Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Season-Opening Upset Propels Notre Dame To 21st In National Rankings

Sept. 1, 2003

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – After receiving votes, but not being listed in the preseason top 25, the University of Notre Dame volleyball team’s upset of #10 Arizona on Friday and 2-1 record in the opening weekend of play vaulted the Irish into the second set of the USA Today/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25. The Irish are 21st in the rankings released Monday, marking the highest listing for Notre Dame since October 21, 2001.

The Irish beat the Wildcats in four games in the season-opening match before splitting a pair of contests on the second day of action. Saturday morning saw Notre Dame take the opening game against #5 Pepperdine before dropping three straight to lose to the Waves. That evening, the Irish bounced back with a 3-1 win over Eastern Washington, which was ranked 24th at the end of 2002.

A year ago, the Irish were ranked only in the preseason poll, at 25th. They were listed throughout most of 2001, peaking at 19th on October 15, before dropping out in December.

Four ’03 Irish opponents are listed in this week’s top 25, including three in the top 10. Northern Iowa, which will play host to Notre Dame on Nov. 11, is sixth, while Pepperdine is eighth and Arizona remained 10th. In addition, North Carolina is 17th. The Irish will visit Chapel Hill, N.C. on Oct. 21.

The Irish return to action this weekend in the Longhorn Classic in Austin, Texas, taking on Houston Friday at 5 p.m. (CDT) and host Texas on Saturday at 7 p.m. (CDT).

Notre Dame then begins a stretch of seven consecutive home matches next Tuesday, Sept. 9, against Valparaiso at 7 p.m. (EST). Tickets for all 2003 Irish home matches are available via the Notre Dame ticket office at (574) 631-7356.