NOTRE DAME, Ind. - For the second year in a row, University of Notre Dame volleyball All-American Jeni Houser has earned a spot on the all-Atlantic Coast Conference preseason squad, the ACC announced Tuesday.
The honor marks the third time in as many years the Louisville, Ky., native has received preseason praise from a conference office as she earned preseason all-BIG EAST accolades in 2012 to go along with preseason all-ACC honors in 2013.
Houser is one of nine seniors throughout the league that claimed a spot on the 19-member preseason squad.
A two-time honorable mention AVCA All-American, Houser heads into her final collegiate on pace to leave her mark in program history. After becoming the 21st player in program history to reach the 1,000-kill club (1,010) last year, the American Studies major would move into the top 10 in Notre Dame history (1,286 and above) if she keeps on the pace she has set over her first three campaigns.
In addition, she sits in a tie for fifth in school history with a .306 hitting percentage and could move into third or fourth place with an efficient year.
A middle blocker and right side specialist, Houser has also become a proficient blocker as she enters 2014 with 276 total blocks to give her 1,190.5 points when added to her 1,010 kills and 19 service aces.
While preseason all-conference honors is a nice start to a season, the end of the year team and individual accolades are far more important for Houser. After receiving second team all-BIG EAST accolades in 2011, Houser led the Irish to the NCAA Tournament and earned first team all-BIG EAST, first team all-Northeast Region and honorable mention All-America accolades in 2012. Last season, Houser became the first player in school history to earn all-ACC honors (third team) before being selected first team all-East Coast Region and honorable mention All-America for the second time.
Irish Picked 11th In Preseason ACC Poll:
After finishing 13-18 (7-13 ACC), in their first season in the ACC, the Irish have been picked 11th in the preseason ACC poll. Defending league champion Duke received four first-place votes and is picked second behind Florida State, which secured seven first-place votes. North Carolina also earned four first-place votes and claimed third place. Rounding out the other squads picked in front of Notre Dame are Miami, league-newcomer Louisville, Virginia, N.C. State, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech. Sitting behind the Irish are Clemson, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and Boston College.
As A Reminder:
The Irish open their 2014 season this weekend with the ACC / Big Ten Challenge in Minneapolis, Minn. Notre Dame will meet No. 12 Minnesota at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CT) Friday, before battling No. 6 Wisconsin at 5 p.m. ET (4 p.m. CT) Saturday. The Gophers advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament last season, while the Badgers made a historic run to the national championship game as the tournament's No. 12 seed before falling to Big Ten foe and traditional volleyball power Penn State, 3-1.
Fans should be able to watch both matches online in addition to live stats, but more information will be announced in the coming days.
If You Haven't Gotten Your Season Tickets Yet ...:
Season tickets are on sale for Notre Dame's 15-match home schedule that include contests against ranked ACC foes Duke (No. 21) and North Carolina (No. 20) in addition to two home tournaments - the Golden Dome Invitational and the Shamrock Invitational.
This year, first-time season ticket buyers will receive a discount on prices. Instead of $35, adult will pay $26; instead of $20, youth and seniors will pay $15 and instead of $80, a Family 4 Pack (2 adults/2 youth) will be $60.
Volleyball Season Ticket Info
... Or Joined The Irish Spikers:
The youth club Irish Spikers is also accepting members for the 2014 season. Fans with children that are in the eighth grade or under are encouraged to participate, as membership is just $20 for the entire season and include several great benefits.
Irish Spikers Info
Hopefully You Met The Freshmen Class:
Over the last six days, UND.com featured a different freshman volleyball player on the program's home page. If you missed it, learn more about Maddie Dilfer (here), Sam Fry (here), Natalie Johnson (here), Jo Kremer (here), Sydney Kuhn (here) and Maddie Plumlee (here) during your lunch break.
What's Coming Up:
Leading up to Friday's match against Minnesota, a 2014 season preview will be put up Wednesday and a weekend preview with full match notes Thursday. Be sure to follow the Irish on Facebook (/NDVolleyball), Twitter (@NDVolleyball), Instagram (NDVBall) and Vine (NDVolleyball) for behind-the-scenes coverage from the first weekend of the 2014 season.
The Irish will arguably face one of the toughest schedules in the country this year as they play six AVCA preseason top 25 opponents throughout the season. Notre Dame will open up the 2014 campaign with No. 6 Wisconsin (Aug. 29) and No. 12 Minnesota (Aug. 30) in Minneapolis. Three weeks later, the Irish face off with No. 8 Purdue in West Lafayette (Sept. 20). In ACC play, Notre Dame will battle No. 13 Florida State Sept. 28 (at FSU), No. 20 North Carolina Nov. 21 (at Purcell) and No. 21 Duke Oct. 5 (at Purcell) and Nov. 16 (at Duke).
AVCA Preseason Poll
In addition to all 15 Irish home games appearing for free through WatchND, fans can also check out the squad on ESPN3 at Pittsburgh (Oct. 10), at Duke (Nov. 16) and at home versus Boston College (Oct. 19) and Louisville (Nov. 9). Notre Dame will kick off its TV schedule Sept. 20 at No. 8 Purdue on the Big Ten Network (BTN). The first serve is slated for 8 p.m.
Full ACC TV Schedule For Fall Sports
If you missed it last week, the Irish accepted Boston College volleyball's #ALSIceBucketChallenge and then challenged Louisville volleyball. Check out the team's effort below or by following the Irish on Facebook (/NDVolleyball) or Instagram (NDVBall).
--Russell Dorn, Assistant Media Relations Director