Nov. 10, 2000
Kelly Corbett (Mountain View, Calif.), Emily Loomis (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Leah Nedderman (Grapevine, Texas) have signed letters of intent to play volleyball at the University of Notre Dame, beginning in the Fall of 2001.
Irish head coach Debbie Brown is excited about the class of 2005 and feels they blend perfectly into the Notre Dame program.
“Speed has been a key quality we have looked for and we have that in all three of these student-athletes,” Brown says.
“Another important trait is competitiveness and a will to win. All three meet that criteria as well.”
Corbett is a 6-0 middle blocker out of St. Francis High School in MountainView, Calif. St. Francis is currently ranked second in the nation and captured the state title in 1997 and 1998.
A four-year starter for St. Francis, Corbett has helped the team compile a 149-6 record during her career. She was named Most Valuable Player in the DeAnza League last season and earned All-America honors at the 1999 Junior Nationals in New Orleans, La. Since Corbett began playing at St. Francis, the team has never lost a league home game or match.
“I am just ecstatic to receive an opportunity to attend Notre Dame,” Corbett says.
“Signing day was a big deal for me and my family. I have worked very hard for this opportunity and my family is extremely proud.”
Brown has seen certain intangibles in Corbett that will fit perfectly in the Notre Dame volleyball team.
“Kelly is coming out of great situation because she has been in a winning program,” Brown says.
“She possesses a burning desire to win. She is a fighter and a competitor. Those are the characteristics we want in this program. One of Kelly’s strengths is her speed. She is extremely quick and moves laterally very well.”
Loomis hails from Fort Wayne, Ind., and becomes the first Indiana native to sign with the Irish since current senior outside hitter Christi Girton (Muncie, Ind.).
The tallest Irish signee at 6-1, Loomis is a three sport standout (track, basketball and volleyball) at Bishop Luers High School. A member of the two-time state champion basketball team, Loomis holds the sectional high jump record of 5-7 and has a jump reach measured at 10-5.
Loomis holds the school volleyball records for kills in a season (272), hitting percentage (.397) and blocks (76).
The 2000 Fort Wayne News-Sentinel Female Athlete of the Year, Loomis is also among 10 finalists for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award.
“I am very excited about signing with Notre Dame,” Loomis says.
“I love the coaches and the players. I am really looking forward to the opportunity to play with them.”
Slated to begin at outside hitter and opposite for the Irish next season, Loomis also has the ability to play any position on the court.
“She is an excellent blocker and has very good natural instincts for blocking,” Brown says.
“She is an all-around player with solid passing and defensive skills. She has never dedicated herself to volleyball full-time, but I think that is very healthy. She will be able to maximize her potential next season.”
Leah Nedderman will be the third Texan on the Irish roster next year (current junior Malinda Goralski is from Missouri City and current sophomore Christa Moen hails from San Antonio). From Grapevine, Texas, Nedderman is a 5-10 outside hitter who possesses raw speed and natural athletic ability.
“There are a couple things that stand out with Leah,” Brown says.
“She has very good jumping ability. She also possesses very good all-around skills, solid court sense and excellent communication skills.
“Any of her past coaches had nothing but good things to say about her – not only as a player but as a person as well.”
A two-sport star in volleyball and track at Colleyville High School, Nedderman also played at Grace Preparatory in 1997 with her sister Anna (who currently plays for Tulsa). She has been named the district defensive player of the year, district outstanding hitter and team most valuable player while also earning the team Heart and Hustle Award. She earned the MVP award at the University of Texas-Arlington volleyball camp in 1997 and 2000.
“I am really excited that I have finally signed to attend Notre Dame,” Nedderman says.
“Notre Dame has been my choice for a while, but actually making the decision is great. While narrowing down my choices, I saw the campus, met the coaches and players and I knew that Notre Dame was a really good fit for me.”