Sept. 12, 1997
Senior Threesome Leads #21 Notre Dame Past Georgia
BOULDER, Colo. -- Senior setter Carey May (Rancho Sante Fe, Calif.) came off the bench to spark the Notre Dame offense as the #21 ranked Irish posted a 15-12 , 15-7, 4-15, 15-5 victory over Georgia in second-day action of the PowerBar Invitational, held Friday at the Coors Events Center.
Senior hitters Angie Harris (17 kills on .355 hitting) and Jaimie Lee (14 kills) helped Notre Dame (5-3) overcome a substandard hitting night (.211). May entered the match in the middle of game one, replacing freshman starter Denise Boylan, and staked the Irish to a 2-0 lead. Boylan reentered the match midway through the third game but May--who totaled 37 assists in her first extensive action of the season--returned in the fourth game to lead the Irish to victory.
Georgia (3-5), which lost in four games to host and #22-ranked Colorado on Thursday, was led by Kathy Vis' 14 kills. Notre Dame owned an 11-5 blocking edge and enjoyed one of its better serving efforts of the season, totaling nine aces and 11 service errors (UGA had five aces and 12 errors). The Irish--who set an Irish record in '96 for season ace-to-error ration (1.06)--had been averaging more than two errors per ace prior to Friday's match.
The tournament concludes on Saturday night with a top-25 matchup between the Irish and the host Lady Buffs
Friday's victory helped Notre Dame avert what would have been just the fourth three-match losing streak in seven-year tenure of current head coach Debbie Brown. The Irish dropped three straight matches during the 1991 and 1996 seasons while losing four straight in 1995 (the longest losing streak of the Brown era).
The Irish bounced back from a poor showing in the third game to close out the match in the fourth, with Harris accounting for four of the team's nine kills in the final game.
Notre Dame regrouped to win game one behind May, who entered the game with Georgia holding a 10-8 lead. May immediately set up a quick Lindsay Treadwell kill for sideout and Treadwell served two points--the first coming on an ace--to tie the game. Georgia then sided out but May again went quickly to Treadwell before Harris delivered two consecutive booming aces, pushing the Irish to a 12-10 lead.
The Bulldogs rallied to force the fifth tie of game one (12-12) but the Irish regained the serve when UGA's Reveca Dady hit long. Treadwell and sophomore opposite Emily Schiebout then blocked Dady, for a 13-12 Irish lead, before Lee came up with a big dig on Dady that set up a smash by Harris off the Bulldogs block, with the ball flying all the way back behind the Irish service line. Treadwell then closed out the match with her second ace of the game.
Harris and Treadwell led the Irish in the pivotal opening game with five kills each while Lee had four kills (Treadwell had just one error on seven swings in game one). Notre Dame regained its form at the service line, totaling four aces in game one and just two service aces (the Irish had been averaging more than two serve errors per ace through the first seven matches of the season).
Harris (six kills) and Lee (five kills) led a balanced Irish attack in the second game, with sophomore middle Mary Leffers chipping in four kills and Treadwell posting three. May served the final two points of game two and came up with two big digs on the final point, a smash down the middle from Lee. UGA owned a substantial hitting edge in game three (.500-.069), with the Irish reinserted Boylan at setter midway through the game.
Notes: Harris' 17 kills moved her past Maureen Shea (1,193; 1985-88) into fourth place on the Irish career kills list... Harris--who last week passed three other players on the career kills list--has 1,206 career kills, trailing only Christy Peters (1,683; 1991-94), Zanette Bennett (1,471; 1985-88) and Jessica Fiebelkorn (1,299; 1989-92) in the Irish record boook... Harris also posted the 65th double-digit kill match of her career (third in Irish history, just two behind Bennett)... Harris had a match-high three aces, pushing her Irish career record total to 191.