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    Oct. 14, 1997

    Notre Dame's Denise Boylan Named BIG EAST Volleyball Rookie of the Week

    Freshman setter recognized for running potent Irish offense

    Denise Boylan photo
    Denise Boylan is the BIG EAST rookie of the week. (Click photo for larger version)

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Notre Dame freshman setter Denise Boylan (Lisle, Ill.) has been named the BIG EAST Conference volleyball rookie of the week for October 6-12.

    The 6-1 Boylan ran the Irish offense for 10 of 12 games during the week as Notre Dame extended its winning streak to six matches with victories over Illinois State (3-2), at Boston College (3-1) and at Providence (3-0). The Irish hit a combined .331 for the week, with Boylan averaging 16.40 assists per game. She was second among Irish players during the week with 34 digs, including a match and career-high 21 in the exciting win over ISU. Boylan added five blocks assists, a service ace and six kills on .375 hitting for the week.

    Boylan is the first freshman to open the season as Notre Dame's primary setter since 1988. She has helped the Irish surge to a BIG EAST-leading .258 season hitting pct., which would rank third in team history and second best by a Notre Dame squad since 1986.

    Behind Boylan's setting and a veteran corps of hitters, the Notre Dame offense is running away with the BIG EAST offensive statistics. The Irish are averaging .357 hitting in conference matches (Seton Hall is second, at .270) and 17.92 kills per game in league action (Villanova is next, at 16.00).

    Boylan leads the BIG EAST in overall matches with 12.11 assists/gm, which would rank fourth in Irish history. She also ranks third on the '97 Irish squad with 133 digs (2.46/gm) while her other season totals include 36 kills on .247 hitting, 11 service aces (third on the team) and 28 blocks (two solos).

    Four Notre Dame players have been recognized by the BIG EAST in 1997 during the seven weeks of conference awards. The Irish opened the season with consecutive player of the week honors going to senior hitter Angie Harris, junior middle Lindsay Treadwell and senior hitter Jaimie Lee.

    Two-time defending BIG EAST champion Notre Dame is 12-5 overall and 4-0 in conference play. Each of the Irish losses in 1997 have come to ranked teams, including three currently in the top 10 (#3 Florida, #8 Wisconsin and #10 Washington State), plus current #12 Texas A&M and #19 Colorado. The Irish next have three important non-conference tests versus North Carolina (10/17), at #11 Texas (10/21) and at Houston (10/22).

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