The Notre Dame Women's Volleyball team beat Georgetown, 3-0, at the Purcell Pavilion on November 13th.
Named assistant volleyball coach at Notre Dame in June 2009, Robin Davis was promoted to associate head coach prior to the 2011 season. Davis, who spent three seasons as the head coach at Boise State, rejoined the Irish after spending five seasons with the Notre Dame program from 2001-05 and is entering his 11th overall campaign in 2014.
Since returning to the Irish, Davis has had an integral role in developing some of Notre Dame's finest players, including 2009 third team All-American Serinity Phillips, 2009 honorable mention All-American Christina Kaelin and 2012 honorable mention All-Americans Toni Alugbue and Jeni Houser. Houser also went on to earn honorable mention honors in 2013 to become just the fourth Irish player to receive AVCA All-America honors two or more times in a career.
A tireless advocate of all things Fighting Irish, Davis helped attract 2010 BIG EAST Conference and AVCA Northeast Region Freshman of the Year Andrea McHugh to Notre Dame along with a pair of top-15 recruiting classes in the first two seasons of his second tenure under the Golden Dome. Successful recruiting continued under Davis and the rest of the Irish staff in 2014 as the six-member group that will make up the class of 2018 ranked 16th nationally and was the only Atlantic Coast Conference class ranked in the top 30.
Known for his defensive prowess, Davis helped the Irish finish in the top three in the BIG EAST in blocks per game from 2009-12 before the Irish left for the ACC in 2013. The run of success included leading the league in 2012.
Before returning to Notre Dame, Davis was head coach at Boise State from 2006-08 where he immediately gave a boost to the program. In his first season, Davis posted the largest win increase for a first-year coach in Bronco history in leading the squad to 13 wins, five more than the 2005 edition of the Broncos. Davis' 2006 total eclipsed that of Darlene Bailey, the winningest head coach in Boise State history (342 victories), who led the Broncos to a four-match turnaround in 1979.
For the first time since joining the Western Athletic Conference in 2001, Boise State swept two of its conference opponents (Louisiana Tech and Fresno State) during the `06 campaign. The Broncos also defeated Nevada for the first time since 1997, ending the longest losing streak against a single team in school history.
As an assistant coach with Notre Dame for four seasons during his first stint in South Bend, and as an associate head coach for one season, Davis helped lead the Fighting Irish to five consecutive BIG EAST regular-season championships and appearances in the NCAA Tournament, reaching the round of 16 in 2005. Notre Dame also finished that year with its highest-ever final national ranking - No. 12 in the AVCA poll and No. 11 in the Volleyball Magazine poll.
Notre Dame led the BIG EAST and ranked among the top six (sixth in 2005) nationally in NCAA Division I in blocking in each of the five seasons following Davis' arrival - after the program had never previously cracked the national top 10. The 2003 squad led the nation in blocking (3.72/set) and broke the school record for the second year in a row (after the previous mark had stood since 1988). Additionally, then-sophomore Lauren Brewster was tops in Division I in individual blocking (1.78/set) in 2003 after finishing fourth as a rookie. Those marked the first two NCAA statistical crowns in Notre Dame history.
Davis was instrumental in the development of Brewster, as well as two of her classmates, Lauren Kelbley and Carolyn Cooper. In 2004, Brewster became the first Notre Dame player ever to be named a third team or higher AVCA All-American. Kelbley, who was a middle blocker during the first half of her career before moving to outside hitter, was three times tabbed an honorable mention All-American after being the rookie of the year for both the BIG EAST and the AVCA's Northeast Region in 2002.
In his first five years at Notre Dame, Davis helped Brewster, Kelbley and 2001 graduate Malinda Goralski account for three of the top eight individual seasons by Irish players in hitting percentage and four of the top nine in blocking. Brewster set a Notre Dame freshman record for both blocks (175) and block average (1.68) in 2002, while her 161 block assists were the most-ever for an Irish player in a season.
In Davis' first season, Goralski led the BIG EAST in blocking (1.66) and finished sixth in Division I while the team's average of 3.42 was good for fifth nationally and the top mark by a Notre Dame squad since 1988. The average was 0.49 higher than Notre Dame's mark in 2000. Goralski, the BIG EAST Player of the Year, was second in the conference with a .379 hitting percentage, which was the second highest by an Irish player in school history.
In 2002, the Irish broke the 14-year-old school record with a block average of 3.66 that was bettered by only one Division I team. That season also saw Brewster, Kelbley, Emily Loomis and Katie Neff each finish with at least 1.00 blocks/set on the season, a feat they would duplicate in 2003 after it had never been done before in Irish history.
Prior to coming to Notre Dame, Davis spent two seasons at Northern Arizona, helping it qualify for the NCAA Tournament in 1999 for the first time in school history. Northern Arizona also captured a share of the Big Sky Conference title in 2000, another program first. Davis served as Northern Arizona's recruiting coordinator and was heavily involved in on-court coaching, focusing on the middle blockers and helping with advanced scouting.
Before Northern Arizona, Davis led Biola to the NAIA national semifinals twice, including a loss in the title match in 1997. His Biola squads posted 20 wins six times, advanced to the regional semifinals seven times and captured two league titles. In `97, Biola earned the national sportsmanship award. Davis left Biola as the winningest coach in the history of the school, accruing 221 wins and a .734 winning percentage in 10 seasons.
A 1979 graduate of Northern Arizona with a degree in physical education, Davis also served as athletics director at Brethren Christian High School in Cypress, Calif., spending nine years coaching volleyball, basketball and baseball. While at Brethren Christian, he also had assistant principal duties.
As a player, Davis was a member of the NAU men's volleyball club team while in college and spent time on the USVBA indoor tour (1979-85), the beach volleyball circuit (1982-87) and the AVP tour (1986-87). When he left California, Davis held an AAA rating as an open beach player.