Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Notre Dame Volleyball Heads West

Sept. 21, 1999

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – In front of its largest crowd this season, the Notre Dame volleyball team improved to 5-2 overall with a 15-8, 15-1, 15-5 win Saturday over the visiting Miami University RedHawks, who fell to 5-4 with the loss.

The Irish were led offensively by sophomore opposite Kristy Kreher (Birmingham, Mich.), who tallied 11 kills on .563 hitting and three aces. The Irish also got nine kills from junior outside hitter Christi Girton (Muncie, Ind.), who along with freshman Janie Alderete (Santa Clara, Calif.), made their first appearances in the starting lineup in 1999. Girton added 11 digs, senior captain Mary Leffers (Tampa, Fla.) had eight blocks and junior setter Denise Boylan (Lisle, Ill.) recorded 30 assists and four blocks for the Irish.

Notre Dame never fell behind in the match and enjoyed a .329 hitting percentage to Miami’s .116 mark to win the match in three games.

With the win the Irish moved to 3-3 all-time versus the RedHawks.

We’ll Play Them In Three
So far in 1999, the Irish have played all seven 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 Clemson, 15-13, 15-3, 15-6. Notre Dame rebounded once again with a 3-0 win over Miami (OH)

McEwen Makes Memorable Debut
Freshman Kaitlin McEwen (Baton Rouge, La.) made a memorable debut against Miami last Saturday. The 6-2 middle blocker entered the game on match point and recorded a block solo to give the Irish the win.

The Miami match also marked the first appearance in the starting lineup for junior outside hitter Christi Girton in 1999, while freshman defensive specialist Janie Alderete made her first career start.

Going Out West: Irish Travel to Wyoming, Colorado St.
The Irish will be making their first of two trips out to the Rocky Mountain region this coming weekend when they travel to first-time opponent the University of Wyoming (Sept. 24) and 17th-ranked Colorado State (Sept. 25).

Scouting the Cowgirls
Wyoming is off to a 5-6 start in 1999 after returning half of its starting lineup from their 1998 squad, which went 16-14 overall.

Under fourth-year head coach Susan Judge, the Cowgirls are led by junior middle blocker Melody Friehauf, who is averaging 3.77 kills per game on .397 hitting to go along with a 1.33 blocks per game average. Middle blocker Rachel Lau and opposite Jamie Burke also contribute more than two kills per game, while setter Brooke Lowry runs the offense.

So far in 1999, Wyoming has suffered losses to Denver (0-3), Wake Forest (0-3), Montana State (1-3), Colorado (1-3), James Madison (0-3) and Pittsburgh (1-3), but has tallied wins over Western Carolina, William & Mary, Wichita State, Arkansas-Little Rock and Oklahoma.

Scouting the Rams
The Colorado State Rams are perfect so far this season with a 10-0 record and a number 17 national ranking.

Under third-year coach Tom Hilbert, the Rams have three players averaging over three kills, including outside hitter Catie Vagneur, who leads the team with 3.91 kills per game. Three players including Vagneur average more than two digs per game, while sophomore Angela Knopf is first on the team in blocks per game (1.31).

Nine of Colorado State’s 10 wins in 1999 have all been in three games, while its other win against 1998 NCAA participant Southeast Missouri State went to five games.

Other notable wins have come against Colorado, Loyola Marymount and Louisville. The Irish also have posted a 3-0 win over Louisville in the Shamrock Invitational at Notre Dame earlier this season.

Leffers On Top
In conference statistics released this Monday, Sept. 20, Notre Dame senior Mary Leffers has the highest season hitting percentage (.360) and blocks per game average (1.90) among BIG EAST teams in overall games.

Other Irish players listed in the top 10 include, Kristy Kreher, who is fourth in hitting percentage (336) and 10th in kills per game (3.42), Malinda Goralski, who is fifth in hitting percentage (.324) and blocks per game (1.05) and Denise Boylan, who is third in assists per game (11.76) and ninth in service aces per game (0.43).

Notre Dame as a team is first in blocks per game (3.10) and second in overall hitting percentage (.270), kills per game (15.38) and assists (13.71).

Season Notes

After appearing last week with sophomore opposite Kristy Kreher, Notre Dame head coach Debbie Brown is also tentatively booked for the October 26 and November 9 shows of the SportsCentral (WHME-TV 46) show with host Bob Nagle. Shows will air each Saturday following the tape dates at 6:30 p.m.

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 213-73 with the Irish and has a career record of 330-156, 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 programs have 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.

1999 Schedule

9/1   Valparaiso                    W, 3-0                                                         Shamrock Invitational                (Notre Dame, Ind.)            9/3   Northwestern                  W, 3-0      (#6 Pacific 3, Louisville 0)9/4   #6 Pacific                    L, 0-3      (Louisville 3, Northwestern 1)9/5   Louisville                    W, 3-0      (#6 Pacific 3, Northwestern 0)                                       BIG Orange Bash                       (at Clemson, S.C.)                    9/11  vs. Kentucky                  W, 3-09/12  at #18 Clemson                L, 0-3      9/18  Miami (Ohio)                  W, 3-09/24  at Wyoming                    7 p.m.9/25  at Colorado State             7 p.m.10/1  West Virginia*                8 p.m.10/3  Pittsburgh*                   2 p.m.10/5  Michigan                      7 p.m.10/9  at Rutgers*                   2 p.m.10/10 at Seton Hall*                1 p.m.10/17 USPV (Exhib.)                 2 p.m.10/19 at BYU                        7 p.m.10/20 at Utah                       7 p.m.10/22 St John's*                    7 p.m.10/24 Connecticut*                  2 p.m.10/30 at Boston College*            2 p.m.10/31 at Providence*                2 p.m.11/ 3 Illinois State                7 p.m.11/6  Syracuse*                     1 p.m.11/13 at Villanova*                 1 p.m.11/14 at Georgetown*                1 p.m.                                    BIG EAST Championships              11/19-21 @Pittsburgh, Pa.           TBA                                    Community Bankers Classic           (Stockton, Calif.)                    11/26 vs. Washington St.            5 p.m.11/27 vs. Pacific/Sac. St.          TBA
12/ 2-5 NCAA First/Second (TBA)12/ 9-12 NCAA Regionals (TBA)12/16 NCAA Semifinals (University of Hawaii)12/18 NCAA Finals (University of Hawaii)

All times local
*BIG EAST Conference Matches

AVCA/USA Today Top 25 Poll
September 20, 1999

Rk School ('99 record)    Points (1st) 1. Pacific (9-0)          1,496  (54) 2. Penn State (10-1)      1,419  (2) 3. Hawai'i (9-0)          1,397  (4) 4. Nebraska (8-2)         1,283 5. Long Beach State (7-1) 1,256 6. Florida (8-2)          1,222 7. Stanford (5-1)         1,140 8. Texas (6-2)            1,057 9. UC Santa Barbara (9-1) 1,01210. BYU (6-1)                94111. UCLA (8-1)               92312. Pepperdine (7-1)         87113. Clemson (9-0)            68014. Arizona (8-2)            66615. Wisconsin (7-3)          65916. Texas A&M (10-1)         61617. Colorado State (10-0)    56318. Ohio State (6-1)         42718. USC (5-2)                42720. Michigan (7-1)           33921. Arkansas (10-2)          29222. Colorado (6-3)           19023. Loyola Marymount (8-2)   15224. Kansas State (6-2)       14125. Illinois (4-2)           137

Others receiving 30 or more points: Northern Iowa (59), North Carolina (37).

Probable Notre Dame Starters

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

Outside Hitters
Marcie Bomhack, So., 6-0 (Waukesha, Wis.)
Christy Girton, Jr., 6-3 (Munice, Ind.)

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
Keara Coughlin, Fr., 5-7 (Chicago, Ill.)
Janie Alderete, Fr. 5-4 (Santa Clara, Calif.)

Volleyball Magazine Poll
September 20, 1999

Rk  School        1999 Record 1. Pacific           9-0 2. Penn State       10-1 3. Hawai'i           9-0 4. Nebraska          8-2 5. Long Beach State  7-1 6. Florida           8-2 7. Stanford          5-1 8. Texas             6-2 9. Brigham Young     6-110. UCLA              8-111. UC Santa Barbara  9-112. Pepperdine        7-113. Colorado State   10-014. Arizona           8-215. Ohio State        6-116. Wisconsin         7-317. Clemson           9-018. Michigan          7-119. Arkansas         10-220. Texas A&M        10-1

Current BIG EAST Standings

    Standings    Overall Record 1. Georgetown     10-2 2. Connecticut     5-2 2. NOTRE DAME      5-2 4. St. John's      6-4 5. Pittsburgh      5-4 6. Boston College  5-5 7. Seton Hall      3-4 8. Syracuse        4-6 9. Rutgers         4-7 9. Villanova       4-7 9. West Virginia   4-712. Providence      2-6

BIG EAST Players of the Week

9/6 - Mary Leffers, Notre Dame      Yulia Vyturina, Georgetown
9/13 - Melissa Alpers, Pittsburgh
9/20 - Kiran Gill, Georgetown Olga Roudavski, St. John's

BIG EAST Rookies of the Week

9/6 – Melissa Wooley, Connecticut
9/13 – Lauren Warner, Georgetown
9/20 – Lauren Warner, Georgetown