Kelbley leads Irish past Loyola Chicago with 24 kills
Tom Dorwart | Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Often overshadowed by her All-American, preseason Big East player of the year teammate, senior Lauren Kelbley has quietly been putting up All-American numbers of her own all season.
Tuesday, she wasn’t so quiet.
Kelbley erupted for 24 kills – one kill shy of the school record for kills in a three-game match – leading No. 10 Notre Dame (9-1) to a 30-15, 30-15, 30-24 shellacking of Loyola Chicago (3-10) in the Irish’s first visit to Chicago since the 1996 season.
Kelbley – who at times doesn’t draw the attention attracted by teammate senior Lauren Brewster – smoked four service aces, dove for five digs, recorded four blocks and erred on only two hit attempts.
After discussing in practice the need to play at their level and not to the level of their competition, the Irish kept their word, making quick work of the upset-minded, confident Ramblers.
Once again, sophomore setter Ashley Tarutis paced the offensive attack. She had 41 set assists. Carolyn Cooper and Brewster added 10 and 11 kills. respectively. Sophomore Adrianna Stasiuk also had six kills.
Senior Meg Henican was all over the court, with a team-high 22 digs. Freshman Justine Stremick played again and had one block. Twelve Irish played in the match, including senior Kelly Burrell, freshmen Mallorie Croal and Madison Clarke and sophomore Ellen Heintzman.
Overall, the Irish hit for a season-high .385 percentage – a statistic that has been skyrocketing the last few matches after sitting at .200 prior to Sunday’s Seton Hall match. At that point, Notre Dame was 10th out of 15 teams in the Big East in hitting percentage. For five consecutive matches, the Irish had hit below .205, but now seem to have fixed the problem.
Notre Dame returns to Big East action Friday at Syracuse and Sunday at Marquette, in what is the middle of a tough road stretch.