Nov. 17, 2000
The University of Notre Dame volleyball team (23-5, 11-0 in the BIG EAST), ranked 20th in the nation, earned numerous honors at the 2000 BIG EAST awards banquet in South Bend, Ind., Friday evening. The banquet precedes the BIG EAST Volleyball Championship, which is being held at the Joyce Center on Notre Dame’s campus this weekend.
Debbie Brown earned her second coach of the year award and her first since 1995. Brown led the Irish to a 23-5 record in 2000 and their sixth-consecutive BIG EAST Championship appearance. With an 11-0 record in BIG EAST competition, Notre Dame earned its fifth conference regular season title in six years.
In her 10th year with the Irish, Brown has guided the team to victories over #13 BYU and #22 Loyola Marymount this season. Notre Dame is also riding a nine-match winning streak headed into the BIG EAST Championship this weekend. In addition, the Irish have been ranked first in the NCAA Northeast Region the entire year.
Senior setter and co-captain Denise Boylan (Lisle, Ill.) becomes the fourth Irish player to earn the BIG EAST player of the year award. Boylan set the Irish to a .284 hitting percentage in 2000, a mark that is ranked eighth in the nation. She also led the league in assists per game (16.03) and helped the team hit a conference-best .317 this season. Boylan was the pre-season player of the year, named setter of the year at the banquet, and is a two-time all-BIG EAST first team selection.
Fellow co-captain and senior Christi Girton (Muncie, Ind.) was named to the all-BIG EAST first team. Girton was named player of the week in the conference twice in 2000 and led the Irish in kills with 350. The Irish starting outside hitter is riding a six-match streak where she has posted double-digit kills entering the BIG EAST Championship this weekend.
Junior opposite Kristy Kreher (Birmingham, Mich.) joined Boylan and Girton on the all-BIG EAST first team. Kreher has six 20-plus kill matches this season, four of which came versus ranked teams. She set the Notre Dame record for kills in four-game match this season with 32 versus Loyola Marymount and boasts a .316 hitting percentage on the year.
Notre Dame’s other starting outside hitter, junior Marcie Bomhack (Waukesha, Wis.), earned second-team all-BIG EAST honors. Bomhack was named BIG EAST player of the week on Nov. 6, and leads the team in digs with 208.
Rounding out the awards for Notre Dame on the night was freshman middle blocker Kim Fletcher (St. Louis, Mo.), who earned all-rookie team honors. Fletcher has 76 kills on the season and posted a .636 hitting percentage (8 kills -1 error -11 attempts) in key Irish conference victory at Pittsburgh on Oct. 8.
Notre Dame’s all-BIG EAST standouts and their teammates will attempt to earn their sixth BIG EAST Championship this weekend at the Joyce Center. The Irish, who hold the number one seed in the two-day tournament, face #4 Connecticut at 1:00 p.m., tomorrow (Nov. 18). Second-seeded Rutgers will face #3 Pittsburgh at 3:30 p.m. The winners of both matches will meet Sunday, Nov. 19, at 2:00 p.m. for the BIG EAST Championship.