ND Volleyball: Dealy shines at Shamrock
Laura Myers | Tuesday, September 1, 2009
It seems Notre Dame’s six seniors have dominated the storylines in the early part of the new season – but don’t tell Kristen Dealy.
The sophomore outside hitter is already distinguishing herself after posting 33 kills, 25 digs and 34 total points at this weekend’s Shamrock Invitational. The performance earned her recognition as part of the all-tournament team.
“It was fun to play,” Dealy said. “The team played really well, especially against Stanford.”
Although young, Dealy is no stranger to contributing to the team. She was one of only two players to start every match in 2008, her first season. However, she said it was nothing special to be starting so much as a freshman.
“You have to make sure [you’re] working hard, because it is a big responsibility,” she said. “But I didn’t really think about it.”
Dealy put up several big numbers in her freshman season. She led the team in service aces (30), digs (325) and service receptions (30), and was second in kills (324) and points (390.5).
“As a freshman it was hard,” Dealy said. “But now I feel I can back up my spot better. I feel like I’ve earned my position on the team.”
By starting every game, Dealy learned by doing as a freshman. She said she hopes those lessons will carry into her sophomore year.
“It helps knowing how the season goes,” she said. “As a freshman you don’t understand that every game is so crucial. This year I’m going to push as hard as I can in every game.”
The Irish finished 2-1 in the Shamrock Invitational, defeating No. 5 Stanford Saturday but losing to LSU the next day.
“It was a wake-up call,” Dealy said of the loss to LSU. “It let us know how hard we have to work. The Shamrock is definitely indicative of the rest of the season, I think, if we play as well as we did against Stanford.”
Dealy credited the older girls with helping her to feel comfortable right away.
“They definitely gave me advice,” she said. “They didn’t treat me like I was younger. They show you the way, but not too much, which was nice.”
It can only mean good things for a team when even the sophomores are veterans, and Dealy said she thinks the Irish are going far.
“Obviously beating Stanford showed what we can do, but I think we can do even better,” she said. “This is a really special year for Notre Dame volleyball.”