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ND Volleyball

Notre Dame travels to tournament at Purdue

| Thursday, September 18, 2014

Seeking to build off of its first win of the 2014, Notre Dame travels to West Lafayette, Ind., to take on Moorhead State, St. Louis and Purdue this weekend at the Purdue Active Ankle Challenge. After six matches at Purcell Pavilion, the Irish (1-7) begin a three-week road series.

Freshman libero Natalie Johnson prepares for a hit against TCU on Friday, Sept. 12. The Irish lost to the Horned Frogs, 3-1.Wei Lin | The Observer

Freshman libero Natalie Johnson prepares for a hit against TCU on Friday, Sept. 12. The Irish lost to the Horned Frogs, 3-1.

With narrow losses to Minnesota, Washington State and TCU, Notre Dame finally rebounded with a win Sept. 13 against Northeastern in the Shamrock Invitational. The Irish earned 50 kills and 8 service aces in the match, both of which were season highs.

After the victory in the morning match, the Irish later fell, 3-1, to Northern Iowa to conclude the Shamrock Invitational.

“One thing we wanted to work on offensively was our kill and transition offense, which is something as a team we can still improve upon,” Irish coach Debbie Brown said.

Notre Dame will have an opportunity to collect its second win against a winless Moorhead State on Friday afternoon. The Eagles (0-10) are the four-time defending Ohio Valley Conference champions but have started the season in an unprecedentedly poor fashion, with their first 0-10 start in program history.

The stiffest competition in the Active Ankle Challenge will likely come from the host team. In contrast to the Irish, the No. 11 Boilermakers (8-1) returns 8 players, including four starters from their 2013 unit that reached the Elite Eight. Purdue also has history on its side — having won 12 of the last 19 matches against Notre Dame. If the Boilermakers beat St. Louis on Friday morning, they will advance to 9-1, their best start since 2011.

St. Louis (7-3) heads to West Lafayette looking to extend their seven-match win streak. The Billikens are ranked 25th in the NCAA with 68 kills, something Notre Dame has struggled to overcome in recent matches.

Senior Kathleen Severyn prepares to serve during Notre Dame's 3-1 loss to TCU on Friday, Sept. 12.Wei Lin | The Observer

Senior Kathleen Severyn prepares to serve during Notre Dame’s 3-1 loss to TCU on Friday, Sept. 12.

“We are always looking to continue to improve,” Brown said. “This team brings good intensity and a positive attitude to every practice and match. I know that the winning will continue to come after that.”

The Irish have a long road ahead of them. After the Active Ankle Challenge, Notre Dame remains on the road through the month of September. They will travel to Coral Gables, Florida, on Sept. 26 and Tallahassee, Fla., on Sept. 28 to take on ACC foes Miami and Florida State, respectively.

The Irish take on Purdue, Morehead State and St. Louis this weekend at the Purdue Active Ankle Challenge.

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About Henry Hilliard

Henry is from Kansas City, lives in O'Neill Hall and is majoring in Political Science with a minor in Business Economics. He covers Men's Tennis and Men's Swimming and Diving for the Observer.

Contact Henry