Dec. 13, 1997
Wisconsin Ends Notre Dame's Season in Exciting NCAA Volleyball Action
- Badgers top Irish in four tightly-contested games
- Jaimie Lee closes with career-best 31 kills
Madison, Wis. - The Notre Dame women's volleyball team went down fighting in the 1997 NCAA Tournament, falling to the #4-ranked and host team University of Wisconsin 15-9, 12-15, 16-18, 11-15 in Central Region semi-final action Saturday in a match that last two hours and 30 minutes while being enjoyed by a raucous crowd of 5,956 fans at the Wisconsin Field House.
Jaimie Lee finished her Irish career with a personal best 31 kills.
Notre Dame senior outside hitter Jaimie Lee led the Irish with a career-best 31 kills--besting her own Irish record for a four-game match--on a team-best .338 hitting percentage. Her fellow team co-captain and senior hitter Angie Harris chipped in 17 kills (.161) and a match-high 23 digs while junior middle blocker Lindsay Treadwell continued her stellar play in big matches with 14 kills on .313 hitting, plus a career-best 22 digs. Sophomore middle Mary Leffers had 10 kills (.200) and five blocks (one solo) while freshman opposite Christi Girton chipped in seven kills but also had six errors (.032). Freshman setter Denise Boylan came up with 15 digs and a team-best four service aces.
Notre Dame finishes its season 25-9, with all nine losses coming vs. ranked teams. Harris and Lee concluded their career as Notre Dame's all-time kill combination leaders by surpassing 3,000 combined kills (3,023). Harris is second in Irish history (1,577) while Lee is fourth (1,446).
Wisconsin (30-2) extended its winning streak to 18 matches while advancing to Sunday's regional final vs. #6 Florida, which made quick work of #11 Washington State (15-10, 15-6, 15-8) in the earlier semi-final. Senior middle Heather Dodaro led UW with 23 kills, .353 hitting and 17 digs. The Badgers joined the Irish with four players in double-digit kills, as senior lefthanded hitter Amy Lee had 18 kills (.244), 13 digs and eight block assists, 6-4 sophomore middle Kelly Kennedy had 17 kills on a match-best .389 hitting (plus 14 digs and seven block assists) and junior hitter Marisa Mackey had 14 kills (.353) and 16 digs. UW junior setter Colleen Neels had 16 digs and used her tough serve for six aces while sophomore hitter Alyson Ross came up with most of her nine kills at clutch times in the match (Ross had 10 errors and hit -.029).
The Badgers outhit the Irish by a .251 to .213 margin and also held a 14-10 blocking edge. Notre Dame did hold an 11-7 service ace advantage but the Irish also committed a costly 13 service errors (to UW's 11).
Notre Dame held a 12-9 lead in the second game before Wisconsin scored the next six points to notch the match (1-1). The Irish then led 14-11 in the marathon 52-minute second game and ultimately served five times for a 2-1 lead (as did Wisconsin) before Ross came through with the clinching kills.
The Irish answered with the first two points in game four but fell behind 8-2 before battling back to 11-9. But UW stretched to a 14-9 lead and converted its fourth match point to advance to the regional final.
Lee's 31 kills bested her Irish record for kills in a four-game match (29), set three weeks ago vs. Villanova in the BIG EAST title match. The all-time Irish record for kills in match is 33, set by Kathy Cunningham vs. William and Mary in 1987. Zanette Bennett had 31 kills vs. Cincinnati in '87--at the Eastern Kentucky Tournament on the same day Cunningham had her 33--while Christy Peters was the last Notre Dame player to top 30 kills, totaling 31 vs. Santa Clara on Sept 24. 1993.
Lee finished her career on a tear, totaling 131 kills over her final six matches (6.24/gm). She finished the 1997 season with a kill average of 4.55/gm, just behind Peters' Irish record (4.59).
Harris had two aces Saturday, pushing her long-standing Irish record for career aces to 239, while finishing with a career kill average of 3.97/gm that bests Peters' Irish record (3.82). Harris also totaled double-digit kills in 88 of her 122 career matches (besting Peters' record of 80), including 10-plus kills in 20 of her final 21 matches.
Notre Dame ends the season having set team records for hitting pct. (.274) and kills per game (16.57), surpassing the marks set by the 1995 team (.271, 16.32). The 1997 Irish also allowed just 1.19 opponent aces per game, third in Irish history behind the '95 (1.08) and '96 (1.11) teams.
NOTRE DAME VS. WISCONSIN - Game-By-Game Recap and Final Irish Player Notes
GAME ONE: Notre Dame stunned the hosts and huge crowd by holding Wisconsin to .127 hitting (the Irish hit .216) ... Lee came out strong for the Irish, with seven kills and just one error (.429) while Boylan served two big early aces ... the first 27 serves yielded just a 4-3 Irish lead and the score was 9-9 before Note Dame closed things out ... a Kate Fitzgerald error and Boylan's second ace pushed the Irish ahead 11-9, with the final points coming when Harris hit off the block, Neels was called for a lift, Treadwell hit off the block on a rightside attack and Leffers converted a slide attack.
GAME TWO: Wisconsin held a .273-.158 hitting edge, led by Dodaro's 11 kills (.529) ... Lee stayed hot for the Irish, totaling seven kills and no errors on 18 swings (.389) ... Leffers had some tough serves, totaling two aces ... the Irish stretched to leads of 9-5 and 12-9 but the Badgers tied the game on a kill from Kennedy, an ace by Lee and another timely kill from Ross ... Neels then won a joust at the net with Leffers to push UW in front before Treadwell overset Jameyson and Ross slammed down an overpass to complete the Wisconsin comeback.
GAME THREE: Both teams hit very well (Wisconsin .342, Notre Dame .315), with each team racking up 73 swings ... Lee led the Irish with 10 kills (but four errors) while Treadwell had seven kills (.600) and Harris six ... Harris served two aces and totaled eight digs in the game while Treadwell had 10 ... Wisconsin was led in the game by Lee (8 kills), Dodaro (7 kills, 10 digs), Mackey (6 kills, .500) and Neels (3 aces) ... Ross had five kills in the game, including the kill that tied the game 14-14 and the final two kills of the game ... Wisconsin jumped ahead 10-6 before Harris served seven straight, highlighted by a pair of aces, two kills from Leffers, a dump by Boylan and a backrow kill from Harris that found the back left corner ... the Irish went ahead 14-11 when Lee hit off the block but missed on their first game-point try when a tip from Lee went just wide ... the Irish had game points at 14-12 and 14-13, but Amy Lee hit through the block and whipped a crosscourt kill to gain the sideouts ... a weak backrow attack from Ross tied the game and Wisconsin went ahead when Mackey and Kennedy blocked Lee ... the teams traded nine straight sideouts, with Wisconsin serving for the game five times, before Lee took a set from Jo Jameyson and powered down a mid-court shot to tie the game at 15 ... Lee then converted a tip to put the Irish ahead 16-15 but Amy Lee pushed home a tip shot to keep Wisconsin alive ... a blocking error by Mackey gave the Irish one more shot but Jameyson's serve agonizingly sailed an inch past the back right corner ... Mackey and Kennedy then blocked Lee to tie the game (16-16) and the teams traded six sideouts before Ross went crosscourt and slammed down an overpass to end the game.
GAME FOUR: Wisconsin held a decisive .225-.122 hitting edge, led by Mackey (6 kills, .455) and Kennedy (4, .667) ... Lee went down swinging (7, .500) while Treadwell had four kills (.333) ... Notre Dame won the first two points and fell behind 8-2 before closing to gaps of 9-7 and 11-9 ... Wisconsin then scored the next three points, on errors by Lee and Girton and a kill from Mackey ... the Irish fought off three match points before a Girton error ended the match.
JAIMIE LEE NOTES: Lee finishes her career having played in 451 of 482 career games (93.6 percent), 2nd in Irish history behind '97 grad Jenny Birkner's 96.5 ... Lee played in 136 of 139 matches (97.8 percent), 3rd behind Birkner and Janelle Karlan's 100 percent ... Lee finished 5th on the Irish career games played list (451), 6th in matches played (136) ... she remains the only Irish player--past or present--in the Notre Dame career top 10 for kills, hitting pct., digs, aces, assists and blocks ... her late-season surge yielded 1,446 career kills, 4th all-time at Notre Dame and just 25 behind 3rd-place Bennett ... her 68 career double-digit kill matches tied with Bennett for 3rd in Irish history ... ranks 4th all-time at Notre Dame with 14 career 20-plus kill matches and 34 career double-double matches (10-plus kills, 10-plus digs) ... finished 5th in career hitting pct. (.278), 5th in digs (1,142), 9th in aces (103), 9th in assists (740) and 10th in blocks (283) ... ranks 4th in career kill avg. (3.21/gm), 9th in career dig avg. (2.53/gm) ... Lee's season totals in the Irish record book: 2nd in kill avg. (4.55/gm), 3rd in 20-plus kill matches (6), 4th in kills (481), 5th in double-digit kill matches (26) and 6th in hitting pct. (.304).
ANGIE HARRIS NOTES: Finished her career ranked in the
following Irish career categories: 1st in aces (239), 1st in ace avg. (0.602/gm), 1st in kill avg. (3.97/gm), 1st in double-digit kill matches (88), 2nd in kills (1,577), 2nd in 20-plus kill matches (16), 3rd in matches with 10-plus kills and 10-plus digs (36), 6th in digs (1,043), 6th in dig avg. (2.63/gm), 10th in hitting pct. (.246) and 10th in pct. of games played (.824, 397/482) ... her season totals in the Irish record book include: 5th in pct. of games played (.983, 117/119), 3rd in kills (492). 5th in kill avg. (4.21/gm), 3rd in double-digit kill matches (28), 3rd in aces (59), 5th in 20-plus kill matches (5) and 4th in ace avg. (0.50/gm).
DENISE BOYLAN NOTES: Her 73 assists Saturday yielded a season total of 1,350, fourth in Irish history and best-ever by a Notre Dame freshman ... her assist average of 12.39/gm ranks third all-time at Notre Dame, behind Carey May's 1995 (13.47) and '96 averages (12.68) ... ran an Irish offense that set the team record for hitting pct. (.274).
LINDSAY TREADWELL NOTES: Will head into her senior season with a .298 career hitting pct. that is ahead of Bennett's Irish record (.289) ... also ranks 8th in Irish history for block avg. (0.88/gm) ... finished the 1997 season with an even .300 hitting pct. (9th-highest in Irish history) ... remains 4th in Irish history for career service ace-to-error ratio (1.029, 70/68).
MARY LEFFERS NOTES: Will head into her junior season ranked 2nd on the Irish career hitting pct. charts (.293) ... finished '97 season with .311 hitting (5th in Irish history) ... remains 2nd all-time at Notre Dame with a 1.35 career block average, 8th in career kill avg. (2.68/gm) and 9th with 305 total blocks ... her '97 season block avg. (1.27/gm) ranks 9th all-time at Notre Dame.