Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Finish Second At Big Orange Bash

Sept. 14, 1999

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – For the second straight weekend, the Notre Dame volleyball team finished second in a tournament, this time at the BIG Orange Bash in Clemson, S.C. The Irish were making their first trip to the state of South Carolina and posted wins over Kentucky (3-0), before falling to 18th-ranked Clemson in the tournament finale on Sunday, Sept. 12..

BIG Orange Bash Final Standings
1. #18 Clemson 2-0
2. Notre Dame 1-1
3. Kentucky 0-2

DAY ONE (Sept.10)
Match One

#18 Clemson  15   15   15Kentucky      2    9   10

DAY TWO (Sept.11)
Match One

Notre Dame  15   15   15   Kentucky     9    9    9

DAY THREE (Sept.12)
Match One

#18 Clemson  15   15   15Notre Dame   13    3    6

Boylan, Kreher Earn BIG Orange Bash Honors
Notre Dame junior setter Denise Boylan (Lisle, Ill.) and sophomore opposite Kristy Kreher (Birmingham, Mich.) were voted to the seven-member BIG Orange Bash all-tournament team.

It was the second such honor in as many weeks for Boylan, who was also an all-tournament selection at last week’s Shamrock Invitational. For Kreher, a member of the 1999 U.S. Junior National Team, it was her first such honor of her career.

Boylan had 50 assists against Kentucky, while Kreher led the team with 16 kills, a career-high in a three-game match. On Sunday, Boylan added 27 assists and Kreher had four kills against the 18th-ranked Clemson Tigers.

BIG Orange Bash All-Tournament Team
Denise Boylan, Notre Dame
Kristy Kreher, Notre Dame
Megan Weiskircher, Kentucky
Alison Coday, Clemson
Jessi Betcher, Clemson
Emily Goria, Clemson
MVP – Cindy Stern, Clemson

We’ll Play Them In Three
So far in 1999, the Irish have played all six of their matches in three games. The team opened the season by beating Valparaiso, 15-4, 15-5, 15-2, and then downing Northwestern, 15-8, 15-9, 15-8. The team’s first loss of the season versus Pacific was also in three games, 15-10, 15-10, 15-9, while the Irish bounced back with a 16-14, 15-13, 15-4 win over Louisville on September 5. Last weekend, the Irish beat Kentucky in three games all by scores of 15-9, but then lost to tournament host 15-13, 15-3, 15-6.

Leffers Leads The Way
Senior Mary Leffers (Tampa, Fla.) is coming back strong in 1999 after playing through injury in 1998. The co-captain leads the Irish in kills per game (3.44), hitting percentage (.371) and blocks per game (1.78). She also is seeing more time in the backrow, playing through the entire rotation.

Restoring Old Rivalries, Irish Play Host to Miami (Ohio)
Notre Dame will be back at home, Saturday, September 18 at the Joyce Center at 7 p.m. The Irish play host to Miami (Ohio) University, who advanced to the second round of the 1998 NCAA tournament. It will be the first time the two schools have met since 1991.

Scouting the RedHawks
Miami, who return three of their starters from 1998, have opened their 1999 campaign with a 5-3 mark overall, with all three of their losses coming last weekend at the Pacific Invitational in Stockton, Calif.

Notre Dame and Miami have played one common opponent so far this year in top-ranked Pacific, who beat the Irish and the RedHawks both in three games.

Miami, under head coach Carolyn Condit, is led by last year’s Mid-American Player of the Year Alissia Thompson, who is averaging over four kills a game and two and a half digs per game. She is helped by outside hitter Mindy Collins’ 4.07 kills per game and Andrea Stone’s 1.08 blocks per game. Running the Miami offense is setter Kerry Hardek.

The RedHawks lead the overall series between the two team, 3-2, but the two schools have not faced each other since 1991, when they met twice. Notre Dame’s two wins have come in 1988 and 1991, while Miami won in 1983, 1990 and 1991.

Irish Drop From Ranks
Following last weekend’s loss to #18 Clemson, the Irish fell out of the Volleyball Magazine poll. The team, however, has more than enough chances to rebound with the likes of Miami and #17 Colorado State on the upcoming schedule.

Kreher, Brown Appear On SportsCentral
Notre Dame head coach Debbie Brown and sophomore opposite Kristy Kreher appeared on this week’s edition of the SportsCentral (WHME-TV 46) show with host Bob Nagle, which will air this evening, Saturday, Sept. 18 at 6:30 p.m.

Debbie Brown and the Notre Dame volleyball team are also tentatively booked for the October 26th and November 9th shows.

SportsCentral is a weekly television show produced by LeSea Broadcasting that keeps fans updated on the progress of all Notre Dame intercollegiate athletic teams. Game footage and interviews with players and coaches are all a part of the half-hour weekly segment that recaps the week’s results and previews upcoming contests.

Notre Dame Keeps NCAA Bids Rolling
After qualifying for its seventh straight trip to the NCAAs in 1998, the Notre Dame volleyball program currently has the second-longest active streak of NCAA appearances of any Irish athletic team. The Irish have advanced to the Elite Eight once (1993) and the round of 16 three times (1994, 1995, 1997). Notre Dame has suffered only one first round loss (1992) during that streak.

The only other Notre Dame team to have more is men’s tennis, which has earned eight consecutive bids from (1991-99) Boylan, Girton Honored

The BIG EAST also released the coaches’ selections for the six-member preseason all-conference squad. Notre Dame is represented by junior setter Denise Boylan (Lisle, Ill.), last year’s preseason player of the year, and junior outside hitter Christi Girton (Muncie, Ind.), who made the 1998 all-BIG EAST second team.

Other members of the team include Georgetown’s Yulia Vtyurina and Kiran Gill, Rutgers’ Lola Opadiran and Pittsburgh’s Paula Zemrowski. Vtyurina was selected as the preseason player of the year.

Game Change
The Notre Dame-Illinois State match is listed incorrectly on the team’s 1999 schedule card. The match will take place at 7 p.m. on November 3 at the Joyce Center.

Opponents will find something a bit different this year when they visit the Joyce Center at Notre Dame.

Starting this fall, the Irish will be playing on a SPORT COURT, a synthetic playing surface, used at the NCAA championships and by the U.S. national teams.

Head Coach Debbie Brown
Notre Dame head coach Debbie Brown begins her ninth season at Notre Dame and her 15th overall. Brown has compiled a mark of 212-73 with the Irish and has a career record of 329-156, which includes six years at the helm of her alma mater, Arizona State.

In recognition of Brown’s contribution to the University, Notre Dame’s National Monogram Club bestowed upon her an honorary monogram at the annual Monogram Club awards dinner in June 1999. She joins an elite group of six current Irish coaches to have been awarded an honorary monogram.

Notre Dame Third In Student-Athlete Graduation Rates
The University of Notre Dame has been ranked third in overall student-athlete graduation rates among the nation’s Division I-A colleges and universities, according to the latest annual report compiled by the NCAA. The 1999 NCAA Graduation-Rates Report, the ninth such survey issued by the association, covers students enrolled between 1989 and 1992 at 312 Division I institutions, including 112 in Division I-A.

Notre Dame graduated a four-year average of 88 percent of its student-athletes, third only to Duke and Northwestern at 91 and 90 percent, respectively. The national average for Division I-A schools is 58 percent.

Notre Dame graduated 85 percent of all men and 94 percent of all women competing in varsity athletics.

The Sporting News Ranks Notre Dame Third In Survey Of Top Athletic Departments
The Notre Dame athletic department has been ranked third in a major survey by The Sporting News of 112 U.S. colleges who participate in NCAA Division I sports in both football and men’s basketball.

Notre Dame finished behind only Penn State and North Carolina in the survey, which graded the departments on various standards ranging from on-field to academic performance.

AVCA/USA Today Top 25 Poll
September 13, 1999

Rk  School ('99 record)    Points (1st) 1. Pacific (8-0)          1,494 (55) 2. Penn State (8-1)       1,404 (21) 3. Hawai'i (6-0)          1,392 (3) 4. Long Beach State (6-0) 1,306 (1) 5. Nebraska (7-2)         1,261 6. Florida (6-2)          1,201 7. Stanford (3-1)         1,108 8. Texas (6-0)            1,093 9. UC Santa Barbara (6-0) 1,03410. Pepperdine (5-0)         94011. UCLA (5-0)               93812. BYU (4-1)                82313. Wisconsin (4-2)          65114. Arizona (6-2)            64415. Clemson (7-0)            61816. Texas A&M (7-1)          61017. Colorado State (7-0)     53718. Ohio State (3-1)         43019. USC (3-2)                38920. Arkansas (7-2)           33021. Michigan (5-1)           31522. Colorado (5-1)           21023. Illinois (3-2)           19124. Kansas State (5-2)       14225. Loyola Marymount (5-2)   132

Others receiving 30 or more points: San Diego (106), North Carolina (44), Northern Iowa (30).

Probable Notre Dame Starters

Denise Boylan, Jr. 6-1 (Lisle, Ill.)

Outside Hitters
Marcie Bomhack, So., 6-0 (Waukesha, Wis.)
Jo Jameyson, Jr., 6-1 (Alvin, Texas)

Kristy Kreher, So., 6-1 (Birmingham, Mich.)

Middle Blockers Mary Leffers, Sr., 6-4 (Tampa, Fla.)
Malinda Goralski, So., 6-1 (Missouri City, Texas)

Defensive Specialists
Adrienne Shimmel, Jr., 5-10 (Mission Viejo, Calif.)
Keara Coughlin, Fr., 5-7 (Chicago, Ill.)

Volleyball Magazine Poll
September 13, 1999

Rk  School             1999 Record 1. Pacific            8-0 2. Penn State         8-1 3. Long Beach State   6-0 4. Nebraska           7-2 5. Texas              6-0 6. Florida            6-2 7. Hawai'i            6-0 8. Stanford           3-1 9. Brigham Young      4-110. UCLA               5-011. UC Santa Barbara   6-012. Pepperdine         5-013. Wisconsin          4-214. Arizona            6-215. Ohio State         3-116. Colorado State     7-017. Clemson            7-018. San Diego          4-219. Michigan           5-120. Arkansas           7-2

Current BIG EAST Standings

                  Overall Record 1. Georgetown       7-1 2. Connecticut      5-2 3. NOTRE DAME       4-2 4. Pittsburgh       4-3 5. Boston College   4-4 6. St. John's       3-3 7. Seton Hall       3-4 8. West Virginia    3-4 9. Providence       2-410. Rutgers          2-511. Syracuse         2-512. Villanova        2-5

BIG EAST Players of the Week

9/6 -  Mary Leffers, Notre Dame       Yulia Vyturina, Georgetown9/13 - Melissa Alpers, Pittsburgh

BIG EAST Rookies of the Week

9/6 – Melissa Wooley, Connecticut
9/13 – Lauren Warner, Georgetown

1999 BIG EAST Preseason Poll

Rk   Team (1st Place) Points    1.  Notre Dame (9)   119    2.  Georgetown (3)   112    3.  Connecticut       96    4.  Pittsburgh        90    5.  Rutgers           83    6.  West Virginia     71    7.  St. John's        52    8.  Syracuse          49    9.  Villanova         36   10.  Seton Hall        34   11.  Boston College    22   12.  Providence        18

1999 Preseason All-BIG EAST Team

Denise Boylan, Notre Dame
Christi Girton, Notre Dame
Kiran Gill, Georgetown*
Yulia Vtyurina, Georgetown
Lola Opadiran, Rutgers
Paula Zemrowski, Pittsburgh
*= unanimous selection

Preseason Player of the Year
Yulia Vtyurina, Georgetown