Feb. 11, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Adding to an already impressive class that was signed in November, high school standouts Natalie Johnson and Josephine (Jo) Kremer are set to join the University of Notre Dame volleyball team in the fall as the Irish enter their second season in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Johnson, a libero, hails from Pasadena, Calif., while Kremer, an outside hitter and libero, comes to Notre Dame from Pacific Palisades, Calif. The two Californians continue a long line of Golden State products under head coach Debbie Brown, who herself grew up in California and played collegiate volleyball at USC. Rising senior Toni Alugbue prepped at Brown’s high school – El Segundo – while three graduated seniors, Sammie Brown, Andrea McHugh and Andie Olsen all grew up in California. Incoming freshman Maddie Dilfer is also from California.
“Natalie and Jo are great additions to an already well-rounded class,” said Brown. “The class as a whole is very competitive and hungry to come in and make a positive difference. We have liberos, defensive specialists, setters, middles and outsides coming in so the six-member group really covers the spectrum of positions. We are excited to get them here and into the gym.”
Johnson played three years at Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, earning Prep League MVP honors as a senior. A two-year captain, Johnson was tabbed first team all-area and all-CIF-SS during her final campaign.
“We had the opportunity to watch Natalie throughout her club season last year,” said Brown. “She played on a strong club team that was really fun to watch in addition to being ultra competitive. We really like her super steady passing and her great defensive pursuit. She also has great volleyball smarts, is athletic and possesses good jumping ability in addition to having a great jump float serve. We really like her demeanor and are expecting her to be a solid back row player for us.”
Kremer, an active beach player who was named to the 2012 and 2013 USA U-19 Youth Beach National Teams, earned first team all-Mission League honors as a junior and senior in helping her team to a pair of league championships.
“Jo has shown that she has an incredible volleyball knowledge,” said Brown. “She wasn’t overpowering when she got kills, but she makes great decisions with the ball and knows exactly where the defense isn’t. She is one of the smartest players I have seen at her age level. Jo has the ability to play at outside hitter, but she will be a big asset on the back row because she is a great ball control player. We are excited about her defensive potential.”
The duo joins fellow incoming freshmen Maddie Dilfer, Sam Fry, Sydney Kuhn and Maddie Plumlee in making up the class of 2018.
For more information on Notre Dame volleyball, follow the team on Facebook (/NDVolleyball) and Twitter (@NDVolleyball).
The Johnson File: Set to graduate from Mayfield High School in the spring of 2014 … earned three letters in volleyball … participated in Prep League, Division 2A, Southern Section … varsity player for sophomore, junior and senior seasons … team captain junior and senior year … as a senior, earned MVP of the Prep League along with first team all-area and All CIF-SS accolades … team went 24-2 overall and was undefeated in league play on way to runner-up finish in CIF-SS Division 2A … team was ranked 23rd in state and 97th nationally during final year … played club for San Gabriel Elite Volleyball Club (12s-18s), helping squad to a bronze medal at the 2013 Junior Nationals for the 17s open division … named an all-star libero for Southern California in the 17 year old age group … off the court, is a leader for the father-daughter and cultural events for the National Charity League Member … head of the Athletic Leadership Council at Mayfield … is left handed … full name is Natalie Kay Johnson … born in Pasadena, Calif., to Paul and Katherine Johnson … has a younger sister, Sarah, and a younger brother, David … also has a twin brother, Matthew, who will attend Vanderbilt in the fall … will enroll in First Year of Studies.
Josephine (Jo) Kremer
The Kremer File: Set to graduate from Harvard-Westlake High School in the spring of 2014 … earned three letters in volleyball and one in track and field … participated in the Southern California Division 1A classification … as a senior achieved first team All-Mission League and CIF Southern Section all-area honors (Division IA) … helped squad to a Mission League Championship along with a Division 1A CIF runner-up finish … named the Mission League MVP as a junior after earning first team all-league and CIF Southern Section all-area (Division IA) accolades … helped team win a Mission League title … went undefeated in league play during the beach season … earned second team all-league as a sophomore as team finish third in league … also placed third during the beach season … began high school career by assisting squad to a Mission League championship … on the sand, was named to the 2012 and 2013 USA U-19 Youth Beach Volleyball National Teams … active on the club circuit … played for the Sports Shack Volleyball Club, the Santa Monica Beach Club and the Lost Angeles Volleyball Academy over the years … in the summer of 2013, helped her 17s team finish in the top 15 at the AAU national tournament … the summer before, helped 16s squad to a top-10 finish at the AAU national tournament … in summer of 2011 helped 15s club team win the Open Division Festival championship … off the court was a “Ticktocker” for the National Charity League (NCL), which is a nationwide, mother-daughter charitable organization … full name is Josephine Noelle James Kremer … born in Santa Monica, California, to Mark Kremer and Debra James … has an older brother, Matthew … will enroll in First Year of Studies.
-- Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director