Nov. 15, 1997|
Notre Dame Volleyball Uses Another Big Hitting Match to Down Rutgers, 3-0PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The University of Notre Dame volleyball team again turned in a dominating offensive performance while clinching sole possession of first place in the BIG EAST Conference with a 15-4, 15-7, 15-7 victory Saturday afternoon at Rutgers University.
Notre Dame (20-6, 10-0 BIG EAST)--which has won its last seven matches and 14 of its last 15--extended the nation's longest winning streak versus conference opponents to 73 matches, equaling the third-longest streak in Division I volleyball history (Texas won 73 straight from 1984-91).
The Irish owned a .457-.188 hitting edge, led by senior hitters Angie Harris (13 kills, .333) and Jaimie Lee (9 kills, .529), freshman opposite Christi Girton (8 kills, .615) and sophomore middle Mary Leffers (7 kills, .417). Lee had no errors on 17 attempts while Girton's team-best hitting included no errors on 13 swings. Junior middle Lindsay Treadwell added five kills on .400 hitting.
Notre Dame, which totaled just nine hitting errors vs. Rutgers, has averaged .353 hitting in its 10 BIG EAST matches this season, including six matches of .350 or higher. The Irish also owned an 8-3 blocking edge Saturday, with Leffers assisting on a match-high six blocks. Boylan served four of Notre Dame's five aces.
Lola Opadarian led Rutgers (17-16, 3-7) with 14 kills. The Scarlet Knights offcially were eliminated from the race for the six spots in next week's BIG EAST Tournament.
Harris recorded 10-plus kills for the 13th straight match and 21st time in 26 matches this season. Saturday's effort was the 81st double-digit kill match of Harris' career, eclipsing the Irish record set by Christy Peters (1991-94). Harris' current run of 13 straight double-digit kill matches is second in Irish history, behind Peters' 16 during the 1993 season.
Harris heads into Sunday's match at Seton Hall with 1,453 career kills, just 18 behind Zanette Bennett (1985-88) for second place all-time at Notre Dame. Lee's 1,292 career kills rank fifth in Irish history, just seven behind fourth-place Jessica Fiebelkorn (1989-92).
Connecticut (7-3) beat Pittsburgh on Saturday while Syracuse (6-4) won at Seton Hall, with both teams joining Notre Dame and Villanova (8-2) as the third and fourth teams to clinch a spot in the BIG EAST Tournament. Five teams remain in the running for the final two spots: Pittsburgh (5-5), West Virginia (5-5), Seton Hall (4-6), Providence (4-6) and Georgetown (4-6). Saturday's other results included St. John's over West Virginia, Georgetown over Boston College, Villanova over Providence and Syracuse over Seton Hall. Sunday's action includes Pittsburgh at St. John's, PC at Georgetown and WWU at UConn.