November 17, 1998

SCOUTING THE ROCKETS: Toledo has had an even tougher season than the Irish in 1998. Right now, the Rockets will travel to the Joyce Center Arena with a 3-25 overall record and a 1-16 conference mark. Last season, Toledo ended the year with a 17-15 overall record and tied for fourth in the Mid-American Conference with a 8-8 record. This season, the Rockets have been led by junior middle blocker Cori Beagle, who is averaging 2.48 kills per game, senior middle Lauren Waldrop and freshman outside hitter Lindsey Kretzmann. Waldrop leads the team in service aces with 31, while Beagle has totaled 54 blocks in ’98. Defensively, opposite Emily Konczal is tops on her team with 231 digs and junior Ashley Clark runs the Rocket offense with a 8.54 assists per game average. The Rockets, under second year head coach Kent Miller, have struggled offensively, hitting only .099 as a team. In the two schools two prior meetings in 1996 and 1991, the Irish have won both matches in three games, including a 15-9, 15-7, 15-9 win two years ago.

PANTHERS, IRISH GO WAY BACK: Last Saturday, the match between Pittsburgh (19-15 overall, 5-6 in the BIG EAST) and Notre Dame came down to the rally-scoring fifth game, with the Irish pulling out on top 21-19. With the 15-10, 15-11, 9-15, 4-15, 21-19 win, the Irish moved their unbeaten streak against the Panthers to nine straight. In this season’s match between the two schools, Emily Schiebout had 16 kills and 14 digs, while Christi Girton also had a double-double with 13 kills and 12 digs. For the Panthers, five players ended the match in double-digit kills and digs. Offensively, Melissa Alpers had 17 kills, while Jenna Birkel hit .429 on 21 attempts. Lisa Riggle, a sophomore setter, added 61 assists as her team fell short. The two schools have met in the BIG EAST Tournament every season since Notre Dame joined the conference in 1995. Last year, the Irish played the Panthers in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Tournament, cruising easily over fifth-seeded Pitt 15-7, 15-11, 15-9. In 1996, the Irish won in the tournament finale 15-5, 15-6, 13-15 and 15-10, and in 1995, the Irish also won in the championship match over Pitt in four games. One interesting note about the two programs is that either Notre Dame or Pittsburgh have won the tournament title every year since 1988. Providence, who did not make the tournament, is the only other past BIG EAST champion since the event began in 1982. The Friars won in 1983, 1985, and 1987 under head coach Dick Bagge.

NEXT VICTIM – THE HUSKIES: Should the Irish win in the quarterfinals against Pittsburgh, their next opponent will be verus Connecticut. The Huskies broke Notre Dame’s 78-match conference win streak back on October 9 in a five-game marathon, which UCONN won by two points, 16-14, in the fifth game. Connecticut’s only BIG EAST season loss was to Georgetown in five games. As a result of Notre Dame’s victory over the Hoyas, the Huskies and Georgetown shared the regular season title. It was the Huskies’ second regular season title and the Hoyas’ first. The Huskies are led by seniors Annette Rynn, a first team All-BIG EAST pick in 1997, and Jenelle Koester. Koester has tallied 456 kills so far this season on .292 hitting and has a 4.22 kills per game average in BIG EAST matches. Rynn, meanwhile, has a 4.04 kills per game average this season in addition to a 4.59 dig average. Earlier this season, Rynn had 15kills and Koester chipped in 11.

FINAL VICTIM: Should the Irish succeed against the Huskies, they will play in the BIG EAST Championship on Sunday against the winner of the Georgetown vs. match 1 winner. The Hoyas, who shared the BIG EAST regular season title with UCONN, suffered their only loss in conference play against the Irish in four games at Joyce Center Arena on November 6.

NOTES AND NEWS: The BIG EAST Tournament winner gets the automatic bid to the expanded 64-team NCAA Championships. The tournament was expanded from 56 teams to 64 in 1998 and will include 30 automatic qualifiers from respective conferences and 34 teams receiving at-large bids. The NCAA selection show will take place on November 29…Notre Dame sophomore setter Denise Boylan will miss her fourth full weekend of matches because of sprained ligaments in her elbow suffered in practice prior to the Boston College match on October 25. Boylan was the BIG EAST preseason pick for player of the year, but will end up only playing in five of the 11 conference matches this season…The BIG EAST regular season award winners will be announced at a banquet during this weekend’s festivities. Voting by BIG EAST coaches will be used to determine the BIG EAST first, second and all-rookie teams. In addition, there will be one player of the year, one rookie of the year and one coach of the year…At the end of the championship on Sunday, a BIG EAST Tournament MVP will also be chosen….Past Notre Dame tournament MVP’s have included Angie Harris (1995), Lindsay Treadwell (1996) and Jaimie Lee (1997)…Treadwell hit a combined .610 in the two matches in ’96, while adding 22 digs, seven blocks and an ace in wins over Syracuse and Pittsburgh.

BIG EAST Conference Top Five

  Individual                      TeamBIG EAST MATCHES ONLYBlocking                        Blocking2. Lindsay Treadwell (1.51/g)   2. Notre Dame (3.49/g)                                Hitting                                4. Notre Dame (.223)ALL MATCHESBlocking                        Blocking        3. Mary Leffers (1.31/g)        1. Notre Dame (3.28/g)4. Lindsay Treadwell (1.29/g)Hitting                         Kills4. Notre Dame (.216)            5. Notre Dame (14.70/g)Assists                         Assists     4. Denise Boylan (11.52/g)      5. Notre Dame (13.24/g)

Tentative Notre Dame Starting Lineup
Setter – Michelle Graham, So. (Austin, Texas)
Middle Blocker – Lindsay Treadwell, Sr. (Austin, Texas)
Middle Blocker – Mary Leffers, Jr. (Tampa, Fla.)
Outside hitter – Marcie Bomhack, Fr. (Waukesha, Wis.)
Outside hitter -Christi Girton, So. (Muncie, Ind.)
Opposite – Emily Schiebout, Jr. (Blaine, Minn.)

USA Today/AVCA Top 25 Poll
As of Nov. 17, 1998

R School Prev. Rank1. Long Beach St.(26-0) 12. Penn St. (26-0) 23. Nebraska (25-0) 34. Stanford (23-2) 45. Florida (26-2) 56. BYU (24-2) 67. Hawai'i (24-2) 78. Wisconsin (23-4) 89. Pacific (22-5) 910. UCSB (24-5) 1011. USC (19-4) 1112. Texas (21-3) 1213. Arkansas (24-3) 1314. Michigan St. (21-4)1415. Colorado (20-4) 1516. UCLA (13-10) 1617. Kansas St. (17-8) 1718. USD (21-4) 1819. Arizona (19-6) 1920. Illinois (17-9) 2021. LMU (18-7) 2122. Texas A&M (16-8) 2223. Louisville (22-4) 2424. Texas Tech (19-10) 2325. Northern Iowa (23-2)NA
Others: Colorado State, Santa Clara, North Carolina,Pepperdine, Miami (Ohio), Oral Roberts, Ball State,Sacramento State, Eastern Washington, Minnesota,Northern Illinois, Fairfield, Indiana, Utah, Georgetown,Nevada, Virginia, Dayton, Illinois State, South Carolina,South Florida, Washington State.
Volleyball Magazine Top 20 PollAs of Nov. 16, 1998

R School Prev. Rank1. Long Beach St.(26-0) 12. Penn State (26-0) 23. Nebraska (25-0) 34. Stanford (23-2) 45. BYU (24-2) 56. Texas (21-3) 67. Florida (26-2) 78. Hawai'i (24-2) 89. UCSB (24-5) 910. Pacific (22-5) 1011. USC (19-4) 1112. Wisconsin (23-4) 1213. Colorado (20-4) 1314. Arkansas (24-3) 1415. USD (21-4) 1516. Michigan St. (21-4) 1617. LMU (18-7) 1718. UCLA (13-10) 1819. Kansas St. (17-8) 1920. Northern Iowa (23-2) 20
National Attendance AveragesAs of Nov. 16, 1998
1. Hawai'i 6,6702. Nebraska 3,7673. Illinois St. 2,6804. Wisconsin 2,6585. Penn State 2,6416. Long Beach St. 2,5067. Florida 2,0758. Texas 1,9289. Pacific 1,92010. Illinois 1,899
AVCA/SagarinDivision I Power Rating
8/30 - Notre Dame (#19)9/16 - Notre Dame (#52)9/20 - Notre Dame (#72)9/27 - Notre Dame (#70)10/4 - Notre Dame (#73)10/18 - Notre Dame (#63)10/25 - Notre Dame (#64)11/8 - Notre Dame (#59)
Wk 1: Jenny Manz (Florida)Wk 2: Kim Exner (E. Wash.)Wk 3: Benishe Dillard (LBSU)Wk 4: Demitria Sance (Texas)Wk 5: Kim Storey (Arkansas)Wk 6: Petia Yanchulova (USD)Wk 7: Kristee Porter (UCLA)Wk 8: Jenna Wrobel (Mich. St.)Wk 9: Tiffany Carrethers (Rice)Wk 10: Meleah Cutler (Eastern Illinois)
BIG EAST CONFERENCE(As of Nov. 17, 1998)Team BEGeorgetown (23-4) 10-1Connecticut (21-10) 10-1 NOTRE DAME (13-12) 9-2Rutgers (15-12) 6-5West Virginia (13-14)6-5Pittsburgh (19-15) 5-6St. John's (19-15) 5-6Providence (16-14) 5-6Villanova (12-16) 4-7Seton Hall (11-16) 3-8Syracuse (19-13) 3-8Boston College (12-19)0-11
Week 1: Lindsay Treadwell (ND) Wk 2: Annette Ryan (UCONN)& Melissa Tytko (Georgetown) Wk 3: Kerri Potts (Syracuse) Wk 4: Marcia Thiesen (Pitt.) & Megan O'Brien (Villanova)Wk 5: Annette Ryan (UCONN) Wk 6: Sheri Kujawa (Rutgers)Wk 7: Connie Chae (St. John's) & Rachel Watson (Syracuse)Wk 8: Christi Girton (ND) & Kiran Gill (Georgetown)Wk 9: Lola Opadiran (Rutgers) & Annette Rynn (UCONN)Wk 10: Connie Chae (St. John's) & Kiran Gill (Georgetown)
Wk 1: Noreen Carroll (Syracuse)Wk 2: Stasha Levi (St. John's)Wk 3: Yulia Vtyurina (Georgetown)Wk 4: Stasha Levi (St. John's)Wk 5: Yulia Vtyurina (Georgetown)Wk 6: Yulia Vtyurina (Georgetown)Wk 7: Kristy Mercein (St. John's)Wk 8: Yulia Vtyurina (Georgetown)Wk 9: Yulia Vtyurina (Georgetown)Wk 10: Yulia Vtyurina (Georgetown)