Nov. 13, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame head volleyball coach Debbie Brown announced Thursday that Indiana’s Hilary Eppink and Michigan’s Marie Roof have chosen to continue their academic and athletic careers with the Irish, each signing of National Letter of Intent to attend Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2009.
“We’re very excited have these exceptional student-athletes join the program,” Brown said. “Both Hilary and Marie have the potential to step in and contribute to the overall success of this team.”
A 6-2 middle blocker with a standing reach of 7-11, Eppink prepped at Westfield High School (Ind.) while playing for Team Indiana on the club circuit. As a senior, her 3.98 kills/set, 64 aces and 87 blocks ranked her among the state leaders in each of those respective categories. PrepVolleyball.com ranked her 36th on its Senior Aces list.
Eppink emerged as one of the nation’s top recruits after a spectacular 2007 campaign in which she tallied 400 kills and 140 blocks with 42 aces. PrepVolleyball.com named Eppink one of the top 50 juniors in the nation, as she became Westfield’s career kills leader through only three seasons with the Shamrocks. She earned a spot on the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association Class 4A All-State team as a junior and was the all-North Volleyball Player of the Year. As a sophomore Eppink totaled 307 kills and 126 blocks.
In 2006, Eppink led her club team to the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior Olympic Championships and placed third in the Gold Division while being named to the all-tournament team.
Roof, a two-sport standout at Mona Shores High School (Mich.), carries a 6-1 frame as an outside hitter and was a finalist for Michigan’s Miss Volleyball award in 2008.
A four-year volleyball starter, she earned all-state honors as a junior and senior and averaged 1.61 blocks, 2.85 kills and 1.95 digs/set for her career. She holds her high school’s records for hitting percentage (.310), kills (1,437), blocks (678) and digs (1,050). As a senior she totaled 437 kills on a .380 clip and 43 solo blocks.
She is a four-year member of the basketball team and competed in the high jump and 300-meter hurdles as a member of the track and field team her freshman year.
Roof was a 2008 Associated Press Class A All-State Honorable Mention selectee in basketball while claiming third-team honors on the Detroit Free Press’ Dream Team. The shooting guard is a member of Mona Shores’ single-season 300-point club (2007) and career 500-point club. In all, she has totaled three all-conference honors in volleyball and basketball while claiming all-city and all-state accolades in both sports on a pair of occasions.
Roof led Mona Shores to a conference volleyball title in 2006 and the league’s basketball title in 2007. Her club career was spent playing with Michigan’s Inside Out Juniors.
She is very active with the Mona Shores National Honor Society, student senate and community service committee.
Notre Dame Head Coach Debbie Brown on Hilary Eppink …
“Hilary is a very strong middle blocker and also has a great jump float serve. She jumps well and is able to penetrate the net well with her long arms and big hands. She has a solid all-around game and can hit very well off of one foot or both feet. We’re expecting her to add depth and challenge for playing time at the middle blocking position.
“You can tell that Hilary is really eager to improve and learn more about the game. Each time I’ve seen her play she’s performed better and better.”
Westfield High School (Ind.) Head Volleyball Coach Stacey Pagnard on Hilary Eppink …
“You can’t find a 6-2 girl that has the quickness that Hilary possesses. She has the physical ability, but she also has the desire and the passion to get better, and I think that’s going to help her be successful in college.”
Notre Dame Head Coach Debbie Brown on Marie Roof …
“Within the last year she’s been converted from a middle blocker to an outside hitter. She has really good natural instincts from the back row, works with a good platform, and plays hard in every match. Marie can play from either the left or right side. She’s an excellent blocker with great skills around the net.
“Her ceiling is really high. She’s just touched the surface of how good she’s going to be. She will be a great addition to our outside hitting corps.”
Mona Shores High School (Mich.) Head Volleyball Coach Kyle Kurant on Marie Roof …
“Marie has been an outstanding player for us for the last four years. She has broken many of our program’s career and season records. Not only is she a dominating volleyball player but an outstanding student-athlete.”