Irish Clinch Share of Third Straight BIG EAST Title, Brown Wins 300th Career Match
- Conference win streak stands at 72 matches heading into final week
- Harris, Lee become top classmate kill duo in Irish history
- Challenging Long Beach Thanksgiving tournament two weeks away
ROAD WARRIORS: The Notre Dame volleyball team (19-6, 9-0 BIG EAST)--winners of six straight and 13 of its last 14--heads back on the road for its seventh of nine roadtrips ... the Irish will spend the next two weekends in the state of New Jersey, playing at Rutgers (Nov. 15) and Seton Hall (Nov. 16) before returning the following week to Seton Hall's Walsh Gym for the BIG EAST Tournament ... Notre Dame has clinched at least a share of its third straight BIG EAST regular season title ... the Irish are assured of the #1 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament, due to a 3-0 win over current second-place team Villanova (7-2) ... the Irish have won the last two BIG EAST Tournament titles and are 35-0 vs. BIG EAST teams the past three seasons ...11 of Notre Dame's final 14 regular season matches are on the road (plus two potential BIG EAST Tournament matches) ... each of Notre Dame's six losses in '97 have come against ranked opponents, including four who are ranked in this week's AVCA top 12: #5 Wisconsin, #12 Washington State, #4 Florida and #8 Texas (the Irish also have lost to current #18 Texas A&M and #22 Colorado) ... Notre Dame's non-conference schedule includes eight teams in this week's AVCA top 20 and six in the top 12 (the above teams, plus #1 Long Beach State and #6 UC Santa Barbara) ... Notre Dame has not lost to a conference opponent in the tenure of head coach Debbie Brown (since '91), going 72-0 for the nation's longest active conference win streak ... in two-plus years of BIG EAST play, the Irish have posted three-game wins in 29 of 35 matches ... the Nov. 7 win over West Virginia marked the 300th career Division I coaching victory for Irish head coach Debbie Brown.
BIG EAST TOURNAMENT WATCH: Villanova joined Notre Dame as the second team to clinch a spot in the BIG EAST Tournament, after a 3-1 win on Nov. 9 at Rutgers ... eight teams remain in the running for the final four spots, with Connecticut (6-3) leading that group ... three teams are tied with 5-4 records--Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia--while three others are 4-5: Rutgers, Seton Hall and Providence ... Georgetown (3-6) saw its chances fade with a loss on Nov. 7 at Rutgers ... this week's schedule includes: Pittsburgh and West Virginia at Connecticut and St. John's; Syracuse and Notre Dame at Seton Hall and Rutgers; and Providence and Boston College at Georgetown and Villanova ... in 1996, three teams--St. John's, Connecticut and Georgetown--tied for fifth place (6-5), with Georgetown losing out on tiebreakers.
HARRIS-LEE MAKE CASE AS BEST CLASSMATE COMBO: Notre Dame senior hitters and team co-captains Angie Harris and Jaimie Lee have turned in an impressive '97 season that has established them as one of the top classmate duos in Irish volleyball history ... in '95, Harris (3.27) and Lee (3.91) became the only Irish teammates ever to average 3.9 kills-plus/gm in the same season and this season are on pace to both average above 4.1 kpg (Lee is at 4.25, Harris 4.13) ... Harris (1,440) and Lee (1,283) rank third and fifth on the Irish career kills list and their 2,723 combined kills rank first all-time among Irish classmates, passing the previous record held by '89 graduates Zanette Bennett (1,471) and Maureen Shea (1,193), who totaled 2,664 ... Harris and Lee rank first all-time among Notre Dame classmates with a 6.99 career kill average (Harris 3.93, Lee 3.06), 140 double-digit kill matches (Harris 80, Lee 60), 27 matches with 20-plus kills (Harris 16, Lee 11) and 327 service aces (Harris 227, Lee 100) ... Harris (33) and Lee (31) have combined for 64 matches with 10-plus kills and 10-plus digs, third-most by Irish classmates ... the all-time Irish classmate record for combined digs is held by '93 graduates Jessica Fiebelkorn (1,324) and Alicia Turner (1,196), who totaled 2,520, followed by '95 grads Christy Peters (1,640) and Nicole Coates (638), who totaled 2,278, and Lee (1,070) and Harris (949), who have combined for 2,019 ... Harris needs 51 more digs for Harris and Lee to join Fiebelkorn and Turner as the second pair of Irish classmates in Notre Dame's 1,000 kills/1,000 digs club ... finally, Lee (.930) and Harris (.811) own a combined career-games-played percentage of .871 that trails only Shea (.918) and Bennett (.833), who appeared in a combined 87.6 percent of Notre Dame's games during their careers.
SENIOR SALUTE: Notre Dame's class of '98--hitters Jaimie Lee and Angie Harris, setter Carey May and middle Molly McCarthy--last week played the final regular season home matches of their career ... during their four-year career, Notre Dame has compiled a record of 101 -29 for a .776 winning percentage that ranks fourth among all-time Irish classes ... the senior class has helped Notre Dame advance to the NCAAs during each of the past three seasons, including a trip to the regional round in 1994 ... the Irish have gone 48-0 vs. conference opponents in the last four seasons, winning 144 of 151 conference games during that time ... each member of the senior class has posted at least one Dean's List semester at Notre Dame and the foursome has combined for eight Dean's List semesters ... the Irish have visited 20 different states--plus Washington, D.C. and Germany--during the seniors' career, with those trips including visits to Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Nebraska, Texas and several cities in northern and southern California.
BROWN GETS 300TH WIN: Debbie Brown is 184-55 (.770) in six-plus seasons as head coach at Notre Dame and 301-138 (.686) in 12-plus seasons as a Division I head coach ... Brown's 300th career victory came in the Nov. 7 home win over West Virginia (3-0) ... Brown has been named conference coach of the year in five of her first six seasons at Notre Dame and has led 10 of her 12 Division I teams to the NCAA Tournament ... she was head coach at Arizona State University from 1983-88 and served as a U.S. national team assistant before accepting the head coaching position at Notre Dame in 1991 ... her 1993 Notre Dame team advanced to the NCAA quarterfinals while the 1994 and '95 Irish squads advanced to the regional round of the NCAAs.
BIG EAST BESTS: Notre Dame's 9-0 start in BIG EAST play can be traced to the team's dominating statistical performances ... three Irish players sit atop the BIG EAST hitting pct. charts for conference games: senior hitter Jaimie Lee (.449), sophomore middle Mary Leffers (.410) and freshman opposite Christi Girton (.360) while senior hitter Angie Harris is sixth at .329 ... Lee's 4.56 kills per game in conference action ranks fifth in the BIG EAST ... Harris owns the second-best ace average (0.64/gm) in BIG EAST play ... Notre Dame's conference-leading .345 hitting pct. in BIG EAST matches is nearly 100 points ahead of second-place Seton Hall (.258) ... the Irish also lead the BIG EAST with 16.93 kills/gm in league action (Villanova is next, at 15.53) while ranking first in aces (1.90/gm) and fifth in blocks (2.48/gm) ... for the overall 1997 season, Notre Dame players rank among the BIG EAST leaders in kills (Lee is third, at 4.25/gm and Harris fourth at 4.13), aces (Harris is second, 0.55/gm), blocks (Leffers is third, 1.29/gm) and assists (freshman Denise Boylan is first, 11.95/gm) ... Leffers ranks third in overall hitting (.310) while Lee is sixth at .297 ... Notre Dame also leads the BIG EAST in overall hitting pct. (.271) and kill average (16.17/gm) while ranking fourth in blocks (2.67/gm).
CONFERENCE CALL: Notre Dame has won 72 consecutive matches against conference opponents--the longest active streak in the nation--beginning with the first conference match of the Debbie Brown era: a 3-0 win at Butler on Oct. 18, 1991 ... the current streak includes Notre Dame's final 37 matches in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (10 of which came in the MCC Tournament) and the first 35 in the BIG EAST (four coming in the BIG EAST Tournament) ... the Oct. 12 win at Providence moved Notre Dame past Nebraska (66, 1982-87) into fourth place on the list of all-time longest Division I women's volleyball conference win streaks (AIAW and NCAA), behind Western Michigan (98, 1982-89), Arkansas State (97, 1976-81) and Texas (73, 1984-91) ... with wins this week at Rutgers and Seton Hall, the Irish could pass the Texas streak into third place ... the current 70-match conference win streak has included 58 three-game wins (nine in postseason), 12 four-game wins (four in postseason) and just two five-game matches: vs. Loyola at the 1991 MCC Championship match, held at Butler (15-10, 7-15, 15-1, 14-16, 15-10) and at home vs. Villanova on Oct. 6, 1996 (13-15, 9-15, 15-9, 15-12, 15-12) ... 29 of Notre Dame's 35 BIG EAST wins have been 3-0, with the Irish beating Pittsburgh 3-1 four times (including last weekend) and topping Boston College 3-1 earlier this season ... Central Florida entered last week with a 61-match conference winning streak.
TOUGH IN THE MIDDLE: Notre Dame's starting middles--junior Lindsay Treadwell (Austin ,Texas) and sophomore Mary Leffers (Tampa, Fla.)--have established themselves as two of the top hitting leaders in Notre Dame volleyball history ... Leffers owns a .310 season hitting pct. that would rank fifth in Irish history ... Leffers' career hitting pct. of .289 is tied with Zanette Bennett (1985-88) for second in Irish history, just behind Treadwell's .290 ... Treadwell's season hitting in 1997 has slipped back to .265, after hitting .253 as a sophomore and .367 as a freshman (third-best in Irish history) ... Leffers also ranks second in Irish history with for career block average (1.37/gm).
LEE A STANDARD NAME IN IRISH RECORD BOOK: Senior hitter Jaimie Lee assisted on a block on Sept. 20 vs. Texas A&M to move into a tie for 10th on the Notre Dame career blocks list and, in the process, became the only player in the Notre Dame career top 10 for hitting, kills, digs, aces, blocks and digs ... while Lee was reaching her milestone, freshman setter Denise Boylan bumped '97 grad Jenny Birkner from the same distinction ... Boylan's 28 assists at Colorado on Sept. 13 gave her 347 in her young career, moving her into 10th place on the Irish career assists list (a spot formally occupied by Birkner, who had 339; Boylan now is 7th with 932) ... Lee--who played middle as a freshman and served as a fill-in setter for the first half of '96--holds down the following career rankings at Notre Dame: 5th in digs (1,070), 5th in kills (1,283), 6th in hitting pct. (.273), 9th in assists (732), 9th in aces (100) and 9th in blocks (270) ... Lee heads into the week 16 kills behind Jessica Fiebelkorn (1,299; 1989-92) on the Irish career kills list ... her 10 digs at Texas on Oct. 21 pushed Lee over 1,000 for her career, allowing her to join Alicia Turner (1989-92), Fiebelkorn (1989-92), Christy Peters (1991-94) and Birkner as the fifth Notre Dame player ever to total 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs ... Lee has appeared in 97.7% (127 of 130) of Notre Dame's matches in her career, third best in Irish volleyball history ... she has played in 420 of 451 career games (.931), ranking behind only Birkner (.965) in Irish history ... Lee needs to play in 30 more games this season to become the fifth Irish player ever to log 450 in her career ... she needs to appear in nine more matches to move into fifth on that all-time list.
SETTING THE TABLE: Denise Boylan--the first freshman to open the season as Notre Dame's setter since 1988--has helped the Irish surge to a BIG EAST-leading .271 season hitting pct., which would equal the team record set by the 1995 team ... 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 .345 hitting (Seton Hall is second at .258) and 16.93 kills per game in league action (Villanova is next, at 15.53) ... Boylan leads the BIG EAST in overall matches with 11.95 assists/gm, which would rank fourth in Irish history ... she also ranks fourth on the '97 Irish squad with 155 digs (1.99/gm) while her other season totals include 53 kills on .279 hitting, 16 service aces (third on the team) and 45 blocks (three solos) ... Boylan is averaging an impressive 54 assists per ballhandling error during her freshman season (932/17) ... she is one of three members of Notre Dame's freshman class who were named to the Volleyball magazine national Fab 50 (the others are hitters/middle blockers Christi Girton and Jo Jameyson).
25-MATCH CHECKUP: With the end of the regular season approaching, several Irish players remain on pace for noteworthy statistical campaigns ... senior hitters Jaimie Lee (4.25 kills/gm) and Angie Harris (4.13 kpg) currently own the fourth and fifth-best kill averages in Irish history and could become the first Notre Dame teammates ever to average four-plus kills per game in the same season ... Lee and Harris already are the only Irish teammates ever to both average over 3.9-kills per game in the same season (doing so in 1995, Harris at 4.27 kpg and Lee at 3.91) and each currently ranks among Notre Dame's top-four career kill average leaders (Harris is first at 3.93 kills/gm, Lee is fourth at 3.06 kpg) ... Harris (80) and Lee (60) also are the first Irish teammates to both post more than 50 career double-digit kill matches ... sophomore middle Mary Leffers' owns a .310 season hitting pct. that would rank fifth in Irish history ... Harris has posted five 20-plus kill matches in 1997, fifth-most in Irish history ... freshmen setter Denise Boylan's assist average of 11.95/gm would rank fourth in Irish history ... Harris' season ace avg. (0.55/gm) would be fourth in Irish history (she already owns the top three averages) ... Lee is averaging 3.08 digs/gm, giving her a combined kill/dig average of 7.33/gm that would rank third in Irish history .... as a team, Notre Dame's 16.17 kills per game would rank second in Irish history (just behind the '95 team's 16.32) while the team hitting pct. of .271 is on pace to equal the team record, set in '95 ... the Irish passers have allowed just 1.28 opponent aces per game, which would rank fifth-best in team history.
TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE: The 1997 Notre Dame volleyball team includes some of the best hitting combinations in the program's history ... senior hitters Jaimie Lee (4.25 kills/gm) and Angie Harris (4.13) are on pace to become the first Irish teammates to average over four kills per game in the same season ... sophomore middle Mary Leffers (2.81 kills/gm) gives the Irish the program's second-best hitting threesome, behind the 1987 trio of Zanette Bennett (4.03), Kathy Cunningham (3.43) and Maureen Shea (3.12) ... with junior middle Lindsay Treadwell (2.14) and surging freshman opposite Christi Girton (1.98) thrown into the mix, the Irish have one of its best ever group of starting hitters ... during the current 13-1 run, the production of Harris (4.13), Lee (4.07), Leffers (3.07) and Girton (2.57) is comparable to that of the '87 team (when Mary Kay Waller rounded out that foursome with 2.63 kpg), with Treadwell also averaging 2.09 kills/gm over the last 14 matches ... during the current 14-match run, Lee (.373), Girton (.343), Leffers (.339) and Harris (.329) all have posted impressive hitting pct. numbers, with Girton hitting .435-plus in seven of those matches.
ACE IN THE HOLE: Senior hitter Angie Harris continues to add to her prominence in the Irish record book ... she owns seven service ace records (including 227 in her career, a career average of 0.620/gm and nine in a match) while her career kill average of 3.93/gm would set a new Irish record in that category, surpassing the 3.82 set by '95 grad. Christy Peters ... Harris has 1,440 kills in her career, which trails only Peters (1,683) and Zanette Bennett (1,471; 1985-89) on the Irish career kills list ... her 80 career matches with double-digit kills is tied with Peters for the Irish record ... Harris also ranks 2nd to only Peters (19) with 16 career 20-plus kill matches, including five in 1997 ... in terms of career double-double matches (kills/digs), Harris ranks 4th with 33, just one behind former teammate Jenny Birkner (1993-96) ... her career dig average of 2.59/gm ranks 7th all-time at Notre Dame ... Harris' 949 career digs rank 9th all-time, 10 behind Maureen Shea (1985-88) and 13 behind Brett Hensel (1992-95) ... Harris needs 51 digs to join classmate Jaimie Lee as the sixth Notre Dame player with 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs.
Volleyball Magazine (11/10) 1. Stanford 24-2 2. Long Beach State 23-1 3. Penn State 24-1 4. Florida 26-1 5. Wisconsin 22-2 6. UC Santa Barbara 24-3 7. Brigham Young 22-5 8. USC 19-4 9. Texas 20-3 10. Arizona 17-5 11. Nebraska 18-6 12. Hawaii 20-5 13. Washington State 21-5 14. Pepperdine 20-3 15. Washington 15-8 16. Maryland 23-0 17. Texas A&M 18-6 18. University of the Pacific 17-7 19. Colorado State 23-3 20. San Diego 20-2
Others receiving votes: Arkansas (23-5), Loyola Marymount (19-5), Michigan (19-8), Michigan State (19-9), Ohio State (19-7).
USA Today/AVCA Top 25 (11/11) Team (1st place votes) W-L Points 1. Long Beach St. (47) 23-1 1485 2. Penn State (5) 24-1 1421 3. Stanford (7) 24-2 1390 4. Florida (1) 26-1 1336 5. Wisconsin 22-2 1253 6. UC Santa Barbara 24-3 1179 7. USC 19-4 1132 8. Texas 20-3 1095 9. Brigham Young 22-5 1027 10. Arizona 17-5 888 11. Nebraska 18-6 823 12. Washington State 21-5 787 13. Pepperdine 20-3 722 14. Hawaii 18-5 681 15. Maryland 23-0 641 16. Washington 15-8 607 17. Colorado State 23-3 588 18. Texas A&M 18-6 508 19. Univ. of the Pacific 17-7 451 20. Loyola Marymount 19-5 392 21. San Diego 21-3 354 22. Colorado 14-7 292 23. Arkansas 23-5 179 24. UCLA 12-10 60 25. Ohio State 19-7 55
Others receiving votes: Michigan St. (49), S. Carolina (27), Texas Tech (16), C. Florida (11), Michigan (11), Ball State (8), Illinois (5), Notre Dame (5), Sacramento St. (4), S. Florida (4), E. Washington (3), Illinois St. (2), Florida St. (1), Fresno St. (1), Kansas St. (1), Minnesota (1), Oklahoma (1), Oral Roberts (1), Utah (1).
Italics = team on 1997 Notre Dame schedule Italics = team on '97 Notre Dame schedule Notre Dame's Probable Starting Lineup No. Player Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown/High School 1997 Stats 2 Denise Boylan S 6-1 Fr. Lisle, IL/Benet Academy .271 team hitting, 932 asts/17 BHE, 11.95 apg, 16 aces, 1.99 digs/gm 4 Jaimie Lee OH 5-11 Sr. Spokane, WA/Ferris 4.25 kills/gm, .297 hitting, 3.08 digs/gm, 19 aces 6 Angie Harris OH 6-0 Sr. Fort Wayne, IN/Bishop Luers 4.13 kills/gm, .269 hitting, 47 aces (0.55/gm), 2.66 digs/gm 7 Christi Girton OPP 6-3 Fr. Muncie, IN/Muncie Central 1.98 kills/gm, .270 hitting, 1.48 digs/gm, 46 blocks (4 solo) 8 Mary Leffers MB 6-4 So. Tampa, FL/Berkeley Prep 2.81 kills/gm, .310 hitting, 1.29 blocks/gm, 15 aces 13 Lindsay Treadwell MB 5-11 Jr. Austin, TX/Austin 2.14 kills/gm, .265 hitting, 2.17 digs/gm, 13 aces, 1.07 blocks/gm Off The Bench No. Player Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown/High School 1997 Stats 1 Audra Duda DS 5-7 Jr. Woodland Hills, CA/Louisville 2 aces, 5 digs 3 Carey May S 5-9 Sr. Rancho Santa Fe, CA/Torrey Pines 210 assists (10.00/gm), 6 kills, 39 digs, 9 block assists 5 Emily Schiebout OPP 6-1 So. Blaine, MN/Concordia 1.84 kills/gm, .216 hitting , 0.95 blocks/gm, 8 aces 9 Jo Jameyson MB 6-1 Fr. Alvin, TX/Alvin 20 kills, .314 hitting, 23 digs, 3 aces, 5 block assists 10 Lauren Stettin OPP 6-0 So. Burr Ridge, IL/Hinsdale 11 Mandi Powell OH 6-0 So. Monroeville, IN/Monrovia 28 kills, .084 hitting, 63 digs (1.54/gm), 2 aces, 2 block assists 12 Adrienne Shimmel OH 5-11 Fr. Mission Viejo/Capistrano Valley 48 digs (0.77/gm), 8 kills, 2 block assists 14 Molly McCarthy MB 6-0 Sr. Indianapolis, IN/Cathedral 17 kills, 94 digs (1.40/gm), 1 ace, 4 block assists 15 Theresa Seidle DS 5-8 So. Muncie, IN/Wes-Del 2 aces, 1 dig 16 Katie Ward MB 6-0 Fr. Chicago, IL/Degina Dominica 1 kill, 1 ace