Nov. 26, 1997
Irish Face Challenging Final Week
BIG CHALLENGE AWAITS IRISH: The Notre Dame volleyball team (23-6)--winners of 10 straight and 17 of its last 18--embarks on its ninth road trip of the season this week to take part in the annual Long Beach State Thanksgiving Tournament ... the Irish--who rank 13th in the nation with a .282 team hitting pct.--will face #5 UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 28 before tangling with the #1-ranked host 49ers on Nov. 29 ... Notre Dame won last week's BIG EAST Conference Championship to claim an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament ... the 56-team NCAA field and pairings will be announced on Sunday, Nov. 30 at 6:30 p.m. EST ... the televised tournament show will be aired by national Fox SportsNet affiliates (fans should check local listings) and can be accessed via satellite using the following coordinates: GE-2, transponder 20, C-band ... the Irish last week defeated Pittsburgh (3-0) and Villanova (3-1) en route to the BIG EAST tournament title and a sixth straight NCAA bid ... senior hitter Jaimie Lee repeated as BIG EAST player of the year and then earned tournament MVP honors after totaling a career-high 29 kills vs. Villanova (an Irish four-game record) ... this weekend's action will cap a stretch in which the Irish have played 13 of 16 matches on the road ... 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: #4 Wisconsin, #12 Washington State, #6 Florida and #9 Texas (the Irish also have lost to current #16 Texas A&M and #23 Colorado).
A WORKING WEEKEND: Notre Dame this weekend is set to face two different ranked teams on back-to-back days for the seventh time during the seven-year tenure of head coach Debbie Brown (1991- ) ... the upcoming matchups vs. #5 UCSB and #1 Long Beach represent the toughest two-game stretch (vs. different opponents) in the Brown era, besting the 1993 Reebok Challenge in Chicago, Ill., where the Irish beat #9 Illinois (3-2) and lost to #2 LBSU (0-3) ... the other five challenging back-to-back matches during the Brown era are as follows: Oct. 25-26, 1993 at #17 Arizona State (1-3) and #18 Arizona (0-3); the 1993 UOP Bankers Classic (Nov. 26-27) vs. #11 UOP (0-3) and #4 BYU (0-3); a home stretch (Sept. 22-23, 1995) vs. #17 Texas (1-3) and #15 Colorado (3-0); two matches at Georgia Tech on Oct. 13-14, 1995 vs. the #25 Yellow Jackets (2-3) and #11 Texas (1-3); and the 1996 UOP Bankers Classic (Nov. 29-30) vs. #11 Washington State (0-3) and #12 UOP (0-3) ... the Irish last season lost at #1 Hawaii on consecutive days (0-3, 0-3), representing the only previous time that the Irish have played a top five team on consecutive days.
GIVING THANKS: Five members of the Notre Dame volleyball program will have the chance this week to visit with family and friends while spending the Thanksgiving vacation in their home area of southern California ... head coach Debbie Brown is a native of the Los Angeles suburb of El Segundo and played on the USC's 1976 and '77 AIAW national champion volleyball teams before earning a spot on the 1982 U.S. Olympic team and serving as a national team assistant ... current Irish assistant coach Elaina Oden led Irvine High School to the 1981 and '84 CIF state volleyball titles before going on to her all-star career at UOP and with the U.S. national team ... senior setter Carey May (Torrey Pines HS), a native of the San Diego suburb Rancho Santa Fe, likely will be making her final appearance in southern California (with the exception of possible NCAA Tournament matches) after playing a vital role for the Irish during the past four seasons ... junior defensive specialist Audra Duda (Woodland Hills/Louisville HS) is in her second season with the Irish program while freshman hitter Adrienne Shimmel (Mission Viejo/Capistrano Valley HS) has proven to be one of Notre Dame's top backrow players this season ... Shimmel helped lead Saddleback Valley Volleyball Club to the finals of the 1997 Davis Volleyball Festival.
FRIEND OR FOE: This weekend's action reunites Notre Dame's Jaimie Lee and Long Beach State's Benishe Dillard--who helped the U.S. claim the silver medal at the 1997 World University Games (WUG) in Catania, Sicily--while again reuniting Notre Dame head coach Debbie Brown and LBSU assistant Debbie Green, who were teammates on the 1982 U.S. Olympic team that did not play due to boycott ... Lee served as captain on the '97 WUG team and her 84 kills in nine matches with the U.S. (including three at the Canada Cup) ranked second behind Demetria Sance's 86 ... Lee already has faced Sance this season, in Notre Dame's four-game loss at UT on Oct. 21 ... former UCSB player Kim Keyes also was a member of the 1997 U.S. WUG team, as was current LMU senior Sarah Noriega (who leads the nation with 6.92 kills/gm) and current UCLA senior Kara Milling (who ranks 3rd in the nation with 5.73 kpg) ... current LBSU senior hitter Jenn Snyder also competed for a spot on the WUG team during the summer of '97, at the Olympic Training Center ... Brown had a special reunion with three of her other Olympic teammates at the Sept. 19-20 Tournament of Champions (held at Notre Dame), as she had the chance to revisit old memories with the current head coaches from California (Sue Woodstra), Texas A&M (Laurie Flachmeier Corbelli) and New Mexico (Laurel Brassey Iversen) ... two other members of the 1982 Olympic team--Dianne McCormick French and Sharon Moore Furlong--also were on hand at Notre Dame for the Tournament of Champions ... Irish junior middle Lindsay Treadwell played with LBSU junior hitter Veronica Walls on the Austin Volleyball Club.
VS. TOP-FIVE TEAMS: Notre Dame is 16-37 vs. ranked teams during the Debbie Brown era ... the Irish have faced 11 teams ranked in the AVCA top five at the time of the match, with the lone win coming on Sept. 25, 1993 vs. #3 Nebraska--a 15-8, 15-7, 3-15, 15-10 win that helped catapult the Irish to the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals ... during the past two seasons, Notre Dame has played five matches vs. top-five teams, losing last season to #2 Stanford (0-3), #5 Penn State (1-3, in Chicago) and twice in three games at #1 Hawaii before losing at home this season to then-#2 Florida (1-3) ... Notre Dame's other matchups vs. top-five teams in the Brown era are as follows: vs. #3 Long Beach in 1992 (0-3), vs. #2 LBSU in Chicago in '93 (0-3), vs. #4 BYU at UOP in '93 (0-3) and at #4 Stanford in '95 (1-3).
ROAD UPSETS: Notre Dame has defeated five ranked teams on their home courts during the Debbie Brown era (1991- ), including a pair of wins in 1992--3-2 at #13 New Mexico and 3-0 at #21 Hawaii--and three wins in 1994: at #15 Colorado (3-1), #15 Texas (3-1) and #9 Florida (3-1) ... the Irish also beat #16 Ohio State (3-0) in 1992 at Southwest Missouri and downed #9 Illinois (3-2) in 1993 at the Reebok Challenge in Chicago.
LEE NAMED BIG EAST PLAYER OF THE WEEK, TOURNAMENT MVP AND ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT: Senior hitter Jaimie Lee last week repeated as BIG EAST player of the year (on Nov. 21) before earning BIG EAST Tournament MVP honors two days later ... on Nov. 24, she was one of six players named to the GTE District V All-Academic team, capping an award-packed four-day stretch for the Spokane, Wash. native (she also has been nominated for the prestigious NCAA Top VIII Award) ... Lee, a unanimous selection for player of the year, led the BIG EAST with a .451 hitting pct. in conference play while ranking 6th in the conference with 4.33 kills/gm ... for the entire 1997 season, the senior hitter ranks 4th among BIG EAST players with a .307 hitting pct. while averaging 4.31 kills (2nd BIG EAST) and a team-best 2.89 digs per game ... in six matches vs. nationally-ranked teams, Lee averaged 4.40 kills/gm, highlighted by 20 kills vs. then-#2 Florida ... Lee--who played middle as a freshman and served as a fill-in setter for the first half of '96--is the only player in the Notre Dame career top 10 for hitting, kills, digs, aces, blocks and digs ... she holds down the following career rankings at Notre Dame: 4th in kills (1,343), 5th in digs (1,082), 6th in hitting (.277), 9th in assists (734), 9th in aces (102) and 10th in blocks (272) ... Lee is the 5th Notre Dame player ever to total 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs ... she has appeared in 97.8% (131 of 134) of Notre Dame's matches in her career, 3rd best in Irish volleyball history ... she has played in 433 of 464 career games (.933), ranking behind only Birkner (.965) in Irish history ... Lee needs to play 17 more games to become the fifth Irish player ever to log 450 in her career ... she needs to appear in five more matches to move into fifth on that all-time list.
HARRIS, LEFFERS, BOYLAN AND GIRTON RECEIVE BIG EAST AWARDS: Five Notre Dame volleyball players--led by unanimous repeat player of the year selection Jaimie Lee--were named to the various BIG EAST Conference all-star teams ... joining Lee on the six-player all-BIG EAST first team are senior hitter Angie Harris and sophomore middle Mary Leffers ... freshman setter Denise Boylan was named second team all-BIG EAST and joined freshman opposite Christi Girton on the conference all-rookie team ... Harris ranked sixth during the BIG EAST regular season with .362 hitting conference matches while averaging 4.18 kills/gm and serving 19 aces (0.56/gm) ... through the first 29 matches of the '97 season, Harris owns a .284 overall hitting pct. while ranking 4th among BIG EAST players for overall kill average (4.16/gm) and 2nd in overall ace average (0.48/gm, 48 total) ... Harris has registered 10-plus kills in 16 straight matches, equaling the Irish record ... Leffers ranked second behind Lee on the BIG EAST regular season hitting pct. charts at .410, while averaging 2.97 kills and 1.07 blocks per conference game ... her overall numbers include a team-best .319 hitting pct. (3rd BIG EAST), 2.80 kills/gm (3rd on the team), a team-best 1.31 blocks/gm (3rd BIG EAST) and 16 aces (4th on the team) ... Boylan served as the Notre Dame setter during 28 of 35 conference games while helping the Irish run away with the BIG EAST hitting pct. lead (.363 in conference matches) ... her 10 aces in the 11 conference games tied with Girton for 2nd on the team ... Boylan has directed an Irish offense that currently ranks 13th in the nation with .282 hitting, which would best the team record of .271 set in 1995 ... the 6-1 setter also ranks second on the 1997 Irish squad with 22 total aces while her other season totals include 61 kills on .266 hitting, 170 digs (4th on the team) and 57 blocks ... Girton capped a strong second half of the season by earning BIG EAST rookie of the week honors for Nov. 10-16 ... her .401 hitting pct. in conference matches ranked 3rd among BIG EAST players, behind Lee and Leffers, while averaging 2.61 kills/gm, serving 10 aces (tied with Boylan for 2nd on the team) and totaling 31 blocks (one behind Leffers' team-high 32) in conference matches ... her overall season totals include .280 hitting, 2.00 kills/gm, 113 digs, 57 blocks and 14 aces.
SCOUTING THE GAUCHOS: UC Santa Barbara (28-4) has risen to 5th in the USA Today/AVCA poll after advancing to the Big West title match, a 7-15, 9-15, 13-15 loss at #1 Long Beach ... the Gauchos return five starters from their 1997 team that went 23-9 ... UCSB ranks 6th in the nation for hitting pct. (.300) and 10th in block average (3.31/gm) ... the Gauchos average 1.76 aces/gm while allowing just 0.99 opponent aces and 1.88 opponent blocks per game ... opponents have averaged just .188 hitting vs. UCSB this season ... sophomore hitter Heather Bown ranks 8th in the nation for hitting pct. (.395) and 17th in block avg. (1.48/gm) while junior middle Katie Crawford ranks 9th in the nation for block avg. (1.61/gm) ... UCSB's top hitting options are Crawford (4.67 kills/gm, .367), sophomore hitter Roberta Gehlke (4.33, .252) and Bown (3.71) ... Crawford leads UCSB with 34 aces, followed by setter Tanja Hart (32) and Erin McCown (27) ... UCSB lost both of its regular season matches vs. Long Beach (2-3 at home, 1-3 at LBSU), with its other loss coming at then-#19 Pepperdine (1-3) ... UCSB has eight wins over ranked teams: #8 BYU (3-0), #15 LMU (3-1), #11 Michigan State (3-1), #20 Colorado (3-1), #12/#17/#18 UOP (3-0, 3-2, 3-2) and #22 UCLA (3-1).
SCOUTING THE 49ERS: Long Beach is in its fourth week as the #1 team and has been ranked in the top five all season ... the 49ers return five starters from their 1996 team that went 33-3 ... LBSU leads the nation with a .330 team hitting pct., well ahead of second-place Penn State (.321) ... senior hitter Nique Crump leads the nation with a .446 season hitting pct. while junior middle Benishe Dillard ranks fifth ... the 49ers top hitting options are senior hitter Jenn Snyder (3.40 kills/gm, .287), Crump (3.23), Dillard (2.82) and junior hitter Veronica Walls (2.28, .339) ... senior setter Misty May is considered a national player of the year candidate and last week was named MVP of the Big West Tournament and national player of the week ... May has posted four triple-doubles (10-plus kills, digs and assists) this season while running the nation's top hitting unit ... she is averaging 12.22 assists, 2.00 kills and 3.07 digs/gm while hitting .357 ... May leads the 49ers with 37 aces, followed by Stephanie Streeks (23) and Snyder (22) ... Dillard leads the squad with 1.28 blocks/gm ... the 49ers have won 19 straight matches after losing at current #6 Florida on Sept. 20 (12-15, 15-10, 15-12, 11-15, 11-15) ... LBSU's more noteworthy wins include victories over BYU (3-1), at Florida (3-0, on 9/19), UOP (3-0), at UCSB (3-2), Hawaii (3-0), UCSB (3-1), at UOP (3-0) and UCSB in the Big West title match (15-7, 15-9, 15-13).
TOUGH SLATE: Notre Dame's 18-match 1997 non-conference schedule includes eight teams currently in the AVCA top 25 and seven others--Louisville, Oral Roberts, Utah, Georgia, Illinois State, North Carolina and Houston--who have received votes in the AVCA poll during the '97 season ... the only Irish non-conference opponents who have not received AVCA poll votes this season are Gonzaga, New Mexico and Marquette.
ON A ROLL: Notre Dame has won 17 of its last 18 matches and 10 straight, the program's longest winning streak since the 1994 team won 12 straight from Oct. 26 to Nov. 20 of that season ... the 10-match winning streak ranks fourth in Irish history, behind a 17-match run in 1996, the 12-match streak in 1994 and an earlier 11-match run in '94.
FEARSOME FOURSOME: Notre Dame has hit .332 during its current 17-1 run, with four of its five starting hitters checking in with a hitting pct. of .340 or higher during that stretch: senior hitter Jaimie Lee (.373, 4.20 kills/gm), sophomore middle Mary Leffers (.350, 3.00), senior hitter Angie Harris (.342, 4.18) and freshman opposite Christi Girton (.341, 2.47) ... the fifth starting hitter, junior middle Lindsay Treadwell, has hit just .291 in the last 18 matches while averaging 2.07 kpg ... Treadwell ironically fared much better versus non-conference opponents this season than in the BIG EAST regular season, as she has hit .298 and averaged 2.26 kills/gm in the first 16 matches vs. non-conference teams (including six AVCA top-25 teams) while hitting just .221 and averaging 1.84 kpg in the 11 BIG EAST regular season matches.
PERFECT 10: During the current 10-match winning streak, Notre Dame has owned a commanding .332-.156 hitting edge on its opponents, highlighted by senior hitter Jaimie Lee's drive to a second straight BIG EAST player of the year award ... Lee is hitting .399 in the last 10 matches while averaging 4.12 kills/gm ... other top hitters in the last 10 matches have been freshman opposite Christi Girton (.361, 2.41), senior hitter Angie Harris (.337, 3.91), sophomore middle Mary Leffers (.321, 2.80) and junior middle Lindsay Treadwell (.304, 1.75) ... Notre Dame has allowed just 38 opponent aces (1.12/gm) during the current win streak.
SENIOR SALUTE: Notre Dame's class of '98--hitters Jaimie Lee and Angie Harris, setter Carey May and middle Molly McCarthy--has helped the Irish compile a four-year record of 105-29 for a .784 winning pct. that ranks third among all-time Irish classes ... the senior class has helped Notre Dame advance to the NCAAs during each of the past four seasons, including a trip to the regional round in '94 ... the Irish have gone 52-0 vs. conference opponents in the last four seasons, winning 156 of 164 conference games during that time ... each member of the senior class has posted at least one Dean's List semester 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.
HARRIS-LEE MAKE CASE AS BEST CLASSMATE COMBO: Notre Dame senior hitters and team co-captains Angie Harris and Jaimie Lee have established themselves 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 4.32, Harris 4.16) ... Harris (1,497) and Lee (1,344) rank second and fourth on the Irish career kills list and their 2,841 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 7.05 career kill average (Harris 3.95, Lee 3.10), 147 double-digit kill matches (Harris 84, Lee 63), 28 matches with 20-plus kills (Harris 16, Lee 12) and 330 service aces (Harris 228, Lee 102) ... Harris needs 21 more digs for Harris and Lee to join Jessica Fiebelkorn and Alicia Turner (1989-92) as the second pair of Irish classmates in the 1,000 kills/1,000 digs club ... finally, Lee (.933) and Harris (.817) own a combined career-games-played percentage of .875 that trails only Shea (.918) and Bennett (.833), who appeared in a combined 87.6 percent of Notre Dame's games during their careers.
BROWN GETS 300TH WIN: Debbie Brown is 188-55 (.774) in seven seasons as head coach at Notre Dame and 305-138 (.689) in 13 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 seven seasons at Notre Dame and has led 11 of her 13 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 11-0 finish in the BIG EAST regular season can be traced to the team's dominating statistics ... three Irish players finished atop the BIG EAST hitting charts for conference games: senior hitter Jaimie Lee (.451), sophomore middle Mary Leffers (.410) and freshman opposite Christi Girton (.401) while senior hitter Angie Harris finished sixth (.362) ... Lee's 4.33 kills/ gm in conference action ranked 6th in the BIG EAST ... Harris posted the second-best ace average (0.56/gm) in BIG EAST play ... Notre Dame's conference-leading .363 hitting pct. in BIG EAST matches was nearly 120 points ahead of second-place Seton Hall (.246) ... the Irish also led the BIG EAST with 16.69 kills/gm in league action while ranking 3rd in aces (1.80/gm) and 5th in blocks (2.43/gm) ... for the overall '97 season, Notre Dame players rank among the BIG EAST leaders in kills (Lee is 2nd at 4.31/gm, Harris 4th at 4.16), aces (Harris is 2nd, 0.48/gm), blocks (Leffers is 2nd, 1.31/gm) and assists (freshman Denise Boylan is 1st, 11.77/gm) ... Leffers ranks 3rd in overall hitting (.319) while Lee is 4th at .307 ... Notre Dame leads the BIG EAST in overall hitting pct. (.282, well ahead of Seton Hall's .243) and kill average (16.21/gm) while ranking 3rd in blocks (2.73/gm).
CONFERENCE CALL: Notre Dame has won 76 straight 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 39 in the BIG EAST (six coming in the BIG EAST Tournament) ... the Nov. 16 win at Seton Hall moved the Irish past Texas (73, 1984-91) into third place on the all-time Division I volleyball conference win streak list (NCAA and AIAW) behind Western Michigan (98, 1982-89) and Arkansas State (97, 1976-81) and Texas (73, 1984-91) ... the current 76-match conference win streak has included 61 three-game wins (10 in postseason), 13 four-game wins (five 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) ... 32 of Notre Dame's 39 BIG EAST wins have been 3-0, with the Irish beating Pittsburgh 3-1 four times (including last weekend), beating Villanova 3-1 in last week's BIG EAST title match and topping Boston College 3-1 earlier this season ... Central Florida currently owns a 61-match conference winning streak.
TOUGH MIDDLES: 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 .319 season hitting pct. that would rank fourth in Irish history ... Leffers' career hitting pct. of .295 ranks second in Irish history, just behind Treadwell's .296 ... Treadwell's season hitting in 1997 stands at .286, after hitting .253 as a sophomore and .367 as a freshman (third in Irish history) ... Leffers, who hit .272 as a freshman, ranks second in Irish history with for career block avg. (1.36/gm) and eighth for career kill avg. (2.63/gm).
SETTING THE TABLE: Denise Boylan--the first freshman to open the season as Notre Dame's setter since '88--has helped the Irish surge to a BIG EAST-leading .282 season hitting pct., which would best the team record of .271 set in '95 ... behind Boylan's setting and a veteran hitting group, the Irish offense ran away with the BIG EAST offensive stats ... the Irish hit .363 (Seton Hall was second at .246) and averaged 16.69 kills/gm in league action ... Boylan leads the BIG EAST in overall matches with 11.75 assists/gm, which would rank fourth in Irish history ... she also ranks fourth on the '97 Irish squad with 170 digs (1.87/gm) while her other season totals include 61 kills on .266 hitting, 22 service aces (second on the team) and 57 blocks (four solos) ... Boylan is averaging an impressive 51 assists per ballhandling error during her freshman season (1,069/21) ... 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).
29-MATCH CHECKUP: With the final week of the regular season approaching, several Irish players remain on pace for noteworthy statistical campaigns ... senior hitters Jaimie Lee (4.32 kills/gm) and Angie Harris (4.16 kpg) currently own the second 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 3.95 kills/gm, Lee is fourth at 3.10 kpg) ... Harris (84) and Lee (63) also are the first Irish teammates to both post more than 50 career double-digit kill matches ... sophomore middle Mary Leffers' owns a .319 season hitting pct. that would rank fourth in Irish history and second-best by a Notre Dame player since 1987 ... Harris has posted five 20-plus kill matches in 1997, fifth-most in Irish history (Lee has four this season) ... freshmen setter Denise Boylan's assist average of 11.75/gm would rank fourth in Irish history ... Harris' season ace avg. (0.48/gm) would be fourth in Irish history (she already owns the top three averages) ... Lee is averaging 2.89 digs/gm, giving her a combined kill/dig average of 7.23/gm that would rank third in Irish history .... as a team, Notre Dame's 16.21 kills per game would rank second in Irish history (behind the '95 team's 16.32) while the team hitting pct. of .282 is on pace to best the team record (.271) set in '95 ... the Irish passers have allowed just 1.26 opponent aces per game, which would rank third-best in team history.
TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE: The '97 Notre Dame volleyball team includes some of the best hitting combinations in the program's history ... senior hitters Jaimie Lee (4.32 kills/gm) and Angie Harris (4.16) are on pace to become the first Irish teammates to average over four kills per game in the same season ... sophomore middle Mary Leffers (2.80 kills/gm) gives the Irish the program's second-best hitting threesome, behind the '87 trio of Zanette Bennett (4.03), Kathy Cunningham (3.43) and Maureen Shea (3.12) ... with junior middle Lindsay Treadwell (2.13) and surging freshman opposite Christi Girton (2.00) in the mix, the Irish have one the best groups of starting hitters in the program's history ... during the current 17-1 run, the production of Lee (4.20), Harris (4.18), Leffers (3.00) and Girton (2.47) is comparable to that of the '87 team's season totals (when Mary Kay Waller rounded out that foursome with 2.63 kpg), with Treadwell also averaging 2.07 kills/gm over the last 18 matches ... during the current 17-1 run, Lee (.373), Leffers (.350), Harris (.342) and Girton (.341) have posted impressive hitting numbers, with Girton hitting .435-plus in nine of those matches ... the team is hitting .332 in the current run while the Irish have held the opposition to a combined .174 hitting during those 18 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 228 in her career, a career average of 0.602/gm and nine in a match) while her career kill average of 3.95/gm would set a new Irish record in that category, surpassing the 3.82 set by '95 grad. Christy Peters ... Harris has 1,497 kills in her career, second on the Irish career kills list behind Peters (1,683) ... Harris' 84 career matches with double-digit kills bested Peters' record (80) ... Harris 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 is tied with former teammate Jenny Birkner (1993-96) for third, with 34 ... her career dig average of 2.58/gm ranks 7th all-time at Notre Dame ... Harris' 979 career digs rank 7th all-time, 46 behind Janelle Karlan (1990-93) ... Harris needs 21 digs to join classmate Jaimie Lee as the sixth Notre Dame player with 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs.
Notre Dame Probable Starting Lineup No. Player Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown/High School 1997 Stats 2 Denise Boylan S 6-1 Fr. Lisle, IL/Benet Academy .282 team hitting, 1069 asts/21 BHE, 11.75 apg, 22 aces, 1.87 digs/gm 4 Jaimie Lee OH 5-11 Sr. Spokane, WA/Ferris 4.32 kills/gm, .308 hitting, 2.89 digs/gm, 21 aces 6 Angie Harris OH 6-0 Sr. Fort Wayne, IN/Bishop Luers 4.16 kills/gm, .284 hitting, 48 aces (0.48/gm), 2.62 digs/gm 7 Christi Girton OPP 6-3 Fr. Muncie, IN/Muncie Central 2.00 kills/gm, .280 hitting, 1.49 digs/gm, 57 blocks (0.75/gm) 8 Mary Leffers MB 6-4 So. Tampa, FL/Berkeley Prep 2.80 kills/gm, .319 hitting, 1.31 blocks/gm, 16 aces 13 Lindsay Treadwell MB 5-11 Jr. Austin, TX/Austin 2.13 kills/gm, .286 hitting, 2.28 digs/gm, 14 aces, 1.13 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 3 aces, 6 digs 3 Carey May S 5-9 Sr. Rancho Santa Fe, CA/Torrey Pines 248 assists (9.92/gm), 7 kills, 43 digs, 10 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 26 kills (1.37/gm), .232 hitting, 29 digs, 5 aces, 6 block assists 11 Mandi Powell OH 6-0 So. Monroeville, IN/Monrovia 28 kills, .084 hitting, 63 digs (1.47/gm), 2 aces, 2 block assists 12 Adrienne Shimmel OH 5-11 Fr. Mission Viejo/Capistrano Valley 63 digs (0.88/gm), 8 kills, 2 block assists 14 Molly McCarthy MB 6-0 Sr. Indianapolis, IN/Cathedral 24 kills, 112 digs (1.40/gm), 1 ace, 6 block assists 16 Katie Ward MB 6-0 Fr. Chicago, IL/Regina Dominica 1 kill, 1 ace
USA Today/AVCA Poll (11/25)
Team (1st place votes) W-L Points 1. Long Beach St. (47) 28-1 1485 2. Penn State (7) 28-1 1431 3. Stanford (6) 28-2 1400 4. Wisconsin 26-2 1306 5. UC Santa Barbara 28-4 1228 6. Florida 30-2 1204 7. Brigham Young 24-5 1135 8. USC 21-5 1046 9. Texas 23-4 1026 10. Arizona 20-6 940 11. Nebraska 23-6 889 12. Washington State 24-6 826 13. Pepperdine 23-3 779 14. Washington 18-9 702 15. Hawaii 23-6 653 16. Texas A&M 22-6 599 17. Univ. of the Pacific 20-8 469 18. Arkansas 28-5 396 Maryland 26-1 396 20. Colorado State 25-4 372 21. Loyola Marymount 21-6 357 22. San Diego 25-3 331 23. Colorado 19-7 238 24. UCLA 15-11 124 25. Ohio State 21-9 96
Others receiving votes: Minnesota (15), Clemson (12), Northern Illinois (12), Michigan State (10), Notre Dame (10), Texas Tech (4), Central Florida (2), Illinois State (2), Miami, OH (2), Florida State (1), ORal Roberts (1), South Florida (1).