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ND Volleyball: Squad travels to Blue Raider Bash

Meredith Kelly | Friday, August 30, 2013

The Irish open their season on the road this weekend, traveling to Tennessee to compete in the Blue Raider Bash. 

Notre Dame will face North Carolina on Friday and Middle Tennessee State and San Francisco in a Saturday double header. 

Irish coach Debbie Brown said she is confident her team is ready for the upcoming matches and their off-season preparation will aid them in their first tournament. 

“We started practicing on Aug. 9, and we have had really good practices leading up to this first weekend competition,” Brown said. “We feel pretty well prepared.”  

Regardless, Brown said the Irish must bring their A-game against their opponents. Both North Carolina and Middle Tennessee State have played in the NCAA tournament before and have strong RPI rankings, but since it is the beginning of the season, the Irish are unsure what to anticipate. 

“I think the toughest thing going into the first game is just really not knowing what to expect,” Brown said. “It is also tough to adjust on the fly and make changes and adaption in the middle of a match.” 

But the Irish are not strangers to playing with each other. The roster consists of five seniors and four juniors, a very veteran team. Brown said they will rely on their upperclassmen to lead the team to success. 

The two top scorers from last year, junior Toni Alugbue and junior Jeni Houser are both back this year. Senior Maggie Brindock, starting setter, will be back as well. Brown said their veteran line-up will provide great leadership and create great success. 

The Irish will face a busy weekend with three games in just two days, yet Brown said she thinks the team will show high energy in every game.  

“Obviously, it’s physically challenging to play three matches in that amount of time,” Brown said. “But all the teams we are playing are going to be doing the same thing. When we get into the third match, our opponent will have played two matches as well. “

Brown said she thinks her team will be very excited to play together again. 

The Irish will start play at 8 p.m. Friday against North Carolina in the Alumni Memorial Gymnasium in Murfreesboro, Tenn. They will hit the court again Saturday, playing Middle Tennessee State at noon and San Francisco at 6 p.m.

 

Contact Meredith Kelly at mkelly29@nd.edu