Women's Volleyball


Dec. 11, 1997

Five Members of Notre Dame Volleyball Honored with Postseason Awards

  • Lee named second team Academic All-America
  • Harris, Lee, Leffers and Boylan named all-district; Brown selected district coach of the year

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Five members of the University of Notre Dame women's volleyball team combined to receive six prestigious postseason awards Wednesday, as announced in separate releases by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and the College Sports Information Director's of America (CoSIDA).

Jaimie Lee
Jaimie Lee

Notre Dame senior outside hitter Jaimie Lee (Spokane, Wash.) has been named to the GTE Academic All-America second team, as selected by CoSIDA. Stanford senior outside hitter Kristin Folkl was one of six players named to the first team and was selected Academic All-America of the Year.

Lee was one of six players named to the second team while six players also were named to the third team. Lee is the Notre Dame volleyball program's third Academic All-American, following in the footsteps of middle blocker Jessica Fiebelkorn and setter Janelle Karlan, who both were named to the second team in 1992.

In another release Wednesday, Notre Dame head coach Debbie Brown was named the District I coach of the year while four Irish players were named to the 12-player AVCA All-District I team. The Irish (25-8) have advanced to the NCAA Tournament regional round, with all eight of their losses coming vs. nationally-ranked teams.

Lee was one of six players in the nation to receive All-District honors for the third time in her career, among the 96 players named to the eight 1997 All-District teams. Florida middle blocker Nine Foster (District 4) and Stanford's Folkl (District 8) were named all-district for the fourth time in their career.

Denise Boylan
Denise Boylan

Joining Lee on the All-District team are Irish senior hitter and team co-captain Angie Harris (Fort Wayne, Ind.), sophomore middle blocker Mary Leffers (Tampa, Fla.) and freshman setter Denise Boylan (Lisle, Ill.). Harris, who has bounced back from an injury-plagued junior season, also received all-district honors in 1995.

Brown and her four players now are eligible for national recognition, as the AVCA will announce its All-America teams (12 on the first team, 12 on the second team) and national coach of the year on Dec. 17, the day before the NCAA semi-finals (to be held in Lee's hometown of Spokane).

Lee is the fourth Notre Dame player to receive three all-district/all-region awards during her career. Prior to 1995, the AVCA named six players each to the first, second and third team all-region squads (with only four regions, as opposed to the current eight districts). Irish outside hitter Christy Peters was a second team all-Mideast region selection in 1992 and first team all-region in '93 and '94 while Karlan was second team all-region from 1991-93. Former Notre Dame rightside hitter Jenny Birkner earned third team all-region honors in 1994 and all-district recognition in '95 and '96.

Notre Dame joined Penn State and Arkansas as the only teams with four all-district selections, matching the most ever for the Notre Dame program (Lee, Harris, Birkner and Carey May were all-district in 1995).

Brown has been named district/regional coach of the year three times in the past six seasons, earning Mideast Region coach of the year honors in 1992 and '93. . She has been named conference coach of the year in six of the last 10 seasons.

Three Notre Dame 1997 opponents joined Lee as Academic All-America selections: Marquette senior hitter Martha Meyer (first team), Seton Hall senior hitter Jennifer Cheshire (second team) and Illinois State senior hitter Kristi Geary (third team).

Players from Notre Dame's 1997 opponents accounted for 27 of the all-district selections. Three players from Notre Dame's upcoming NCAA Tournament regional opponent, Wisconsin, were named to the All-District 2 team: sophomore middle blocker Kelly Kennedy, senior opposite Amy Lee and junior setter Colleen Neels. The Irish and Badgers will meet at the Wisconsin Field House in the NCAA Central Regional semi-finals on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 5:00 p.m. central time. Four players from Notre Dame's last opponent, Arkansas, were named All-District 4: middle blocker Jessica Field, outside hitter Krystal Osborne, setter Tina Rico and middle blocker Yarleen Santiago.

The coaches for both Wisconsin (John Cook) and Arkansas (Chris Poole) were named their respective district coach of the year, as were two others from 1997 Irish opponents: Pi'u Aiu (Colorado, District 5) and Brian Gimmillaro (Long Beach State, District 7).

The other '97 Irish opponents named All-District include Houston senior Emily Leffers, sister of Notre Dame's Mary Leffers, and her teammate Debbie Vokes (OH). The following '97 Irish opponents also were named to their respective all-district teams : Florida's Foster, opposite Jenny Manz and outside hitter Aurymar Rodriguez; Texas' middle blocker Lakisha Bledsoe and outside hitter Demetria Sance; UC Santa Barbara middle blocker Katie Crawford and outside hitter Roberta Gehlke; Long Beach State middle blockers Nique Crump and Benishe Dillard and setter Misty May; Texas A&M outside hitters Kristie Smedsrud and Stacy Sykora; Stacy Evans (Villanova, MB), Tori Seibert (North Carolina, MB), Kathy Vis (Georgia, MB), Kendra Haselhorst (Illinois State, MB), Sarah Lodge (Colorado, OH) and Sonya Gubaidulina (Louisville, OH).

1997 GTE Academic All-America Women's Volleyball Team

(selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America)

First Team: Liz Cothren (Ball State, MB, sr., 3.706, pre-medical, Muncie, IN), Amy Steele Gant (Brigham Young, MB, sr., 3.78, sports medicine. Laguna Hills, CA), Kristin Folkl (Stanford, OH, sr., 3.46, economics, St. Louis, MO), Vendula Kurcova (American, OH, jr., 3.95, business administration, Sokolov, Czech Republic), Martha Meyer (Marquette, OH, sr., 3.913, business administration, Waupun, Wis.).

Second Team: Sara Andert (Southwest Missouri State, MB, sr., 3.96, elementary education, Alexandria, MN), Jennifer Cheshire (Seton Hall, OH, sr., 3.65, criminal justice/Spanish, Albuquerque, NM), Alaina Kipps (Southern California, MB, jr., 4.0, psycho-biology, Santa Cruz, CA), Jaimie Lee (Notre Dame, OH, sr., 3.341, sociology, Spokane, WA), Jessica Stout (Miami, S, sr., 3.69, exercise science/pre-medical, Hagerstown, IN), Michelle Witzke (Southwest Missouri State, OH, sr., 3.77, accounting, Addison, IL).

Third Team: Casey Crisler (Oregon, S, sr., 4.01, fine and applied arts, Bend, OR), Wendy Feldman (Central Michigan, MH, jr., 3.94, accounting, Almont, MI), Kristi Geary (Illinois State, OH, sr., 3.97, agribusiness, Gaithersburg, MD), Elissa Hart (Harvard, MB, sr., 3.682, literature, Sacramento, CA), Rachel Melchiorre (Tennessee Tech, OH, sr., 3.85, secondary education, Hilliard, OH), Cindy Vojtech (Fordham, OH, so., 4.0, finance, Garden Grove, CA).

1997 AVCA District Coaches Of The Year

District 1: Debbie Brown, Notre Dame; District 2: John Cook, Wisconsin; District 3: Janice Kruger, Maryland; District 4: Chris Poole, Arkansas; District 5: Pi'u Aiu, Colorado; District 6: Perri Hankins, South Florida; District 7: Brian Gimmillaro, Long Beach State; District 8: Don Shaw, Stanford.

1997 AVCA All-District Teams

(* = number of times named to all-district team)

DISTRICT 1: Denise Boylan (Notre Dame, S), Sharia Bryant (Temple, OH), Bethany Cole (New Hampshire, MB), **Tamu Cooper (Temple, MB), **Stacy Evans (Villanova, MB), **Angie Harris (Notre Dame, OH), Akiko Hatakeyama (Temple, S), ***Jaimie Lee (Notre Dame, OH), Mary Leffers (Notre Dame, MB), **Zhaohui Ma (Dayton, OH), Jill Meyers (Massachusetts, MB), **Jessica Salmans (Rhode Island, S).

DISTRICT 2: **Bonnie Bremner (Penn State, S), **Lauren Cacciamani (Penn State, MB), Christy Cochran (Penn State, OH), Julie Flatley (Indiana, OPP), Kelly Kennedy (Wisconsin, MB), Amy Lee (Wisconsin, OPP), Linnea Mendoza (Michigan, S), Colleen Neels (Wisconsin, S), Becky Stewart (Northern Illinois, MB), Jessica Stout (Miami, Ohio, S), Jenna Wrobel (Michigan State, OH), ***Terri Zemaitis (Penn State, MB).

DISTRICT 3: Fiona Bolten (Florida State, S), Alison Coday (Clemson, OH), **Elizabeth Efron (Maryland, OPP), Carla Gartner (Georgia Tech, OPP), **Rochelle Komula (Georgia Tech, MB), **Eden Kroeger (Maryland, S), **Olga Matejickova (George Mason, MB), Danielle Olein (Georgia Tech, MB), **Lori Price (William & Mary, S), **Tori Seibert (North Carolina, MB), Cindy Stern (Clemson, MB), Jamie Summers (Maryland, MB).

DISTRICT 4: ***Ashley Edlund (South Carolina, S), Jessica Field (Arkansas, MB), ****Nina Foster (Florida, MB), Jaunelle Hamilton (Auburn, MB), **Tyra Harper (Central Florida, MB), **Heather Larkin (South Carolina, MB), Jenny Manz (Florida, OPP), Krystal Osborne (Arkansas, OH), **Tina Rico (Arkansas, S), **Aurymar Rodriguez (Florida, OH), Yarleen Santiago (Arkansas, MB), Kathy Vis (Georgia, MB).

DISTRICT 5: **Patrice Arrington (Oklahoma, OH), Lakishe Bledsoe (Texas, MB), Brande Brown (Texas Tech, MB), Kendra Haselhorst (Illinois State, OH), Lisa Hilgers (Texas Tech, S), Sarah Lodge (Colorado, OH), **Fiona Nepo (Nebraska, S), ***Lisa Reitsma (Nebraska, OPP), **Demetria Sance (Texas, OH), **Kristie Smedsrud (Texas A&M, OH), **Stacy Sykora (Texas A&M, OH), Val Wieck (Kansas State, MB).

DISTRICT 6: **Paula Araujo (South Florida, OH), Sonya Gubaidulina (Louisville, OH), **Jennifer Kintzel (Butler, S), Keelyn Krill (Wisconsin-Milwaukee, OH), Emily Leffers (Houston, OH), Rachel Melchiorre (Tennessee Tech, OH), **Tuba Meto (Southeast Missouri State, S), **Amy Pickett (Butler, MB), Sarah Runka (South Florida, S), **Becky Tenkman (Cincinnati, MB), Julie Tretten (Saint Louis, MB), **Debbie Vokes (Houston, OH).

DISTRICT 7: **Katie Crawford (UC Santa Barbara, MB), Nique Crump (Long Beach State, MB), Benishe Dillard (Long Beach State, MB), **Roberta Gehlke (UC Santa Barbara, OH), Cecelia Goods (Hawaii, MB), **Addie Hauschild (Pacific, MB), **Misty May (Long Beach State, S), Diana Nalbandian (Fresno State, OH), Janie Penfield (Colorado State, OPP), Korie Rogers (Brigham Young, OPP), Rainie Rogers (Colorado State, OH), ***Amy Steele Gant (Brigham Young, MB).

DISTRICT 8: Kim Coleman (UCLA, S), Makare Desilets (Washington, MB), Kim Exner (Eastern Washington, MB), ****Kristin Folkl (Stanford, OH), Jennifer Kessy (USC, OH), **Jasmina Marinkovic (USC, MB), Kara Milling (UCLA, OPP), LaManda Mounts (San Diego, OPP), **Sarah Noriega (Loyola Marymount, OPP), ***Lisa Sharpley (Stanford, S), **Kerri Walsh (Stanford, OPP).

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