Head coach Debbie Brown has her team on an eight-match winning streak.

Notre Dame Set To Christen Purcell Pavilion At The Joyce Center

Oct. 30, 2009

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame volleyball team returns home Saturday and will face Seton Hall at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. After playing the first eight home matches of the 2009 season in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse, the Irish will be the first varsity team to compete in the newly renovated facility.

“It’s great to come back home after a few weeks on the road, and even better to be playing in such an incredible facility,” head coach Debbie Brown said. “The team is excited, and the program as a whole is very fortunate to be the first to play at Purcel Pavilion at the Joyce Center. We’re looking forward to two great matches this weekend and to continue our unbeaten streak in the BIG EAST Conference.”

Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new Purcell Pavilion, including the Joyce Center arena addition and renovation, were held in September of 2008.

The first phase of the project, which began last September, involved construction of a new three-story structure at the south end of the arena. That structure will include a new three-story lobby, the Notre Dame ticket operations (approximately 4,500 square feet) and a varsity shop to sell apparel and souvenirs (approximately 3,000 square feet), in addition to a new club seating and hospitality area.

Replacement of the existing Joyce Center arena seating, including installation of chair-back seating throughout the arena, began after the University’s Commencement Exercises in May 2009. The entire project is scheduled for completion in January 2010.

The University announced in October 2007 that this $26.3 million project had received a $12.5 million leadership gift from Notre Dame alumnus and Trustee Philip J. Purcell III, the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley.

In November 2007, another major gift of $5 million from Notre Dame graduate Vincent J. Naimoli was announced.

A third lead gift was received from South Bend automobile dealership owner Mike Leep Sr.

The arena will be named Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center — and the new club/hospitality area (and two outdoor patios) will be named the Naimoli Family Club Room. The new varsity shop will be named the Mike Leep Sr. Varsity Shop.

The arena is the home for Notre Dame teams — men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball — as well as Commencement, concerts, Masses and other events. Approximately $68.5 million designated for new athletics facilities are part of the University’s current capital campaign, Spirit of Notre Dame. Plans for the bulk of these structures came out of an athletics facilities master plan that was created in 2000-01.

The third floor area will include the stadium club/hospitality area. The first-floor addition will include almost 4,500 square feet for ticket offices (including four exterior and 10 interior tickets windows), 3,000 square feet for the varsity shop, as well as a completely new main entrance and lobby situated between Gates 8 and 10.

The new entrance will feature graphics and galleries that highlight Notre Dame’s competing athletic programs.

Changes to the interior of the Joyce Center arena include:

• New, blue chair-back seating from top to bottom of the arena, including all-new upper-arena sections. All seating will be replaced in the lower bowl (including platform seats), and the wooden bleachers in the upper bowl will be removed and replaced with treads and risers and permanent arena seats. The exchange of the bleacher sections for chair back seats will change the capacity from the current 11,418 to approximately 9,800.
• A stadium club/hospitality area (approximately 16,500 square feet) in the south end of the arena, with a separate, private entry and with premium club seating for nearly 800 fans (that figure is part of the projected 9,800 capacity). Included in this area will be food service and restroom facilities.
• New fixed concession areas, increased numbers of women’s restrooms and increased handicapped seating options.
• The interior seating changes provide an opportunity to consider new options for Notre Dame student seating. Students currently sit in both lower- and upper-arena sections behind the basket on the east end of the arena.

Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams previously moved into new locker rooms and team rooms within the Joyce Center prior to the 1999-2000 season. Both teams’ coaching staffs moved into newly renovated Joyce Center office space during the 2005-06 season. The volleyball squad moved into a new locker room and team room in the Joyce Center to start the 2005 season.

Originally opened in December 1968 as the Athletic and Convocation Center, the Irish facility in 1987 was renamed the Edmund P. Joyce Center after former longtime University executive vice president Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C.

Among those notables who have appeared at the Joyce Center are six presidents – Jimmy Carter, George H. Bush, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan (twice), George W. Bush (twice) and Barack Obama — as well as entertainment legends Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Elton John and U-2.

The building was dedicated Dec. 1-8, 1968, with a weeklong series of events dubbed Performance Maximus – and included concerts by Andy Williams and Bill Cosby and a Notre Dame-UCLA basketball game.

Tickets will be on sale at the football stadium ticket windows. General will call, player guests and media can enter in Gate 1 of the Joyce Center.

Live video, audio and stats will be available for both matches at UND.com.

For up-to-the-minute scores and results, sign up for IRISH ALERTS text messaging services at UND.com.

BIG EAST Conference (regular season)
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Notre Dame Fighting Irish
14-4 overall / 8-0 BIG EAST
[und.com • bigeast.org]

Seton Hall Pirates
9-15 overall / 3-5 BIG EAST
Saturday, Oct. 31 • 2:00 p.m. (ET)
Joyce Center • Notre Dame, Ind.
[shupirates.com • bigeast.org]

Rutgers Scarlet Knights
8-15 overall / 1-7 BIG EAST
Sunday, Nov. 1 • 1:00 p.m. (ET)
Joyce Center • Notre Dame, Ind.
[scarletknights.com • bigeast.org]

The Field …
Seton Hall
– Series: Notre Dame leads, 14-0 (14-0 BIG EAST)
– Series streak: Notre Dame has won each of the 14 matchups
– First meeting: 10.29.95 – at Seton Hall – Notre Dame, 3-0
– Last meeting: 10.26.08 – at Seton Hall – Notre Dame, 3-0
– Notre Dame and Seton Hall will meet this season for the 15th time overall, having met once each year since the Irish became a member of the BIG EAST Conference in 1995 … Notre Dame is 8-0 at home and 6-0 on the road in the series … Christina Kaelin had 14 kills while Kristen Dealy recorded a double-double during the 2008 match … head coach Debbie Brown won the 500th match of her career in Notre Dame’s 3-0 sweep at Seton Hall in 2006 … Brown became only the 28th coach in NCAA history to reach the 500-win plateau … during the win, Adriana Stasiuk led the attack for Notre Dame with her 10th double-double of the season to go along with five blocks, and the Irish outhit the Pirates .225 to .091 … the 2007 matchup marked Notre Dame’s first sweep of the season as the Irish posted a .319 attack percentage … the Irish have won all 14 matches against Seton Hall and 42 of 43 sets … in 2004, the Pirates broke through for their first set victory in a 30-24, 30-27, 26-30, 30-23 home defeat … the 1996 match saw the Irish commit just one service error, which is tied for the fewest ever in a match … in 1997, Notre Dame turned in its second-best hitting performance in school history, with 47 kills and just six errors on 80 attempts for a .512 percentage … the 2002 contest lasted just 1:14, making it the third-quickest affair under the 30-point scoring format … former Notre Dame libero Meg Henican had 37 digs in the 2004 match, setting an Irish record for most digs in a four-set affair.

– Series: Notre Dame leads, 16-0 (14-0 BIG EAST)
– Series streak: Notre Dame has won each of the 16 matchups
– First meeting: 9.13.86 – Hackerman Showcase (Houston, Texas) – Notre Dame, 3-0
– Last meeting: 11.9.08 – at Rutgers – Notre Dame, 3-0
– The schools will go to battle for the 15th consecutive season and the 17th time overall … Notre Dame has won each of the last 16 meetings, taking 48 of the 49 sets … setting a program record for the largest margin of victory in the 25-point era, Notre Dame handed Rutgers a 3-0 (25-13, 25-16, 25-8) league setback in 2008 … the 38-point win was the largest margin of victory during the 2008 campaign for the Irish, exceeding the previous best of 32 set earlier that season against West Virginia … the teams met once prior to the Irish joining the BIG EAST in 1995, a 3-0 Notre Dame win in 1986 at the Hackerman Showcase in Houston, Texas … the Irish held Rutgers to only eight points in the contest (15-2, 15-5, 15-1) … Notre Dame and Rutgers met once in the postseason when the Irish claimed the 2000 BIG EAST Championship at the Joyce Center … in that match, Notre Dame’s Denise Boylan had 62 assists, the most ever for an Irish player in a three-set match … the lone Scarlet Knight set victory came in 1998 at the Joyce Center, when Rutgers won the third set 17-15 (after dropping the second, 15-1) … a pair of Irish players managed to hit over .500 in a win over Rutgers in the 2007 feud, which was also Notre Dame’s inaugural Dig for the Cure match … Justine Stremick finished with a .706 clip while Stasiuk blitzed the Scarlet Knights with a .550 mark to lead Notre Dame in its 3-0 win.

Next week: Notre Dame hits the road again with league matches at Marquette (Nov. 6) and Syracuse (Nov. 8).

Bump, Set, Spike …
• Notre Dame is off to its best start since 2005 when that squad was 17-1 through the first 18 matches of the campaign … the Irish won each of their first 11 BIG EAST contests that season … Notre Dame is currently the last team in the BIG EAST without a league loss (8-0).
• Notre Dame has won eight in a row and 11 of its last 12 matches … the streak includes four sweeps – including each of the last three matches won – and just four sets dropped … the Irish have won 24 of their last 28 sets by an average of 4.93 points.
• Irish head coach Debbie Brown has shelved over 400 wins with Notre Dame and won five BIG EAST Conference Coach of the Year awards since joining the league in 1995 … the 2009 season is her 19th at the helm of the Fighting Irish program … with a career record of 555-250 (.688) in her 25th season as a head coach, Brown has a 438-167 (.722) mark at Notre Dame.

Upward Bound …
Notre Dame is receiving votes (51) in the AVCA Top 25 Poll for the ninth consecutive week … RichKern.com deemed Notre Dame the 30th-best team in the nation according to its Oct. 26 poll while the Irish are No. 23 in the Pablo Rankings … the Irish have an RPI of 15, down four spots from last week despite a win at DePaul (Oct. 23) … Notre Dame is the highest ranked BIG EAST Conference team in each poll … each of Notre Dame’s losses have come to formidable opponents according to the Oct. 26 RPI rankings: Florida State (2), Michigan (6), LSU (14) and Tennessee (16).

Nationwide …
Notre Dame ranks 21st nationally with a .263 team hitting percentage … the Irish are 20th overall with 14.11 kills/set and 29th with 12.91 assists/set … Jamel Nicholas is 23rd nationally with 11.11 assists/set and Tara Enzweiler is 38th with 1.23 blocks/set.

Inside the BIG EAST …
In conference-only play, Notre Dame ranks first in opponent hitting percentage (.138), assists (13.50), kills (14.61), second in hitting percentage (.258) and blocks (2.95/set) and third in service aces (1.43/set) … Kellie Sciacca in hitting percentage (.410) and sixth in blocks (1.33/set) … Serinity Phillips is fourth with 4.00 kills/set … Jamel Nichlas is fourth with 11.36 assist/set and fifth with 0.43 aces/set … Tara Enzweiler is second overall with 1.63 blocks/set.

Life On the Road …
The Irish did not lose a set while racking wins at Pittsburgh (Oct. 17), West Virginia (Oct. 18) and DePaul (Oct. 23) … the Irish snapped a four-match losing skid to the Panthers while handing Pittsburgh just its second conference loss of the season.

Serinity Phillips Picks Up BIG EAST Player Of The Week Award …
Senior outside hitter Serinity Phillips was named the BIG EAST Volleyball Player of the Week on Oct. 19 … Phillips led Notre Dame to wins at Pittsburgh (Oct. 17) and West Virginia (Oct. 18) to improve the team’s BIG EAST record to 7-0 … Phillips made sure there was no letdown one week after recording her 1,000th career kill against Cincinnati (Oct. 10) … she had an all-around effort at Pittsburgh by helping Notre Dame to a victory with 11 kills, seven digs and five blocks … against West Virginia, Phillips hit .351 while racking up 18 kills and adding five digs and five blocks … the Valley Center, Calif., native led all BIG EAST players that week with 5.67 points/set.

Nicholas Notches BIG EAST’s Weekly Award …
Senior captain Jamel Nicholas came through with big play after big play while helping maintain her team’s flawless BIG EAST record with wins over two of the conference’s top squads in Cincinnati (Oct. 10) and Louisville (Oct. 11) … the efforts earned her the BIG EAST Player of the Week award on Oct. 12 … Nicholas led the Irish past the Bearcats with 52 assists, three kills, eight digs and two blocks … each of her three clutch aces in the fifth set of that win were part of a 6-0 Irish run to close the books … she went for 45 assists and 14 digs against Louisville.

Serinity Hits 1,000 …
Senior outside hitter Serinity Phillips recorded her 1,000th career kill against Cincinnati (Oct. 10), finishing with 17 kills (.298), seven digs, six blocks and 20.0 points in that match … Phillips became the 18th player in program history to record at least 1,000 career kills … the last to do so was Irish volunteer assistant coach Adrianna Stasiuk … she accomplished the feat during her senior season in 2007.

20+ for Kaelin … Again …
Notre Dame got 20 kills from senior outside hitter Christina Kaelin versus the Cincinnati (Oct. 10) … it was the ninth match of her career with 20 or more kills … the effort tied her for sixth all-time in that category with Kristy Kreher (1998-2001).

Brown Reaches Milestones …
When Irish head coach Debbie Brown guided her team to a 3-0 win against Villanova on Oct. 4 it marked her 800th overall match on the sideline as a head coach and 600th with the Irish … to top the cake, it was Brown’s 550th career win.

Revenging Villanova …
One of the nation’s top serving teams came into the Joyce Center for a league matchup on Oct. 4, but it was Notre Dame that aced visiting Villanova for a 3-0 win … the Irish recorded eight aces – including four from senior setter Jamel Nicholas – against a Wildcat squad that entered the match ranked second in the country with 2.33 aces/set … Villanova mustered just a pair of aces against Notre Dame … furthermore, the Irish win snapped a two-match losing streak to the Wildcats after Notre Dame had won the first 16 meetings between the two schools.

I Know What You Did That Weekend …
BIG EAST Conference play started with the Irish posting a four-set win at Connecticut (Sept. 25) to improve to 14-1 all-time in BIG EAST openers … senior outside hitter Serinity Phillips posted outrageous numbers in that match and nearly clinched a triple-double … Phillips had 16 kills, 12 digs and nine blocks for 21.5 points against the Huskies to open BIG EAST play (she was also one block shy of a triple-double against Marquette in 2008) … senior outside hitter Christina Kaelin led Notre Dame to a 3-0 win at St. John’s with 13 kills and a .500 hitting percentage as the Irish posted their first sweep over the Red Storm since 2004.

Phillips Earns Honor Roll Recognition …
Senior outside hitter Serinity Phillips was part of the Sept. 21 edition of the BIG EAST Honor Roll … Phillips put up stellar numbers and inched closer to the 1,000-kill mark for her career with 37 kills (3.70/set) at Florida State’s Seminole Tri-Tournament … she also averaged 1.70 digs/set over the weekend … Phillips followed an 18-kill, 13-dig, and five-block performance in a win over Miami (Sept. 19) by tagging the host Seminoles (Sept. 20) for 19 kills on a .432 hitting average (her best ever in a five-set match) … she also had two aces and four blocks against the Hurricanes while adding five blocks versus Florida State … Phillips averaged 4.35 points in her 10 sets played and posted 20+ points in both of Notre Dame’s matches.

Career Day for Dealy …
Sophomore outside hitter Kristen Dealy went for 21 kills against No. 19 Florida State (Sept. 20) … the mark was a new career high for the second-year swinger, who also added seven digs, two blocks and an ace versus the Seminoles for 23.0 points … the output came one day after Dealy logged her second double-double of the season against Miami with 14 kills and 11 digs.

The Miami Marathon …
Four Irish players posted double-figure kills as the Irish rallied to down Miami, 3-2, in opening action at the Seminole Tri-Tournament hosted by Florida State … Notre Dame trailed, 2-0, before taking the final three sets behind 18 kills and 13 digs from Serinity PhillipsChristina Kaelin (11), Kellie Sciacca (14) and Kristen Dealy (14) each joined Phillips with 10+ kills on the day … the last time Notre Dame dropped the first two sets in a win was against Houston in 2003 … Dealy added 11 digs to match Phillips’ double-double in Notre Dame’s first five-set match this season … Sciacca had seven blocks – three solo – with Phillips adding four more of the team’s 11.5 rejections.

Stalemates at the Seminole Tri-Tournament …
Notre Dame faced a formidable field at the Seminole Tri-Tournament with matches against Miami (Sept. 19) and No. 19 Florida State (Sept. 20) … both matches lasted five sets and featured 63 knotted scores and 26 lead changes … 18 ties highlighted the second set of the match versus the Hurricanes.

Irish Earn Stripes at Notre Dame / adidas Invite …
The Irish hosted the Notre Dame / adidas Invitational and swept the competition with wins over Wisconsin (Sept. 11) and New Mexico State (Sept. 13) … after dropping the first set of the matchup against Wisconsin, Notre Dame rallied to take the final three periods en route to a 3-1 win … not only was it the first win against the Badgers for Irish head coach Debbie Brown in six tries – and Notre Dame’s first since 1987 – but it was just the second win overall for Notre Dame against a Wisconsin program that eliminated the Irish from their last three NCAA Tournament appearances (2004, 2005 and 2006) … it was the first time Notre Dame lost the first set in a win since Nov. 22, 2008, against St. John’s.

Trio Find Spot On adidas All-Tournament Team …
Sophomore Kristen Dealy and seniors Serinity Phillips and Jamel Nicholas were each named to the Notre Dame / adidas All-Tournament team for their performances against Wisconsin (Sept. 11) and New Mexico State (Sept. 13) … Dealy, the tournament MVP, averaged 4.43 kills/set and 2.57 digs/set … Phillips went for 3.86 kills/set and 1.71 digs/set while Nicholas put up stellar numbers with 11.14 assists/set and 2.57 digs/set while leading Notre Dame to a .324 hitting percentage … in playing pivotal roles for Notre Dame in the opening match against the Badgers, Dealy and Phillips slammed down 19 kills apiece, a career-high for Dealy and season-high for Phillips.

Hang It On the Fridge …
Sophomore outside hitter Kristen Dealy was named the BIG EAST Conference Player of Week on Sept. 14 … the Santa Barbara, Calif., native earned the honor on the heels of being named MVP of the Notre Dame / adidas Invitational after leading the Irish to wins over Wisconsin (Sept. 11) and New Mexico State (Sept. 13) … Dealy posted a season-best 19 kills with 13 digs for a double-double and three aces in the tournament’s opening match against the Badgers … Dealy added 12 kills against New Mexico State while cleanly fielding 24 serves in the tournament finale.

Aces By Irish …
Notre Dame showed signs of improvement in its serving as is evident by its 14 aces and 12 errors in two matches at the Notre Dame / adidas Invitational (Sept. 11-13) … heading into the event, Notre Dame had just 30 aces and 68 service errors … five players – Kristen Dealy, Jamel Nicholas, Megan Dunne, Stephanie Slatt and Frenchy Silva – had multiple aces during the tournament … in fact, a career-high four aces came off the stroke of Slatt after she went back-to-back from behind the stripe on a pair of occasions during pivotal Irish runs against New Mexico State (Sept. 13).

Queen City Queens …
Senior outside hitter Serinity Phillips and senior setter Jamel Nicholas both earned all-tournament nods at the Xavier Invitational (Sept. 4-6) … Phillips poured in a season-high 20 kills against Xavier (Sept. 4) on a .459 average and had 11 digs against Tennessee (Sept. 5) … she averaged 3.40 kills/set while Nicholas punched in 11.10 assists/set … for her efforts, Phillips was named to the BIG EAST Conference’s Weekly Honor Roll.

Point Irish, Point Wolverines …
Notre Dame and Michigan combined for 60 points in the second set of a Sept. 6 matchup at the Xavier Invitational, setting the Irish record for scores in the 25-point set era … the set had 13 tie scores and three lead changes … Notre Dame stared at set point after a Lexi Zimmerman attack error (24-23) and Michigan would eventually get the win after converting its sixth set point … previously, Notre Dame and Valparaiso combined for 58 points in the third set of an Aug. 31, 2008, meeting … Valparaiso won the set, 30-28, while escaping with the match victory.

Conquering the Cardinal …
For just the second time in program history – and the first since 1993 – Notre Dame earned a win over a top-five opponent, as the Irish dealt No. 5 Stanford a 3-0 loss on Aug. 29 … Notre Dame’s last win over a ranked opponent came at home against Louisville on Nov. 11, 2007, while the lone win versus a top-five opponent came on Sept. 25, 1993, when the 14th-ranked Irish defeated No. 3 Nebraska at the Joyce Center … the Irish and Cardinal last met in 2003 with Stanford pulling out a 3-0 win … the 2008 NCAA Championship runner-up had never dropped a match to Notre Dame in six tries until this season … the Irish have earned 32 wins against ranked teams and 13 victories over top-10 teams … furthermore, the 1,843 fans in attendance to watch Notre Dame knock off Stanford made up the largest crowd to view a game in the Joyce Center Fieldhouse and the 15th-largest crowd overall in Irish history.

BIG EAST Deals Honor To Dealy …
Sophomore Kristen Dealy was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll (Aug. 31) one day after being tabbed to the Shamrock Invitational all-tournament team … the outside hitter narrowly missed out on a pair of double-doubles during Irish sweeps over Denver (Aug. 28) and No. 5 Stanford (Aug. 29) … Dealy had nine kills against both the Pioneers and Cardinal before peppering LSU with 15 on a .400 average … she also cleanly fielded 40 consecutive serves through three matches before committing an error … Dealy led Notre Dame with 3.67 kills/set and 2.78 digs/set over the three matches.

All-Tournament Nods …
Senior Serinity Phillips joined sophomore Kristen Dealy on the Shamrock Invitational all-tournament team … Dealy led the Irish against the Tigers with 15 kills while narrowly missing out on double-doubles in Notre Dame’s first two matches … Phillips steadied the Irish attack with 3.11 kills/set and 2.89 digs/set in the three matches … LSU’s Michele Williams, who was named the tournament’s most valuable player, finished the three-match event with 37 kills (2.85/set) and 19 blocks (1.46/set) … Brittnee Cooper (LSU), Cassidy Lichtman (Stanford), Gabi Ailes (Stanford) and Emmy Davidsmeyer (Denver) rounded out the all-tournament team.

Preseason Honors …
Senior outside hitter Christina Kaelin and junior middle blocker Kellie Sciacca both earned all-BIG EAST preseason nods, as voted upon by the league’s coaches … the duo brought home second team all-BIG EAST honors at the conclusion of last year’s regular season … Kaelin went on to rack up all-region and Honorable Mention All-America honors from the AVCA in 2009 … Notre Dame was picked alongside Cincinnati to finish second in the BIG EAST standings.

All In the Family …
Senior Tara Enzweiler will be joined on campus this year by a few familiar faces … two of her brothers, Thomas and Matthew, are also undergraduates at the University … moreover, each of the three were valedictorians at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, N.C.