Women's Volleyball

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Aug. 14, 1997

Notre Dame Volleyball Ranked 17th in Preseason USA Today Coaches Poll

Irish Check in at 18th in Preseason Volleyball Magazine Poll

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame women's volleyball team is a consensus top-20 team heading into the 1997 season, following the release of the preseason polls by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and Volleyball magazine.

Notre Dame, which returns five of six starters from the 1996 team that finished 22-12, is ranked 17th in the preseason USA Today/AVCA preseason poll and 18th by Volleyball magazine. The '97 Irish finished 25th in the final AVCA poll, re-entering the poll after a five-game loss to then-#12 Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Irish made the biggest jump of any team receiving votes in the final '96 AVCA poll, rising eight spots, while UCLA has re-entered the AVCA poll (at 21st) after suffering through an off-year in 1996.

Notre Dame entered the '96 season as a consensus top-10 team in both polls for the first time in the program's history. Major injuries to three starters, including current senior setter Carey May and current senior hitter Angie Harris, took their toll on the '96 Irish, who fell out of the AVCA top 25 on Nov. 12, 1996 (ending a streak of 66 consecutive weeks in which the Irish were ranked).

Eight opponents on Notre Dame's 1997 schedule are among the AVCA preseason top 25, including #4 Florida, #5 Long Beach State, #7 Washington State, #9 Texas, #12 UC Santa Barbara, #13 Texas A&M, #18 Wisconsin and #23 Colorado. Seven other teams on Notre Dame's '97 schedule received votes from among the 60 AVCA voters: Louisville (83 votes/29th overall), Houston (21/35th), Pittsburgh (7/42nd), Georgia (5/43rd), North Carolina (5/43rd), Oral Roberts (5/43rd) and Illinois State (4/46th).

Defending NCAA champion Stanford is #1 in the AVCA preseason poll, after receiving 58 of 60 first-place votes. Penn State is #2 and received the other two first-place votes while 1995 NCAA champion Nebraska is ranked #3 in the AVCA preseason poll. The AVCA poll's other top-10 preseason teams include #6 Michigan State, #8 Brigham Young and #10 University of the Pacific.

Volleyball magazine's preseason poll matches the AVCA top five, with the following changes in the rest of the top 10: #6 BYU, #7 Michigan State, #8 Washington State and #9 Texas A&M (the magazine also has UOP in the 10th spot). Other '97 Notre Dame opponents in the Volleyball magazine preseason top 20 include #11 UCSB and #13 Texas (Wisconsin and Louisville were two of three other teams that received votes in the preseason Volleyball magazine poll).

Notre Dame's 1997 home schedule includes eight teams that received votes in the preseason AVCA poll. The Irish open their season by playing host to the Shamrock Invitational (Aug. 29-30), which will include 1996 NCAA Tournament teams Louisville, Oral Roberts and Wisconsin. Notre Dame will play host to five teams that participated in the 1996 NCAAs, including Florida (Sept. 8) and Texas A&M, which will take part in the Tournament of Champions on Sept. 19-20 at the Notre Dame Joyce Center. The '97 home slate includes three other matches against teams that received votes in the preseason AVCA poll: Illinois State (Oct. 7), North Carolina (Oct. 17) and Pittsburgh (Nov. 9).

Notre Dame's remaining 1997 matches against teams that received votes in the preseason AVCA poll are as follows: vs. Washington State (at Spokane Spikeoff, Sept. 6), vs. Georgia (at Colorado Invitational, Sept. 12), at Colorado (Sept. 13), at Texas (Oct. 21), at Houston (Oct. 22), vs. UCSB (at Long Beach Tournament, Nov. 28), at Long Beach State (Nov. 29).


NOTRE DAME'S HISTORY IN THE AVCA POLL
First Ranking: 1988 (15h in final poll)
Highest Ranking: 7th (10/16/95)
Highest Final Ranking: 12th (1994)
Consecutive Weeks Ranked: 66 (9/9/92 - 11/5/96)

YEAR    PRESEASON    HIGHEST             FINAL
1992    N.R.         20th (final poll)   20th
1993    19th         11th (10/26/93)     17th
1994    17th         11th (11/15/94)     12th
1995    11th         7th (9/19/95)       14th
1996    9th          8th (9/3/95)        25th
1997    17th 
1997 AVCA/USA TODAY  PRESEASON POLL
School (1996 record)          Pts (1st-place votes)   Final 1996 Rank
 1.  Stanford (31-2)          1,498 (58)              1
 2.  Penn State (31-3)        1,369 (2)               5
 3.  Nebraska (30-4)          1,354                   3
 4.  Florida (37-2)           1,289                   4
 5.  Long Beach State (33-3)  1,220                  10  
 6.  Michigan State (26-7)    1,074                   6
 7.  Washington State (27-6)  1,039                   7 
 8.  Brigham Young (27-7)     1,000                   8
 9.  Texas (23-7)               933                  11
10.  U. ofPacific (26-7)        897                  12
11.  Hawaii (35-3)              802                   2
12.  UC Santa Barbara (23-9)    707                  17
13.  Texas  A&M (25-8)          663                  19
14.  Ohio State (27-6)          649                  13
15.  USC (21-9)                 617                  14
16.  Loyola Marymount (26-3)    613                   9
17.  NOTRE DAME (22-12)         567                  25
18.  Wisconsin (25-8)           555                  15
19.  Washington (23-8)          485                  18
20.  Arizona (20-10)            402                  23
21.  UCLA (17-14)               254                  NR
22.  South Florida (27-5)       195                  22
23.  Colorado (19-10)           166                  NR (26)
24.  Colorado State (23-11)     162                  NR (31)
25.  Arkansas (26-11)           157                  NR (30)

Others receiving votes: George Mason (153), Georgia Tech (95), Maryland (93), Louisville (83), Minnesota (80), Kansas State (76), Northern Illinois (35), Duke (33), San Diego (27), Houston (21), San Diego State (19), Texas Tech (19), South Carolina (17), Oregon State (14), Rhode Island (12), Pepperdine (8), Pittsburgh (7), Georgia (5), North Carolina (5), Oral Roberts (5), Arizona State (4), Idaho (4), Illinois State (4), Miami, OH (4), Ball State (3), Massachusetts (2), Auburn (1), Butler (1).

1997 VOLLEYBALL MAGAZINE PRESEASON POLL
School  1996 record Final 1996 Rank
 1.  Stanford                  31-2     1
 2.  Penn State                31-3     5       
 3.  Nebraska                  30-4     4
 4.  Florida                   37-2     2   
 5.  Long Beach State          33-3     7
 6.  Brigham Young             27-7    NR (votes)
 7.  Michigan State            26-7     8
 8.  Washington State          27-6     9   
 9.  Texas A&M                 25-8    16
10. University of the Pacific  26-7    12
11. UC Santa Barbara           23-9    14
12. UCLA                       17-14   NR
13. Texas                      23-7    10
14. Southern California        21-9    11
15. Ohio State                 27-6    13
16. Loyola Marymount           26-3     6
17. Washington                 23-8    17
18. NOTRE DAME                 22-12   NR
19. Arizona                    20-10   NR (votes)
20. Hawaii                     35-3     3

Others receiving votes: South Florida, Wisconsin, Louisville.
Note: Teams in italics indicate teams on Notre Dame's 1997 schedule.

Event Calendar

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September 23
W, 3-0
Louisville
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)
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ACC Network Extra
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September 25
W, 3-0
Miami
Coral Gables, Fla. (James L. Knight Complex)
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ACC Network Extra
Live Stats
September 30
7:00 PM
Duke
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

Flashback Friday Free Shirt Friday - First 500 fans receive a retro-themed T-shirt
October 2
1:00 PM
Wake Forest
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

First 500 fans receive ND headbands Health & Fitness Day - Post-match Zumba session ND Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day
October 7
7:00 PM
Syracuse
Syracuse, N.Y. (Women's Building)
October 9
12:00 PM
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Mass. (Power Gym)
October 14
7:00 PM
North Carolina
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

Free Shirt Friday - first 500 fans receive a free T-shirt
October 16
1:00 PM
NC State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

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October 21
7:00 PM
Pitt
Pittsburgh, Pa. (Fitzgerald Field House)
October 23
1:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Va. (Cassell Coliseum)
October 28
7:00 PM
Miami
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

Block Out Cancer
October 30
1:00 PM
Florida State
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

"Volloween" - Kids wearing costumes get in free / Pre-match Trick or Treat at the Joyce / Post-match movie on the video board
November 4
7:30 PM
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, N.C. (Summit School)
November 6
12:00 PM
Duke
Durham, N.C. (Cameron Indoor Stadium)
November 9
7:00 PM
Louisville
Louisville, Ky. (KFC Yum! Center)
November 13
1:00 PM
Virginia
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

Military Appreciation Day First 300 fans receive a ND Volleyball camo hat Post-Match Autographs
November 18
7:00 PM
Clemson
Clemson, S.C. (Jervey Gym)
November 20
1:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Atlanta, Ga. (O'Keefe Gymnasium)
November 23
7:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)
November 25
1:00 PM
Syracuse
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

Fan Appreciation Day - All tickets just $3 Free Shirt Friday - First 500 fans get a Black Friday-themed T-shirt) Senior Day
December 2
TBA
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December 4
TBA
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December 9
TBA
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December 10
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December 15
TBA
TBD
Columbus, Ohio (Nationwide Arena)
December 17
TBA
TBD
Columbus, Ohio (Nationwide Arena)

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