Nov. 18, 2000
The University of Notre Dame volleyball team (24-5) advanced to the BIG EAST Championship final match for the sixth consecutive year with a three game sweep of Connecticut (15-10, 15-13, 15-6) in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Joyce Center. The Irish will meet Rutgers, who earned a four game victory over Pittsburgh in the other semifinal matchup.
Notre Dame utilized a balanced offense to earn the berth in the championship match. Junior Marcie Bomhack (Waukesha, Wis.) led Notre Dame with 19 kills, while classmates Kristy Kreher (Birmingham, Mich.) and Malinda Goralski (Missouri City, Texas) each posted 18 kills. Goralski also dominated at the net, posting a career-high 11 blocks and helping the Irish total season-high 18.5 stuffs as a team.
The Irish jumped to a 6-2 lead in game one, bolstered by an ace and a kill from BIG EAST Player of the Year Denise Boylan (Lisle, Ill.). Boylan would finish the day with 55 assists, nine digs, five kills, four blocks and two aces. Connecticut rallied to cut the lead 9-7, but five Irish blocks and a kills by Goralski sealed the game one victory. Boylan also helped the Irish tally 75 kills in the match, just one off the school record in a three game match.
Notre Dame jumped out to a lead in game two as well, but UConn rallied from a 9-3 deficit to assume the lead at 12-9. After Irish head coach Debbie Brown signaled for a time-out, Notre Dame rallied with two blocks and two aces, followed by a kill from senior Christi Girton (Muncie, Ind.) to claim the game two victory.
The Irish would utilize the momentum from game two to sail ahead for the match victory with a 15-6 game three win.
Notre Dame will pursue its sixth BIG EAST Championship title tomorrow, Nov. 19, at 2:00 p.m. in the Joyce Center.