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Irish Capture Shamrock Tourney Title

Sep 3, 2012, 9:29 AM EST

Tournament MVP Toni Alugbue

Sophomore right side hitter Toni Alugbue and the Notre Dame volleyball team are champions following Sunday’s three game sweep over Eastern Kentucky at the Purcell Pavilion. The win capped off three consecutive Irish victories during the Shamrock Invitational in which UAB and the University of Buffalo also competed.

Named to the all-tournament team were setter Maggie Brindock, opposite side hitter Jeni Houser, and tournament MVP Toni Alugbue. The Irish now stand with a record of 4-2 heading into this weekend’s tournament at the Galen Center on the campus of USC.

Notre Dame made its home debut Friday night against Buffalo with over 1,000 spectators in attendance. After losing a close first set 25-23, the Irish battled back to win the next three and solidify their momentum heading into matches against UAB and Eastern Kentucky. Alugbue was especially strong on the attack, tallying 49 kills during the three game stretch.

Each match seemed to present Notre Dame with new opportunities to learn and grow as a team. Against Buffalo on Friday, that meant maintaining composure and limiting costly unforced errors while trailing early. On Saturday, it meant handling pressure against UAB’s forceful front line that kept all three of Notre Dame’s winning sets within two points. And finally, during Sunday’s tournament-clinching sweep over Eastern Kentucky, that meant getting young players involved in the action as four players saw the floor for the first time this season.

Two tournaments, six games, four hard earned victories. It’s only the beginning of the 2012 season, but Notre Dame is poised to build upon its early season lessons and success.

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