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Volleyball: Irish travel to Tiger Invitational

Ellyn Michalak | Friday, August 31, 2007

After two tough loses against No. 9 Minnesota and No. 7 Florida, Notre Dame will look for its first wins of the season this weekend in the Tiger Invitational in Columbia, Mo.”We played two tough teams last week,” coach Debbie Brown said. “We played and hit much better against Florida than Minnesota. We hope to continue this upward trend and improve both our play and our record.” The Irish lost to Minnesota 3-0 in the first game of the weekend. The Irish played a closer match against the Gators, but Flordia won in four games. Though this weekend’s tournament traditionally has four participants, Florida A&M withdrew from the field Monday. The Irish will now face tournament host Missouri today and Florida International Saturday. “The Invitational is a good opportunity to continue to play strong competition and better ourselves for the season,” Brown said. “Specifically we are looking to be a much better hitting team.”The last time the Irish faced the Tigers, Missouri escaped with a 3-2 victory. The Tigers currently hold a 2-1 overall record and the No. 20 ranking in the nation. They also are undefeated all-time against the Irish, with a 2-0 mark. Notre Dame has never faced Florida International, and the Irish are looking for a win against the 2-1 Golden Panthers to start the series. “I think as a team we are going into this weekend really determined,” Brown said. “We’re a competitive group and we don’t like losing. We’re looking to go undefeated this weekend.”The Tiger Invitational marks the first of three tournaments in which the Irish will compete before the conference slate begins. Next weekend the Irish will host the Shamrock Invitational, where they will face the College of Charleston, Alabama and Ohio. Their conference season will begin with an away match on Sept. 22 against Pittsburgh. Notre Dame and Missouri square off today at 7 p.m.