Sept. 1, 2002
The 25th-ranked University of Notre Dame volleyball team (3-0), unusually ragged on offense, kept its composure to sweep through the Shamrock Invitational this weekend with a three-game sweep of Cal Poly (1-2) in three games (30-26, 30-28, 30-23) at the Joyce Center.
After enjoying superior hitting during the first two matches of the tournament, Notre Dame could muster just a .185 hitting percentage against the Mustangs on Sunday afternoon. The Irish offense, however, did come up with the big kill when it was needed to keep Cal Poly at bay.
Kristen Kinder, Notre Dame’s setter who was named the tournament most valuable player, was among the scoring leaders for the Irish on Sunday. The junior from Fresno, Calif., posted seven kills while transforming some Notre Dame overpasses into scoring chances. She also dished out 34 assists and had seven digs. The seven kills matched Kinder’s career high and even with the low Irish hitting mark on Sunday, she led the team to a .262 hitting performance over the weekend.
Front row standout Katie Neff ended up with a career-best performance, knocking down 11 kills on .320 hitting. Neff also helped the Irish blocking at the net, contributing two solo stuffs. Emily Loomis was equally adept at the net, scoring 10 kills and notching four blocks (including two solo blocks).
Notre Dame’s rookie middle blockers, Lauren Kelbley and Lauren Brewster (who joined Kristen Kinder and Loomis on the all-tournament team) posted eight and six kills, respectively.
Cal Poly was led by Jessica Diepersloot’s 13 kills.
The three victories in the tournament over the weekend has pushed Notre Dame’s home court winning streak to 25 matches, which is the second-longest streak in school history.
Next up for the Irish will be the Loyola Marymount Volleyball Classic in Los Angeles, Calif., next weekend. The Irish will face Loyola Marymount, #21 Colorado and Saint Louis in the two-day tournament.