June 9, 2015
Baer, a middle blocker and right side performer from Mountain View, California, was a standout on the court and in the classroom at St. Francis High School. She earned two varsity letters and was team captain as a senior while also graduating maxima cum laude. A former foe of current Irish sophomore Maddie Dilfer in the high school and club circuit around San Jose, Baer is the fourth member of her family to attend Notre Dame.
Byrne, a libero from Manhattan Beach, California, graduated from Marymount High School after earning three letters on the court. She earned second team all-Mission League honors as a senior in helping her squad to a league title. As a sophomore, Marymount won the California State Division I championship. Byrne is the seventh member of her family to attend Notre Dame.
The duo continues a long line of Irish players to make their way over from the The Golden State. Four California student-athletes will be on this year’s team after four in 2014, four in 2013, five in 2012 and six in 2011.
They join fellow incoming freshmen Ryann DeJarld, Katie Houser, Meg Morningstar and Rebecca Nunge in making up the class of 2019. Nunge enrolled in January 2015 and spent the spring semester with the program.
A talented class, the group features two second team Under Armour All-Americans (DeJarld, Houser) and a third team Under Armour All-American (Nunge), a two-time Prep Volleyball All-American (DeJarld), two Prep Volleyball “Senior Aces” (Morningstar, DeJarld) and two Prep Volleyball Academic All-Americans (Morningstar, DeJarld).
For more information on Notre Dame volleyball, follow the team on Facebook (/NDVolleyball), Twitter (@NDVolleyball) and Instagram (NDVBall).
Kristin Baer (Middle Blocker / Right Side)
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL: Pronounced “BEAR” … graduated from St. Francis H.S. in Mountain View, California in May 2015 … earned two varsity letters in volleyball … was team captain as a senior … helped squad qualify for the semifinals of the Central Coast Section as a junior … led team to a pair of West Catholic Athletic League titles as a freshman and sophomore … went a combined 53-6 over those two years … was a member of the City Beach Volleyball Club from 2012-14 and the Red Rock Volleyball Club in 2015 … helped Red Rock finish first out of 36 teams at the 2015 Northern California Regional Tournament … led squad in attack percentage and blocks at the 2015 Pacific Northwest Qualifier to help team place third and earn a bid in the 18-Open division for the 2015 Girls Junior National Championships … also finished third in the 18-Open Division at the 2015 Far Western Qualifier to become one of only six teams in the country to place in the top three at two 18-Open Qualifiers during the year … graduated maxima cum laude … member of the National Honors Society and the Foreign Language Honors Society … selected to the honor roll all four years … was a National Merit Commended Student and is a lifetime member of the California Scholarship Federation … active in the community throughout high school … volunteered at a senior citizen center, with a community outreach program for underprivileged families and with a Christian home for children with disabilities … was a member of the Campus Student Ministry and a Eucharistic minister … competed against Irish teammate Maddie Dilfer in high school and club volleyball … born in San Jose, California to Brian and Kalyn Baer … has two older brothers, Ryan and Tom … brother, Ryan, graduated from Notre Dame in May 2015 … brother, Tom, is set to graduate from under the Golden Dome in 2017 … cousin, Tom Pieser, graduated from Notre Dame in 1999 and great uncle, Richard Pieser, graduated in 1957 … cousin, Melissa Yuhas Bartlett, played soccer at Stanford and cousin, Nicholas Baer, plays basketball at Iowa … will enroll in First Year of Studies … interested in business and science.
Kelly Byrne (Libero)
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL: Pronounced “Burn” … graduated from Marymount H.S. in Manhattan Beach, California in May 2015 … earned three letters in volleyball … earned second team all-league honors while helping team to a Mission League title as a senior … squad won the Sunshine League crown during junior year … helped lead team to the 2012 California State Division I championship in addition to CIF Southern Section IAA and Sunshine League titles … was a captain on the freshman team in 2012 … won gold medal at the 2012 International Children’s Games in South Korea … played club volleyball for Mizuno Long Beach … off the court, participated in the National Honor Society, Cum Laude Society and the National Charity League … was a College Board AP Scholar with Honors and made the Marymount Head’s List every semester … is also Scuba II certified … active in community in free time … volunteered at Mychals Learning Place, Friendship Circle and with the Special Olympics … born in Los Angeles to Andrew and Margaret Byrne … has three younger brothers, Johnny, Thomas and Luke … grandfather, John M. Appelbbe Jr. (1948), uncle John M. Appelbe (1985), aunt, Rosamond Appelbe Moore (1978), uncle, Mark Byrne (Law, 1984), uncle, John Byrne (Law, 1992) and uncle, Joe Byrne (Law, 1997), all have graduated from Notre Dame … cousin, Shelby Cullinan, dove at Texas (2012), cousin, Katie Appelbe, played softball at Harvard (2015) and cousin, Grace Appelbe, plays softball at Georgetown (2016) … will enroll in First Year of Studies … interested in business.
–Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director