Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

No. 17 Notre Dame Hits Road For A Pair Of BIG EAST Matches

Oct. 4, 2003

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Following a seven-match homestand, the 17th-ranked University of Notre Dame volleyball team (10-2) will hit the road for the first time in 28 days, traveling to the east coast for a pair of BIG EAST Conference matchups this weekend. The Irish will be in Jamaica, N.Y. to take on St. John’s (18-4) on Saturday at 2 p.m. (EDT) before heading to Storrs, Conn. for a match against Connecticut (10-6) on Sunday at 1 p.m. (EDT).

LIVE STATS AVAILABLE FOR UCONN MATCH: Fans and media will be able to follow Sunday’s match between Notre Dame and Connecticut via live stats accessible at The front page of that site contains a link to the live stats. There will be no live stats for the St. John’s match. 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 310-104 (.747) 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 89-4 in regular-season BIG EAST play and 16-1 in conference tournament action. Notre Dame is 51-0 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.

After playing the first 10 matches with a new 6-2 rotation, the Irish returned to their traditional 5-1 offense last weekend. Senior S Kristen Kinder (the ’01 BIG EAST Setter of the Year) orchestrates the Notre Dame attack for the third consecutive season. 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. Against Valparaiso on Sept. 9, Loomis set a school record for most kills in a match without an error (24). 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 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. Kelbley was the tournament MVP of the Longhorn Classic, while Brewster, who copped the honor in the Shamrock Invitational, leads the BIG EAST in blocks (64/1.52). On the left side, OH Jessica Kinder, twin sister of Kristen, is one of the hardest hitters and also one of the top defensive players on the team. She set a school record for digs in a three-game match (28) on Sept. 9 vs. Valparaiso. Seniors OPP Katie Neff and OPP/OH Kim Fletcher also return as major contributors, starting or rotating in off the bench for front-row play. OH Meg Henican is now the starting libero after playing on the left side in the 6-2. L Danielle Herndon, the lone freshman on the Irish, started the season at libero, but now is a back-row sub.

LAST TIME ON THE COURT: Notre Dame opened BIG EAST play last weekend with a pair of victories. The Irish won in four games on Friday vs. Villanova before sweeping Georgetown on Sunday. In the match against the Wildcats, junior OPP/OH Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers H.S.) had a match-high 17 kills on match-high .412 hitting for a match-high 23.5 points, but she also was effective playing in the back row regularly for the first time this season. She had 11 digs, besting her previous ’03 high mark by four. In addition, she matched her career high with three aces, while not making a service error, after serving only sparingly in the 6-2 rotation. Senior OPP/OH Kim Fletcher (St. Louis, Mo./Nerinx Hall H.S.) slammed 11 kills in her second start of the season. Senior S Kristen Kinder (Fresno, Calif./Bullard H.S.) turned in a strong performance in her first match handling all of the setting duties in ’03. After Notre Dame’s offense struggled in the opening game, Kinder helped it to a .292 hitting percentage over the final three frames. She finished with 51 assists, bettering her previous season best by 16.

Notre Dame turned in its best offensive performance of the season vs. Georgetown, hitting .358 for the match, led by a .706 mark by sophomore MB Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.). She registered 12 kills and no errors on 17 attempts. As a team, the Irish had 40 kills and eight errors on 79 swings in games two and three combined, for a .405 attack percentage. Kinder finished with 39 assists. Sophomore MB Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood H.S.) led all hitters in kills with 16, on .464 hitting. She also matched her career high with three aces and had a match-high 21 points.

IRISH STILL RANKED 17TH: After opening conference play with a pair of home victories last weekend, Notre Dame remained 17th in this week’s USA Today/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25, released Monday. The Irish peaked this season at 15th on Sept. 8, which marked the highest listing for Notre Dame since Sept. 30, 1996, when it was 12th. Notre Dame is 16th in the rankings and is the first team receiving votes in the Volleyball Magazine poll, which lists only 20 teams. The Irish are 29th in the first set of Ballicora Computer Rankings, released Monday.

Three ’03 Irish opponents are listed in the top 10 of this week’s AVCA top 25. Stanford (Nov. 29, away) leads the way at fourth, while Pepperdine (L, 1-3) is sixth, and Northern Iowa (Nov. 11, away) is 10th. Arizona (W, 3-1) and North Carolina (Oct. 21, away) received votes, but were not in the AVCA top 25.

Lauren Kelbley EARNS SECOND BIG EAST PLAYER OF THE WEEK AWARD OF SEASON: Sophomore MB Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.) was named the BIG EAST Conference Player of the Week on Monday after helping Notre Dame to a pair of convincing victories in the opening weekend of league play. Kelbley, who had 26 kills on .478 hitting to go with 12 blocks in the matches, has won the award twice already in five weeks this season (also on Sept. 8).

The Irish middle blocker was a big reason Notre Dame turned in its best offensive performance of the year, hitting .358 on Sunday vs. Georgetown in the Joyce Center. She registered 12 kills and no errors on 17 attempts for a .706 attack percentage. It marked the second time in her career she hit over .700 in a match. It was the best individual hitting match for any Irish player with a minimum of 12 kills since Kristy Kreher hit .765 (13-0-17) on Nov. 4, 2001 at Pittsburgh. Kelbley also was in on three blocks.

On Friday vs. Villanova, Kelbley had 14 kills on .345 hitting, while taking part in nine of Notre Dame’s 20 blocks. She added three digs, one service ace, and an assist. Kelbley leads the Irish this season with a .342 attack percentage and has been above .300 in 10 of 12 contests. In her career, she has hit better than .300 in 29 of 44 matches, while hitting the .400 mark 20 times, bettering .500 on 10 occasions, and hitting over .600 six times.

GOOD START: Notre Dame opened BIG EAST Conference play 2-0 for the ninth consecutive season — every year since joining the league in 1995. The Irish have posted six undefeated conference seasons and started last year 11-0 in BIG EAST matches. The only year Notre Dame did not win at least its first 11 league matches was 1998, when the Irish lost at Connecticut in their third league match of the year.

CLASS OF THE CONFERENCE: Since Notre Dame joined the BIG EAST Conference in 1995, the Irish have experienced incredible success in league play. Overall, Notre Dame is 89-4 in conference regular-season matches and 16-1 in the BIG EAST Championship. In eight seasons, the Irish have won seven regular-season titles and seven tournament titles. Notre Dame is 51-0 at home in BIG EAST matches.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Irish opened the season with five consecutive road matches before playing seven consecutive matches in the Joyce Center. This weekend, Notre Dame hits the road for the first time in 28 days, making its first BIG EAST trip of the year.

BLOCK PARTY: Once again, Notre Dame has one of the best blocking units in the nation. The Irish have 156.5 blocks in 12 matches this seson, an average of 3.33 per game, which is good enough for third among Division I teams. Stanford is first at 3.57 blocks per game, while San Diego State is second at 3.45. Notre Dame leads the BIG EAST Conference, with second-place Syracuse averaging 2.62 blocks. The Irish have been particularly effective of late, averaging 5.10 blocks per game over their last three matches. Sophomore MB Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood H.S.) leads the BIG EAST in blocks (64/1.52) and ranks 10th in the nation in the category. In 2002, the Irish finished second nationally to Nebraska with a school-record average of 3.83 blocks per game.

SCHOOL RECORD I — JESS DIG IT: On Sept. 9 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.

SCHOOL RECORD II — LETHAL LOOMIS: In the Sept. 9 Valparaiso match, junior OPP/OH Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers H.S.) set a Notre Dame record for most kills in a match without an error (24), while falling just shy of the school record for kills in a three-game match. The previous mark for most kills without an error was 23, done by Jaimie Lee on September 8, 1995 at Indiana in a five-game victory. Just seven days after that match, Angie Harrris had 25 kills in a three-game win against Colorado, setting the record for kills in a 3-0 decision. Loomis joined Christy Peters in the 24-kill club in three-game matches. Peters turned the trick in a straight-game defeat against Long Beach State in Chicago on September 11, 1993. Against Valpo, Loomis had 42 attack attempts for a .571 attack percentage.

IRISH AMONG THE BIG EAST LEADERS: A number of Irish players are among the BIG EAST Conference statistical leaders through three weeks of play. Sophomore MB Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood H.S.) leads the league in blocks (1.52) and is seventh in points (4.51), while junior OPP/OH Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers H.S.) is among the top 10 in three different categories: hitting percentage (7th, .333), kills (7th, 3.81), and points (8th, 4.51). Sophomore MB Lauren Kelbley (Bascom, Ohio/Hopewell-Loudon H.S.) is listed among the leaders in both blocks (5th, 1.22) and hitting percentage (6th, .342), while sophomore OH Meg Henican (New Orleans, La./Isidore Newman H.S.) is ninth in digs (3.26).

In the team statistics, Notre Dame leads the conference in blocks, at 3.33 per game. The Irish are in the top five in four other categories: hitting percentage (4th, .241), opponent hitting percentage (4th, .164), assists (4th, 13.55), and kills (4th, 15.34).

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.

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. More recently, she had a career-best 13 blocks vs. Utah.

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 then had a career-high 45 attacks against Utah.

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. Against South Carolina, she matched her personal best with four service aces.

Sophomore S Kelly Burrell (Phoenix, Ariz./Xavier Preparatory School) had a career-best 12 digs vs. Texas and delivered three service aces vs. Utah after never having multiple aces previously in her career.

Senior OPP Katie Neff (St. Louis, Mo./Cor Jesu Academy) had a career-high nine blocks vs. Utah and hit .375 against Indiana, her top career mark in a four-game match.

Sophomore OH Meg Henican (New Orleans, La./Isidore Newman H.S.) had a big Shamrock Invitational, hitting career highs in each match. Against Indiana, she had five blocks. In the Utah match, she had 31 attack attempts and a .226 hitting percentage (her best in a five-game affair). After matching her career high in the final match of the Shamrock, Henican then set a new high mark with six assists vs. Purdue.

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.

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 310-104 (.747) mark, while holding a 427-187 (.694) 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.

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.) made a habit of earning all-tournament honors early this year. 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.

IRISH DOMINATE SHAMROCK ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Three Notre Dame players earned all-tournament honors, which were based solely on the first two days of play, in the Shamrock Invitational. Sophomore MB Lauren Brewster (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood H.S.) was named the event MVP after posting a career-high 13 blocks vs. Utah, while senior OPP Katie Neff (St. Louis, Mo./Cor Jesu Academy) and senior OH Jessica Kinder (Fresno, Calif./Bullard H.S.) were named to the all-tournament team. Throughout the weekend, Brewster had 33 kills and 22 blocks (1.69), while accounting for a team-high 48.5 points. Neff registered 30 kills on .244 hitting, the top percentage on the team. She also had 14 blocks. Kinder led the Irish with 47 digs (3.62), while adding 17 kills, seven aces, five assists, and three blocks.

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): Notre Dame’s victories in in the Shamrock Invitational gave it a six-match winning streak heading into the loss to South Carolina. The win against Indiana gave the Irish a five-match streak, marking 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.

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.

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.

TALL TEAM: Only six teams in the nation have a taller average height than Notre Dame’s ’03 squad. The 14 Irish players have an average height of 6-0, which is bettered only by Illinois, Pacific, Pepperdine, Saint Louis, USC, and Texas. In addition, only eight players in Division I are taller than senior OPP Katie Neff’s (St. Louis, Mo./Cor Jesu Academy) 6-4 frame.

AMAZING ACADEMICS: For the second year in a row, Notre Dame earned an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award. The Irish, which had a team grade-point average of 3.348 during the 2002-03 year, were one of just four Division I teams to earn the Team Academic Award and also win at least one match in the ’02 NCAA Championship. The award honors teams that display excellence in the classroom by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team GPA. Other than the Irish, only Kansas State, Nebraska, and Northern Iowa gained the Team Academic Award and advanced at least to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Leading the way academically for the Irish were a trio of veterans. Senior Kim Fletcher (St. Louis, Mo./Nerinx Hall H.S.) earned a 4.000 GPA in both semesters of the most recent academic year, while classmate Kristen Kinder (Fresno, Calif./Bullard H.S.) duplicated the feat in the fall and ’03 graduate Keara Coughlin posted a perfect GPA in her final semester. As a team, the Irish had a 3.438 GPA in the spring, the second-highest among Notre Dame’s 26 varsity squads.

ND-MIAMI MATCH TO BE ON NATIONAL TV: When the two top teams in the BIG EAST Conference meet on Nov. 9 in the Joyce Center, a national television audience will watch. The showdown between Notre Dame and Miami will be part of Sunday Night Spike, a presentation of College Sports Television (CSTV) and the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), which will feature 11 matches of the week to be broadcast on Sunday evenings throughout the season. The Irish topped the Hurricanes in the final of the BIG EAST Championship a year ago, and the teams are picked to be at the top of the league again in 2003.

IRISH TO FACE DIFFICULT SLATE: Nine teams earning berths to last year’s NCAA Championship — including five earning top-12 seeds — highlight the 15-match non-conference schedule for Notre Dame this fall. In all, 10 NCAA squads from a year ago will take on the Irish this season. In addition to three qualifiers completing the field of the Sept. 12-14 Shamrock Invitational (Utah, South Carolina, and Indiana), Miami, which reached the final 16 in ’02, will play in the Joyce Center on Nov. 9. Notre Dame will hit the road to face national runner-up Stanford (Nov. 29), quarterfinalists Arizona (W, 3-1) and Pepperdine (L, 3-1), round of 16 participants Northern Iowa (Nov. 11) and North Carolina (Oct. 21), as well as Texas (W, 3-0), which lost in the second round.

AKERS ON RUNNER’S WORLD COVER: Former Notre Dame volleyball standout and current Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) tour player Angie Akers was featured on the cover of the August edition of Runner’s World magazine. Akers, who graduated in 1998 as Angie Harris before marrying former Irish football player Jeremy Akers, had been a serious distance runner prior to joining the AVP last year.

The Fort Wayne, Ind. native and 1994 graduate of Bishop Luers High School was named the AVP Rookie of the Year in 2002 and is currently ranked as the No. 9 team on the tour, along with partner Sarah Straton. After leaving Notre Dame, Akers was an avid runner for three years, finishing the Boston Marathon with a time of 3 hours and 23 minutes. She then moved to Long Beach, Calif. to pursue a career in beach volleyball.

“NOTRE DAME PRIMETIME” AIRING ON CSTV & WHME-TV: Among the new fall programming for College Sports Television (CSTV) is “Notre Dame Primetime,” a weekly one-hour show dedicated entirely to Notre Dame athletics. It airs on Sundays at 8:30 p.m. (EDT) and can now be seen in the South Bend area on Mondays at 7 p.m. (EST) on WHME-TV. A number of Irish volleyball personalities already have been featured on “Notre Dame Primetime,” including head coach Debbie Brown, OPP/OH Emily Loomis, and OH Jessica Kinder.

KEEPING UP WITH ND VOLLEYBALL: For the fastest results of Notre Dame volleyball matches, call the Notre Dame Sports Hotline at (574) 631-3000 and choose #5 and #1. The hotline provides schedules and result information for varsity sports and serves as a supplement to the match recaps and weekly releases provided on the official athletic website at The hotline is the first medium updated with results of each Notre Dame volleyball match.

Once again, will be the best place for in-depth coverage of Irish volleyball. Live scoring of all home matches, as well as live internet broadcasts of eight contests available to College Sports Pass subscribers supplement the regular match previews and recaps. All three Shamrock Invitational matches (Sept. 12-14), as well as both BIG EAST Championship contests (Nov. 22-23) and the conference tilts with Georgetown (Sept. 28), Virginia Tech (Nov. 7), and Miami (Nov. 9) will feature live broadcasts.

In addition, media members and fans may be added to the sports information e-mail release list by contacting sports information assistant Bo Rottenborn at All requests for story ideas, interview access, match credentials, and further information on Irish volleyball should similarly be directed to Rottenborn. Credential and interview requests should be made at least 24 hours in advance.