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Irish take on No. 2 Nebraska in a two game series at home

Anne Loughery | Friday, September 3, 2004

In this case, adjectives and accolades are unnecessary. The No. 25 Irish know exactly what they’re in for when they meet No. 2 Nebraska this weekend – its ranking says it all.”They’re definitely ranked No. 2 for a reason,” senior Emily Loomis said. “They have a lot of offensive threats. We’ll have to play a good all-around game and be ready to fight.”Notre Dame is set to meet Nebraska both tonight and Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Joyce Center. Nebraska is used to starting off its season with a win, posting a 26-3 all-time season opener record – including a victory the last four years. Last season, the two teams vied for the No. 1 slot in the national blocking rankings. The Irish were ranked first nationally with 3.72 blocks per game, interrupting Nebraska’s three-year hold on the record. Nebraska finished the season sixth as a team with 3.17 blocks per game. For most teams, the Huskers’ record and rankings can be more than intimidating. However, the Irish take comfort in the challenge ahead of them. “We see it as an opportunity to put up a good match,” Loomis said. “We have a great chance. If we come out on the top of our game with enthusiasm and toughness, I think we’ll give them a good match.”It seems as if the Irish even thrive on the idea of being underdogs.”We’re really fired up for the match, and I think we’ll put up a big fight,” Loomis said. “We know we can stand up to them.” Wednesday night, the Irish showcased their potential as a team, defeating Loyola Chicago three games to one. Notre Dame cruised to victories in the first two games, registering 30-24 and 30-19 wins respectively. Although Loyola defeated the Irish in the third game 30-17, Notre Dame bounced back, edging out the Ramblers 30-28 in game four. Loomis described the Loyola match as an opportunity to gauge their progress as a team. “I think we learned a lot not only about where we are now, but where we can go. [Thursday] in practice, we really focused on learning from our mistakes and doing as much as we can on our side of the net,” Loomis said. “I think if we can apply what we worked on at practice against Nebraska, we’ll have a good showing.”