VOLLEYBALLHEADS TO NCAA MOUNTAINSUB-REGIONAL AT STANFORD;FACE EASTERN WASHINGTON IN FIRST MATCH
CALIFORNIA DREAMIN?: The Notre Dame women?s volleyball team (17-12 overall, 9-2 BIG EAST) will travel out to California for the NCAA Mountain Division Sub-Regional, where they will face Eastern Washington at Stanford?s Maples Pavilion on Friday, December 4 at 5:30 p.m. PST. in Stanford, Calif. The winner of Notre Dame-Eastern Washington will face the Stanford-Southeast Missouri State victor on Saturday, December 5 at 5 p.m. The Cardinal is the second seed in the Mountain Region and ranked fifth in the tournament overall.
NCAA Mountain Sub-Regional (@ Stanford)
(1st Round – Friday, Dec. 4)
Notre Dame vs. Eastern Washington – 5:30 p.m.
Stanford vs. Southeast Missouri St. – 7:30 p.m.
(2nd Round – Saturday, Dec. 5)
Match 1 winner vs. Match 2 winner – 7:00 p.m.
THERE?S HISTORY: The last and only time that the Irish have gone further west than Nebraska for a NCAA Tournament match was in 1995 when the team took on Oral Roberts in the Pacific Regional at Stanford. Hopefully for the Irish, history won?t repeat itself, because Oral Roberts won in five games. Notre Dame senior Lindsay Treadwell (Austin, Texas) is also the only player on the current roster to have played at Maples Pavilion. Treadwell and the Irish did so in October of 1995.
SEVEN IS HEAVEN: This is Notre Dame?s seventh consecutive trip to the NCAAs and eighth overall. The Irish qualified two weeks ago at the BIG EAST Championships by knocking off top seed Georgetown 3-0 for Notre Dame?s fourth consecutive BIG EAST Championships. The Irish defeated tourney host Pittsburgh (3-1) and Connecticut (3-2) en route to the final and raised their all-time record at the conference tournament to 9-0 since they joined the BIG EAST in 1995.
THE CALIFORNIA ROAD BLOCK: The Irish will be looking to get of the figurative hump that is California this weekend. The Irish first trip out to California was in 1985 under head coach Art Lambert, the team went 0-3 against Santa Clara, Univ. of San Francisco and UC Berkeley. Including that trip, the Irish are 2-18 on the Golden State?s soil and 1-14 since head coach Debbie Brown took over the helm in 1991.
WHAT?S WITH CALIFORNIA ANYWAY?: Besides being the home state of 15 current and former players, California is also the home state of head coach Debbie Brown, who grew up in El Segundo, Calif. and went to school at USC. Brown and the Irish have been to California every year since she took over in 1991, but for some reason did not travel there during the 1998 regular season. Was it destiny?
SCOUTING THE EAGLES: This is the first ever meeting between Eastern Washington and the Irish. The Eagles finished the regular season with a 23-4 overall record and were 13-3 in the BIG SKY Conference. Finishing the regular conference and the post season tournament in second place, Eastern Washington qualified for the NCAAs for the first time since 1989 with one of the 34 at-large bids in this year?s expanded (from 54) 64-team tournament. The Eagles, under 17th year head coach Pamela Parks, are led by senior middle blocker Kim Exner, who averages an amazing 5.35 kills per game with a .385 hitting average, a 2.43 digs/game and 1.21 blocks/game. Exner was recently named the Big Sky Conference MVP for the second straight year. Kim Maxwell, who averages 12.81 assists per game, will be the one setting Exner, while Lacey Coover (3.07 kills/game) will sweep any other balls up that Exner doesn?t somehow get her hands on. Both Eastern Washington and Notre Dame have played two common opponents this season – Georgia and Indiana. The Eagles beat Georgia in four games, but fell to Indiana in four games. The Irish had the same results but beat the Bulldogs in five and also lost to the Hoosiers in five.
SCOUTING THE CARDINAL: Should both the Irish and Stanford (25-3) win on Friday, the two schools will tangle for the fifth time ever. The Cardinal owns all four wins, with the most recent on coming in 1996. Stanford, besides being the number two seed in the region and the tournament?s fifth seed, are also the two-time defending NCAA champs. The Cardinal, under 15th-year coach Don Shaw, lost a number of its marquee players last year and have only one senior this season. They are led by junior Kerri Walsh who averages almost four kills a gam on .375 hitting. Walsh, the PAC-10 player of the year, also contributes almost 3.5 digs/game and 1.02 blocks/game. Jennifer Detmer and freshman Sara Sandrik are also powers for Stanford offensively.
BOYLAN CONNECTION: Notre Dame setter Denise Boylan (Lisle, Ill.) has some connections already to the Stanford squad. Some of Boylan?s practice mates at the USA Volleyball A-2 training team this past summer included Stanford?s own Sarah Clark and Jaimi Gregory. Former Stanford setter Lisa Sharpley was also a part of the A-2 team.
SCOUTING THE OTAHKIANS: The Irish and Southeast Missouri State have never met before. The Otahkians advance to the tournament after finishing the regular season with a 24-11 record and 12-5 mark in the Ohio Valley Conference. SE Missouri State and Notre Dame have played several common opponents this season including Oral Roberts, Syracuse and West Virginia. The Otahkians posted wins over Syracuse (3-1) and West Virginia (3-0), but fell to the Golden Eagles in four games. SE Missouri St. is lead by sophomore outside hitter Krista Haukap who hits 4.25 kills per game with a .271 hitting percentage, while averaging more than three digs a game.
ND?S IRON HORSE: Going into this weekend?s matches, senior Lindsay Treadwell will play in her 121st and possibly her 122nd straight match. Treadwell has missed only one in her career as a freshman in the beginning of the 1995 season against Colorado. Treadwell wasn?t injured for the match and was at head coach Debbie Brown?s disposal. This season, Treadwell has played in all 29 matches and 109 games.
FLASHBACK **1997 NCAAs**: Last season, the Irish advanced all the way to the Central Regional (Sweet 16) and fell in four games to host and fourth-ranked Wisconsin. Notre Dame opened the tournament with a win over Liberty and then advanced to play host and 18th-ranked Arkansas. The Irish won that match 15-9, 15-7, 15-10, 16-14 to advance to the Wisconsin match. Notre Dame has advanced past the second round of NCAA action four times and into the regional final once in 1993 against Penn State.
FACES IN THE CROWD (?98 opp. in NCAAs): Going into the season, the Irish knew they were going to be facing a tough schedule. Of the 64-team field, the Irish played Colorado, Florida, Indiana, New Hampshire, Georgetown, Illinois State, North Carolina, Oral Roberts, Michigan State and Wisconsin this season. Of the 10 teams, Notre Dame played six of them in the first eight matches of the season.
ATTENDANCE TRANSLATION: Think attendance has nothing to do with who hosts what? Think again. This year, all but one of the top ten schools in attendance per game (Illinois State) is hosting one of this weekend?s sub-regionals. See the box on page three for more details.
AWARDS, AWARDS, AWARDS: A number of Notre Dame players have received honors this season. Senior middle blocker Lindsay Treadwell leads the contingent of award getters. Treadwell is a first team All-BIG EAST selection and was recently chosen to the GTE All-Academic District V first team. She also was named the first 1998 BIG EAST player of the week and twice made the all-tournament squads (at the Shamrock and Michigan State Invites.). Joining Treadwell is freshman outside hitter Marcie Bomhack (Waukesha, Wis.) who got the 1998 BIG EAST Tournament MVP nod with 15 kills in the match. She was the first freshman to get the award since 1990 and earlier that weekend, made the BIG EAST All-Rookie squad with teammate Kristy Kreher (Birmingham, Mich.). Rounding out the BIG EAST honorees was outside hitter Christi Girton (Muncie, Ind.) who got All-BIG EAST second team honors after receiving the BIG EAST player of the week honor earlier in the season. Denise Boylan and Jo Jameyson (Alvin, Texas) also made the all-tournament team at the Shamrock Invitational.
GIRTON EN FUEGO: Over the last half of the season, sophomore outside hitter Christi Girton has really picked up the pace. She has led the team in kills in 10 of last 15 matches and had only one double-double (kills/digs) before tallying eight in the last 12 matches. The 1997 BIG EAST all-rookie team selection has twice posted a career high in kills with 19 and tallied a career best in digs with 21, in you guessed it, the last half of the season.
COACH DEBBIE BROWN: Notre Dame head coach Debbie Brown in her eight season has a record of 207-70 at Notre Dame and has a career record of 324-151, which includes six years at her alma mater Arizona State from 1983-88. Brown got her 200th career win at home against Syracuse on Oct. 31. Her first Notre Dame win
BIG EASTPLAYER OF THE WEEK
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)