Sept. 10, 2002
The University of Notre Dame volleyball team (5-2) earned its fifth victory of the season with a three-game victory (30-22, 30-24, 30-18) at Valparaiso (2-2) on Tuesday evening.
Notre Dame was led by Emily Loomis with 11 kills, while Katie Neff had seven kills on .462 hitting. Setter Kristen Kinder had a solid match as well with six kills on eight swings with 11 digs. Notre Dame got off to a sluggish start in the sweltering heat of Valparaiso’s Athletic and Recreation Center. Due the extraordinary hot weather conditions in the midwest, the un-air conditioned Athletic and Recreation Center was turned into a steam box for the match.
The Irish eventually gained control of game one behind three consecutive kills to build a 17-11 lead. Notre Dame’s lead would grow to nine points after the first block of the match, which was performed by Loomis and Lauren Brewster and provided a 21-12 lead.
The Crusaders would be unable to get much closer during the first game and Notre Dame posted a 30-23 game-one victory.
Valparaiso forced Notre Dame into a slow start in game two. Behind three kills and a block, the Crusaders found themselves with a 5-4 lead early in the game. The Irish would be able to claw ahead 14-10 behind a string of Crusader errors, but Valparaiso would hang in throughout the rest of the game. Loomis posted five kills and two blocks in the second game as Notre Dame seized control of the match with a 30-23 victory.
Game three followed the same pattern as the first two contests, with Notre Dame gaining control halfway through. With Valparaiso staying close at 8-4, the Irish broke ahead behind a Kristen Kinder kill and ace, plus a Loomis kill off an overpass to post a 13-8 lead and force a crusader timeout.
Notre Dame kept the pressure on after the break, as Katie Neff started to assert control of the game. Neff would end up with four kills and a block in the game and key a seven-point burst to give the Irish an 18-8 lead. Notre Dame cruised to a 30-18 victory and a three-game victory.
Notre Dame will return to action this weekend in the Golden Dome Invitational at the Joyce Center. The Irish begin the tournament against Northwestern at 3:45 p.m. on Friday.