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ND Volleyball: Sciacca off to strong start

Sam Werner | Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A year after turning in what can only be described as one of the best freshman seasons of any Notre Dame volleyball player, don’t expect Kellie Sciacca to rest on her laurels.

The sophomore middle blocker has spent the offseason working and concentrating on making herself even better. Specifically, Sciacca has been practicing her blocking.

“I’ve been working on it a lot in the offseason,” she said. “And I feel very strong about my blocking.

“I want to be a more dominant blocker than I was last year. I did fairly well with blocking last year, but I want to do even better and feel more confident with blocking calls and my footwork.”

Last year, Sciacca made an immediate impact for the Irish and was named the AVCA Northeast Region Freshman of the Year. The Monument, Colo. native was first on the team with a .343 hitting percentage.

“I want to have a fairly high hitting percentage,” she said. “I led the team in hitting percentage last year, so I want to try and do that again.”

Despite Sciacca’s phenomenal year, the Irish struggled, going 15-13 and falling to Louisville in the Big East semifinals.

“It was hard,” Sciacca said. “If I’m being successful but the team isn’t, it’s not worth anything.”

But Sciacca – and the rest of the Irish – are putting last season behind them and focusing on one goal this time around – a Big East title.

“We went through a little bit of a frustrating year last year,” Sciacca said. “But as a team we told ourselves to forget about that and just move on with this season.

“Louisville is great competition, but we feel confident that we have the talent on our team to push through and make some noise in the Big East this year.”

So far, Sciacca said, so good for the Irish.

“We’ve had a few up-and-down games,” she said “But we’re on the upswing now.”

As far as her own play goes, the management major has also been happy with herself this year.

“So far, I’ve had one off game against Eastern Washington, where I didn’t play as well as I wanted to,” Sciacca said. “But overall, I’ve been pretty pleased with how things are going, personally.”

Sciacca currently is third on the team with 51 kills, and second with a .273 hitting percentage.

As far as Sciacca sees those numbers, though, there’s only room for improvement.