two aces.

IRISH vs. HOOSIERS: Indiana comes into the Joyce Center with a 4-2 record, having lost in the championship match of both the Hurricane Invitational and the TIS/Taylor Invitational. The Hoosiers? losses came in four games at Miami and in five games at home against Wisconsin-Green Bay. IU has posted wins against Kansas State, Manhattan, IUPUI, and Southeast Missouri State. Indiana received votes in the preseason AVCA poll, but has not since then.

In 2002, the Hoosiers were 20-13 (10-10 Big Ten) and tied for sixth in the Big Ten Conference. Indiana earned an at-large berth to the NCAA Championship and lost in the first round to Texas in five games. Ten letterwinners, including five starters, return from that squad, highlighted by all-Big Ten first-team selection senior MB Melissa Brewer. She has earned all-tournament honors in each of the two tournaments this season and is averaging 3.92 kills per game on .323 hitting. Junior OH Christina Archibald also was named to back-to-back all-tournament teams. She leads the Hoosiers with 4.42 kills per game, while also averaging 2.50 digs. Junior S Victoria Zimmerman orchestrates the Indiana offense, averaging 12.62 assists per game, while also leading the team with 62 digs (2.58).

Katie Weismiller is in her 11th year with the Hoosiers, compiling a 163-156 (.511) record and a 213-180 (.542) mark in 13 years overall as a head coach.

The Irish and Hoosiers will play for the first time since 1998 and the 11th time overall. The Irish have won six of the previous contests, though Indiana took the most recent, a five-game decision at the Inntower Invitational in Madison, Wis. Prior to that, Notre Dame won the previous four contests. This will be the fifth trip for the Hoosiers to the Joyce Center, with the Irish winning three of the previous contests and Indiana winning in 1990. Two of the three most recent meetings were 3-2 decisions.

IRISH vs. UTES: After starting 0-2, Utah has a 4-2 record heading into the weekend. The Utes will face South Carolina on Friday before taking on the Irish on Saturday. Utah fell to Arizona State (3-1) and San Diego (3-2) in the Sun Devil Classic before beating Ohio and then winning the Hampton Inn Classic with victories against Washington State (3-2), Utah Valley State College (3-0), and Missouri (3-0). Utah is the fifth team receiving votes in the current AVCA poll.

A year ago, Utah was 25-9 (10-4 MWC) and finished third in the Mountain West Conference before winning the league tournament to gain an automatic berth to the NCAA Championship, where the Utes lost to Texas A&M in the opening round. Utah has eight letterwinners, including four starters, back from that team. Leading the way is senior MB Kim Turner, a Mountain West Co-Player of the Year and the league tournament MVP from a year ago. She is the preseason MWC player of the year and earned league player-of-the-week honors last week. Senior L Jackie Morrill, the ?02 MWC Best Defensive Specialist, and junior S Kelsie Kartchner, who was named the top setter in the MWC championship a year ago, also return. Turner leads the Utes in kills (87/3.78) and blocks (36/1.57) and also averages 2.35 digs per game. Morrill is tops in digs, with 69 (3.00), while Kartchner is averaging 10.43 assists per game, though her offense is hitting just .201 on the season. Sophomore OH Shelly Sommerfeldt is averaging 3.39 kills per game.

Beth Launiere is in her 14th season as head coach of Utah, having a 257-164 (.610) record.

The Irish and the Utes will meet for the fourth time and the first since 1999. The teams met in consecutive years from 1997-99, with Notre Dame taking the first and Utah the latter two. The first pair of matches were in straight games, while the Utes won the ?99 matchup 3-1. This will be the first-ever trip for Utah to the Joyce Center.

IRISH vs. GAMECOCKS: South Carolina stands at 2-4 heading into the Shamrock Invitational, having already played five ranked teams. The Gamecocks opened the season with consecutive straight-game losses against #8 Northern Iowa and #1 USC before outlasting Ball State in five games to complete the Holiday Inn Southern Cal Tournament. In the Carolina Classic, 25th-ranked Michigan State beat South Carolina 3-1, but the Gamecocks then upset #17 North Carolina in four games. On Tuesday, South Carolina fell in four games at Clemson. The Gamecocks will take on Utah on Friday and Indiana on Saturday before facing the Irish. South Carolina received votes in the preseason AVCA poll, but has not since then.

A year ago, the ?Cocks were 22-7 (14-2 SEC) and finished second in the Southeastern Conference and in the AVCA South Region. South Carolina gained an at-large berth to the NCAA tournament and beat American before falling in four games to North Carolina in the second round. A pair of starters and five total letterwinners returned from that team, highlighted junior MB Niece Curry, an all-region and all-conference selection. Curry is averaging 2.48 kills per game, but sophomore OH Sarah Morgan (70/3.04) and classmate MB/OH Nicole Miller (59/2.57) have compiled more kills. Freshman OH/L Iris Santos is leading the team in digs (75/3.26), while Miller (63/2.74) and Morgan (61/2.65) also have been successful defensively. Freshman S Katelyn Panzau is averaging 10.91 assists per game, but her offense is hitting just .196.

The Irish and the Gamecocks will meet for just the second time. South Carolina came to the Joyce Center for the 1996 Shamrock Invitational, and Notre Dame took a three-game match.

HEAD COACH Debbie Brown: Irish head coach Debbie Brown is in her 13th season at the helm of the Notre Dame program. She has led the Irish to a 305-103 (.746) mark, while holding a 422-186 (.693) overall record. Brown?s Notre Dame teams have earned 11 consecutive NCAA tournament berths, advancing to the regional finals in 1993 and the regionals in ?94, ?95, and ?97. An eight-time conference coach of the year (4 MCC, 3 BIG EAST, 1 Pac-10), she has coached four Irish players to All-America honors, while 20 have gained all-BIG EAST mention since 1995. The Irish also have claimed 11 regular-season conference titles (4 Midwestern Collegiate, 7 BIG EAST) and 11 league tournament crowns (4 MCC, 7 BIG EAST). The captain of the 1980 U.S. Olympic volleyball team after winning a pair of national championships and earning All-America honors twice playing at USC, Brown graduated from Arizona State in 1982 and coached her alma mater from 1983-88, helping the Sun Devils to five NCAA tournaments.

PRESEASON BIG EAST FAVORITES: Once again Notre Dame is the favorite in the BIG EAST Conference. The Irish, who have captured seven regular-season and seven tournament crowns in their eight years in the league, garnered nine first-place votes and were chosen as the favorite in the preseason volleyball poll of conference head coaches. Miami gained four first-place votes and was picked second with 136 points. The teams will meet in the Joyce Center on November 9 in a match televised by College Sports Television (CSTV) in its Sunday Night Spike national match-of-the-week package.

Two Irish players, junior OPP/OH Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers H.S.) and sophomore middle blocker Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.), were selected to the preseason all-BIG EAST team. Loomis was the Most Outstanding Player in the ?02 BIG EAST Championship, while Kelbley was the conference rookie of the year.