Oct. 12, 1997
Women's Volleyball Extends Winning Streak to Six Matches
PROVIDENCE, R.I.-Sophomore middle blocker Mary Leffers (Tampa, Fla.) continued her dominating play as the University of Notre Dame volleyball team extended its winning streak to six matches with a 15-4, 15-11, 13-15, 15-2 victory Saturday at Boston College and a 15-7, 15-5, 15-4 win Sunday at Providence College, extending the program's streak of consecutive wins over conference opponents to 67.
Notre Dame (12-5, 4-0 BIG EAST Conference) has not lost to a conference opponent during the seven-year tenure of head coach Debbie Brown, winning its final 27 league matches in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference and first 30 in the BIG EAST.
Leffers--coming off an impressive showing on Oct. 17 in the 3-2 home victory over Illinois State (19 kills on .515 hitting)--did not commit a hitting error in the weekend action while totaling an impressive .692 combined hitting percentage in the two matches. Leffers totaled 18 kills in 26 attempts at Boston College and seven kills on 12 swings versus the Friars.
Of Notre Dame's 30 BIG EAST victories, 25 have come by scores of 3-0. Boston College took game three, 15-13, after the Irish elected to rest leading hitter and 1996 BIG EAST player of the year Jaimie Lee (Spokane, Wash.) during the game.
Notre Dame owned major advantages in hitting (.391-.190) and blocking (11-4) en route to the win over Providence. Senior hitter Angie Harris (Fort Wayne, Ind.) led the way against the Friars with 17 kills on .394 hitting while her fellow co-captain Lee had 12 kills on .300 hitting. Leffers--who had a hand in five Irish blocks (one solo)--played just two games at PC, as did junior middle Lindsay Treadwell (5 kills, .364).
The Irish hit a combined .347 in their three matches this week (including Oct. 7 match vs. Illinois State), with Harris, Lee, Leffers and Treadwell (Austin, Texas) each totaling between 40-56 kills. Harris had 56 kills (4.67/gm) on .375 hitting for the week, followed by Lee (55/5.00, .310), Leffers (44/4.00, .591) and Treadwell (40/3.64, .377).
The Irish closed out the Friars by totaling 18 kills and no errors on 36 swings (.500) in the final game. Sherryl Jones and Heidi Filippi led Providence (15-9, 1-3) with 10 kills each.
Lee paced the Irish at Boston College with 21 kills on .704 hitting (2 err., 27 att.)--the second-best hitting pct. ever by a Notre Dame player in a four-game match (min. 16 att.), behind Mary Kay Waller's .750 (16-1-20) versus Western Michigan in 1986. Leffers' .692 hitting effort ranks third all-time among Irish players in a four-game match.
Harris had 16 kills on .361 hitting against the Eagles while Treadwell came through with 15 kills after hitting at a .391 clip. Notre Dame owned a .372-.211 hitting edge while serving seven aces to the Eagles' four. Leffers had a hand in three of Notre Dame's eight blocks at BC, including two solos.
Julia El-Hag led the Eagles (5-15, 1-2) with 16 kills (.278) while Eileen Broderick and Amy Laurence had 10 kills each.
LEFFERS/TREADWELL NOTES: Leffers has boosted her season hitting pct. to .342, which would rank third in Irish history ... Treadwell's .288 hitting in 1997 has yielded a .299 career hitting pct. that ranks first all-time at Notre Dame among players with 900-plus attempts ... Leffers ranks second in Irish history with a .297 career hitting pct. while Lee is eighth (.265).
TEAM NOTES: The Irish have averaged .364 hitting during the six-match winning streak, including .451 against Marquette, .315 vs. St. John's, .403 vs. UConn and .307 vs. Illinois State ... Sunday's victory was the 294th of Brown's 12-year Division I head coaching career, leaving her six of the 300- win plateau ... Notre Dame next plays host to North Carolina on Oct. 17 (8:00 p.m.)--just one of three Irish home matches over the course of the final 16 ... the UNC match will reunite sisters Elaina and Kim Oden, who are in their first seasons as assistant coaches at Notre Dame and UNC, respectively ... the Oden's have combined with their youngest sister Kim as the "first family" of U.S. women's volleyball, combining for five appearances in the Olympic Games and several All-America and player-of-the-year awards ... Notre Dame has won 52 of its last 53 home matches against unranked opponents and is 77-3 at home versus unranked teams during the Brown era (1991- ).
ANGIE HARRIS NOTES: Harris had three aces at BC (in three games) and two at PC (in three games) to extended her Irish records for career aces (213) and career ace avg. (.630/gm) ... after a slow start to her season ace total, Harris has averaged 0.88 aces per game over the last eight matches (22/25) and is averaging .054 aces/gm for the '97 season, giving her the top four season ace averages in Irish history ... Harris moved past Jessica Fiebelkorn (1,299;1989-92) into sole possession of third place on the Irish career kills chart (1,332), trailing only Zanette Bennett (1,471; 1985-88) and Christy Peters (1,683; 1992-95) ... Harris raised her season kill average to 4.19/gm (5th in Irish history).
JAIMIE LEE NOTES: Lee has played in 97.5 percent of Notre Dame's matches during her four-year career (119/122), with two of those missed matches coming earlier this season when she was busy captaining the U.S. World University Games team ... Lee's 1,184 career kills move her into 7th in Irish history, past Turner (1,162) and Jenny Birkner (1,171; 1993-96) and just four behind Mary Kay Waller (1,188; 1985-88) and nine behind Maureen Shea (1,193; 1985-88) ... Lee's season kill average of 4.70/gm is on pace to best the Irish record set by Peters in 1994 (4.59) ... Lee enters Friday's match vs. UNC just 15 digs shy of joining Turner, Fiebelkorn, Peters and Birkner as the 5th member of Notre Dame's 1,000-kill/1,000-dig club ... Lee moved past former teammate Brett Hensel (962; 1992-95) into 6th on the Irish career digs list (985).
HARRIS AND LEE NOTES: Lee raised her career kill average to 3.02/gm, 4th in Irish history (Harris is first, at 3.93) ... Lee needs 15 more kills to make Harris and Lee the only Irish classmates to both reach 1,200 career kills ... Harris and Lee are on pace to become the first Irish teammates to both average 4.0-plus kills/gm in the same season (they already are the first with 3.9-plus, doing so in '95) ... Harris ranks 2nd in Irish history with 72 career double-digit kill matches (Peters is 1st, with 80) while Lee is 5th, with 54 ... Harris and Lee are the first Irish teammates to both total more than 50 double-digit kill matches in their careers ... Harris ranks 4th in Irish history with 30 career double-doubles (matches with 10-plus kills and 10-plus digs) while Lee's 13 digs at BC and 11 at PC give her 28 career double-doubles, tied with Bennet for 6th in Irish history (one behind Turner) .