Sept. 19, 1997
Harris Pounds 23 Kills as Notre Dame Spikes New Mexico 3-0
#25 Notre Dame to face #14 Texas A&M Saturday night in title match
South Bend, Ind. - Senior outside hitter Angie Harris (Fort Wayne, Ind.) had 23 kills to nearly tie her own Notre Dame record for a three-game match while leading the #25-ranked Irish volleyball team to a 15-6, 15-12, 15-12 victory over visiting New Mexico in first-round action Friday at the Tournament of Champions.
Notre Dame (6-4) trailed 11-9 in the third game before scoring the next six points. UNM (5-6) cut the lead to 14-11 but the Irish sided out and then closed out the match when junior middle Lindsay Treadwell and freshman opposite Christi Girton blocked Jenny Pavley's attempts following the serve return.
Harris--who had 25 kills vs. Colorado as a sophomore--totaled her 23 kills on .463 hitting, making just four errors on 41 swings. Senior hitter Jaimie Lee chipped in 13 kills but hit just .167 while the starting middles again had similar numbers, with Treadwell totaling nine kills on .333 hitting while sophomore Mary Leffers had 10 kills on .318 hitting.
In Friday's earlier match, #14 Texas A&M had little trouble dispatching California (15-3, 15-4, 15-8). The Aggies (6-2) will face the Irish in Saturday's championship match (7:30 p.m.), following the 5:00 p.m. consolation matchup between Cal (5-4) and New Mexico.
The first annual Tournament of Champions serves as a reunion for four members of the 1980 Olympic women's volleyball team that was not able to participate due to the U.S. boycott. Those former greats are the head coaches of the tournament's four teams: Debbie Landreth Brown (Notre Dame), Laurel Brassy Iversen (New Mexico), Laurie Flachmeier Corbelli (Texas A&M) and Sue Woodstra (California). Two other players from the 1980 team--Diane McCormick French and Sharon Moore Furlong.
Notre Dame outhit UNM, .290-.213, but held slim margins on the visitors in blocks (7-6) and aces (4-3). Lee--who has collected 12-plus kills in each of her last seven matches--turned in the 24th double-double match of her career, thanks to a match-high 19 digs against UNM (her career-best in a three-game match).
Harris totaled 11 kills in a marathon second game that featured 113 attack attempts between the two teams. Game two was tied 11-11 before the Irish pulled away, winning four of the game's final five points.
Amber Smith (.355) and Paula Feathers (.294) led UNM with 13 kills each.
In Friday's fist match, Kristie Smedsrud and Cindy Lothspeich paced the Aggies with 10 kills each while Michelle Wickman was the only Cal player with more than five kills. Texas A&M enjoyed a huge hitting advantage, totaling a .390 percentage while Cal hit negative (-.084). The Aggies also dominated at the net, posting a 13-2 blocking edge.
NOTES: Lee remains one block shy of becoming the only player currently in the Notre Dame career top 10 for kills, hitting pct., digs, aces, assists and blocks ... Lee has 49 career double-digit kill matches, sixth in Irish history and just one behind Mary Kay Waller (1985-88) ... Harris now has 66 career double-digit kill matches, third all-time at Notre Dame and just two behind Zanette Bennett (1985-88) ... Harris also is third in Irish history with 15 career 20-kill matches, one behind Bennett ... Harris opened the season with an Irish record-tying three straight 20-plus kill matches ... just six previous Notre Dame players have posted more 20-plus kill matches in a season that Harris already has in 1997 (four) ... Harris had six 20-plus kill matches as a sophomore, tied for third-most in Irish history.
Game Scores Notre Dame 15 15 15 New Mexico 6 12 12