Dec. 7, 1997
Notre Dame Volleyball to Face #4 Wisconsin in NCAA Regional Action
The University of Notre Dame women's volleyball team will resume play in the NCAA Tournament versus #4-ranked Wisconsin on Saturday, Dec. 13 in central region action at the Wisconsin Field House. The Irish will face the Badgers in the second match (approximately 5:00 p.m. central), following a 3:00 p.m. matchup between #6 Florida and #11 Washington State. The winners will meet in the regional final on Sunday at 1:00 p.m., with the regional champion set to advance to the NCAA semi-finals in Spokane, Wash. on Dec. 18.
Notre Dame (25-8)--the only unranked team to advance to the round of 16--is making its fourth appearance in the NCAA regional round and will be seeking to advance to its second regional final, having done so in 1993 (a 3-0 loss to Penn State). The Irish emerged from last weekend's sub-regional action in Fayetteville, Ark. after posting wins over Liberty (15-9, 15-3, 15-2) and #18 Arkansas (9-15, 15-7, 15-10, 16-14).
Notre Dame joins #25 Ohio State, which won at #19 Maryland, as the only road teams to advance from the weekend sub-regional action (Sunday's late remaining action included Oral Roberts at #20 Colorado and #24 UCLA at #5 UC Santa Barbara).
Notre Dame faced each of the other three teams in the Central Regional during the 1997 season. The Irish lost to Wisconsin in the championship match of the Shamrock Invitational on Aug. 30 (10-15, 15-11, 4-15, 11-15), with Notre Dame senior captain and two-time BIG EAST player of the year Jaimie Lee--who is a native of Spokane--playing just the second half of that match after returning directly from the World University Games in Sicily. The following week, WSU beat Notre Dame 15-9, 15-8, 16-14 on Sept. 6 at the Spikeoff Spokane, which served as an NCAA championship preview tournament at the Spokane Arena site. Two days after the loss to WSU, Notre Dame dropped a 7-15, 15-10, 6-15, 3-15 home match to then-#2 Florida.
Wisconsin (29-2) advanced after a 15-7, 15-8, 15-13 home victory Sunday over Central Florida. The Badgers earned a share of the Big Ten Conference title after splitting two matches during the regular season versus the NCAAs #1-seeded team Penn State (31-1).
Florida (32-3), which lost 3-0 to Arkansas two weeks ago in the Southeastern Conference title match, advanced to the Central Regional after posting a 15-2, 15-9, 15-5 win at home Saturday over South Florida.
Washington State (26-6) emerged from its own sub-regional following wins over Lehigh (15-2, 15-5, 15-0) and #21 Colorado State (15-12, 12-15, 15-6, 15-13).
LEE & HARRIS NOTES: Lee has 100 kills in the last five matches (4.76/gm) ... Lee's 67 career double-digit kill matches rank fourth in Irish history, one behind '89 grad Zanette Bennett's 68 (Harris has an Irish record 87) ... Harris has 475 kills for the season, third on the Irish all-time list (besting Harris' sophomore-year total of 471) ... Lee's 451 kills rank fifth in Irish history ... after missing 17 matches last season due to multiple knee problems, Harris has logged 113 of 115 games this season, for a .983 percentage of games played that ranks fifth in Irish history (Lee also played in 98.3 percent of the games last season) ... Lee's season kill average now stands at 4.42/gm (second in Irish history) while Harris ranks fifth at 4.20 ... Harris has totaled 10-plus kills in 27 matches this season, third-most in Irish history (Harris had 29 in 1995 to tie Peters record that was set in '93) ... Lee has 25 double-digit kill efforts, fifth all-time at Notre Dame ... Harris has boosted her career kill average to 3.97/gm, all but assuring that she will break Peters' Irish record of 3.82 ... Harris has 1,020 career digs, seventh in Irish history and just five behind '94 graduate Janelle Karlan (Lee is fifth, at 1,133) ... Lee has lost her status as the only player in the Notre Dame career top 10 for kills, hitting pct., digs, aces, assists and blocks, as Treadwell now ranks 10th with 280 blocks while Lee is 11th with 277
PLAYER NOTES: Boylan (1,277) suddenly is closing in on the Irish record for assists by a freshman, set by another Chicago-area native, Julie Bremner (Wheaton), in 1988 (1,340) ... Bremner's sister Bonnie, a sophomore setter for the NCAAs #1-seeded team Penn State, last week was named the Big Ten Conference player of the year ... Boylan's season assist average (12.16) is best-ever by an Irish freshman and fourth all-time among Notre Dame setters ... Treadwell's recent blocking surge has included 30 blocks in the last five matches (18 games).
TEAM NOTES: Notre Dame will be playing in the state of Wisconsin for the first time in the seven-year Debbie Brown era, representing the 29th state/district/country visited by the Irish volleyball team in those seven years ... during the Brown era, Notre Dame has won six times on the home court of a ranked opponent: New #13 Mexico (3-2, '92), #21 Hawaii (3-0, '92), #15 Colorado (3-1, '94), #15 Texas (3-1, '94), #9 Florida (3-1, '94) and #18 Arkansas (3-1, '97).