Aug. 25, 1997
Notre Dame's Jaimie Lee Captains U.S. into World University Games Semi's
U.S. to face Canada on Wednesday, with winner advancing to gold-medal match
CATANIA, Sicily - Notre Dame senior Jaimie Lee (Spokane, Wash.) had 10 kills, four aces and three blocks as the United States continued to rely on its outside hitters in a crucial 15-9, 15-8, 2-15, 15-5 victory over China in quarterfinal action Monday at the World University Games (WUG).
The win moves the U.S. into Wednesday's semi-finals against Canada, with the winner of that match moving onto Friday's gold-medal contest while the loser of the U.S.-Canada match will contend for the bronze medal on Friday.
The U.S. (3-1) suffered its only loss of the tournament on Saturday in the final round of pool play, dropping a hard-fought match with Russia (11-15, 12-15, 12-15). The U.S. advanced to the quarterfinals by virtue of earlier 3-0 wins over New Zealand and Estonia. Lee paced the U.S. against Russia with 17 kills on .243 hitting (7 errors, 41 att.), plus seven digs, one ace and one block.
In the win over China, outside hitter Demetria Sance, a junior at the University of Texas, again led the U.S. offense. Sance had 25 kills against China and just six errors on 44 attempts, for an impressive .433 hitting pct., plus 11 digs and two service aces. Sance has led the U.S. at the World University Games with 48 kills, .448 hitting and 29 digs in the team's four matches.
UCLA senior Kara Milling completed the trio of U.S. outside hitters in Monday's match who accounted for 49 of the team's 62 kills (nearly 80%). Milling had 14 kills and seven errors on 37 swings (.189), in addition to a team-high 14 digs, two aces and two blocks.
Sance (9 K, .300), Milling (5 K, .181) and Lee also accounted for the bulk of the U.S. offense against Russia, totaling 28 of the team's 48 kills. In the four WUG matches, the trio has combined for nearly 60% of the U.S. kills (104 of 179).
Lee, the U.S. team captain, managed just a .081 hitting pct. in the China match (eight errors, 28 att.) but continues to lead the squad with 10 aces over the first four matches (versus just two service errors). Lee's 33 kills in Sicily are second-most on the U.S. squad while her 19 digs rank third behind Sance and Milling (27).
NOTES: Former Brigham Young standout setter Charlene Johnson continues to be a key member of the U.S. squad after joining the team last week as a replacement for injured Laura Davis (Ohio State '96). Johnson has run a U.S. offense that is hitting .316 in Sicily, including a .278 effort in Monday's big match against China. Johnson also had nine digs, four blocks, two kills and an ace in the China match.
The other 13 U.S. kills Monday came from UCLA sophomore middle blocker Liz Bachman (6 K, .357), Long Beach State junior middle Benishe Dillard (3 K, .222) and opposite Kim Keys (2 K, .500), a 1997 graduate of UC Santa Barbara.
The U.S. totaled 10 blocks on Monday, led by seven from Bachman, and 10 aces, including two each from Milling and Sance. China managed just six aces versus the U.S., which totaled seven service errors and eight blocking errors.
Bachman leads the U.S. in Sicily with 17 blocks (four solo) while Dillard and Keys both have 11 blocks over the first four matches.