Oct. 13, 2002
The University of Notre Dame volleyball team (15-2, 6-0) completed its second consecutive 2-0 BIG EAST Conference road trip with a four-game victory (30-25, 28-30, 30-28, 30-17) at Villanova on Sunday afternoon. The Irish defeated Georgetown in three games on Saturday and continue as the only undefeated team in the conference.
Notre Dame has hit very well over the last four games in conference play and continued that trend against the Wildcats on Sunday. The Irish did hit a bump in game three, only hitting .167 as a team an allowing Villanova to push the match to four games. Games three and four saw Notre Dame hit .326 and .406 to shut the door on the home team.
The Irish offensive attack was led once again by sophomore outside hitter Emily Loomis. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native ended up with 16 kills, 15 digs and two blocks in the match while posting a .419 hitting percentage.
Lauren Kelbley, Lauren Brewster and Katie Neff were also integral in the offensive effort, as each front row player posted over 10 kills each. For Neff (12) and Kelbley (13), it was the second consecutive match with double-digit kills.
Notre Dame entered this weekend’s competition leading the nation in team blocking and the Irish flexed their defensive muscles against Villanova. Kelbley led the effort at the net with seven blocks (including four solo) and Katie Neff had four. Behind the all the blocks at the net, Keara Coughlin had 12 digs in the back row.
Kristen Kinder (38 assists) and Kelly Burrell (17 assists) both saw action at setter for Notre Dame, helping the team to its .291 hitting mark.
The Irish also successfully extended a couple of winning streaks over the weekend. Notre Dame has now won 40 consecutive BIG EAST Conference regular-season matches and has posted 33 straight wins over all its conference opponents.
And the road trip is not over yet for the Irish. With the University of Notre Dame fall break coming up, the volleyball team will be heading for the middle of the Pacific Ocean to face second-ranked Hawai’I for two matches on Oct. 21 and 22.