Sept. 19, 2000
WHO: University of Notre Dame, Colorado State University, Loyola Marymount University and the University of Wyoming.
WHAT: The Golden Dome Invitational.
WHERE: University of Notre Dame’s Joyce Center.
WHEN: #4 Colorado State vs. #22 Loyola Marymount, Friday, Sept. 22, 5 p.m.
#24 Notre Dame vs. Wyoming, Friday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m.
#22 Loyola Marymount vs. Wyoming, Saturday, Sept. 23, 5 p.m.
#24 Notre Dame vs. #4 Colorado State, Saturday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m.
Notre Dame Captures Second Tournament Title of the Year: The Notre Dame volleyball team (7-3) won its second invitational tournament of the year at the Lady Seminole Classic in Tallahasse, Fla., Sept. 15-16. Notre Dame had previously claimed the Shamrock Invitational title at home Sept. 1-3.
The Irish earned the Lady Seminole Classic title by way of three match victories in two days. The weekend began for the Irish Friday morning with a win over Florida A&M in three games (15-5, 15-3, 15-3). Notre Dame was led by junior Marcie Bomhack (Waukesha, Wis.) who had 11 kills, a career-high five aces and nine digs.
The next challenge in the tournament was 9-1 Florida State. Facing the second match of the day, the Seminoles on their home court and a live television audience (the game was carried throughout Florida on the Sunshine Network) the Irish put together a solid hitting performance to earn the match victory in four games (15-10, 15-8, 8-15, 15-2). Notre Dame hit .296 in the match, including .520 in the fourth game.
Junior Kristy Kreher (Birmingham, Mich.) had a brilliant match with 19 kills on .429 hitting (19 kills, four errors, 35 attack attempts). Kreher was just one of four Irish spikers to post double-digit kills. Bomhack had her second solid match in a row with 13 kills, while senior Christi Girton (Muncie, Ind.) and junior Malinda Goralski (Missouri City, Texas) added 10 kills a piece.
Notre Dame completed its sweep of the tournament with a 3-0 victory over Samford (15-9, 15-8, 15-8) on Saturday morning. The Irish were able to rest most of their starters in the match after playing two games the day before. Goralski continued her hot hitting, tallying eight kills on 14 attempts with just two errors (.429 average). Senior Adrienne Shimmel (Mission Viejo, Calif.) set career-highs of six kills, 16 attack attempts and three blocks in the match while freshman Kim Fletcher (St. Louis, Mo.) also set a career-high with seven kills.
Kreher’s stellar performance in the Florida State match earned her the tournament Most Valuable Player award. It was the third consecutive all-tournament award the junior opposite has earned on the year. She was also an all-tournament selection in the Shamrock and adidas Invitationals.
Setter Denise Boylan (Lisle, Ill.) and Bomhack joined Kreher on the Lady Seminole Classic all-tournament team, while sophomore Janie Alderete (Santa Clara, Calif.) earned the nod for the best defensive specialist in the tournament.
adidas Invitational Recap: Notre Dame suffered a three-game losing streak over the weekend of Sept. 8-10, to three highly-ranked teams.
On Friday, Sept. 8, the Irish fell in three games (4-15, 7-15, 6-15) to #4 Nebraska. The Cornhuskers were recently elevated to #1 in the nation in the AVCA poll (Sept. 11). Senior MB Jo Jameyson (Alvin, Texas) had six kills on 11 attempts in the match and Marcie Bomhack added seven kills and five digs. Senior Denise Boylan (Lisle, Ill.) had a double-double in the match with 23 assists and 11 digs.
Saturday, Sept. 2, the Irish met third-ranked UCLA. After a slow start, (Notre Dame dropped the first two games 7-15, 7-15) the Irish pushed the Bruins to the brink in game three, losing 15-17. Kristy Kreher kept the Irish in the match with 15 kills and nine digs on .353 hitting.
Notre Dame dropped its third match to a ranked opponent in the tournament on Sunday, Sept. 10, in five games (15-12, 7-15, 12-15, 15-12, 10-15) to #16 Michigan State. Four Irish hitters had double-digit kills in the hard-fought match. Malinda Goralski had a career-high 15 kills on 28 attempts with just two errors (.464 percentage). Kreher assured a spot on the adidas Invitational all-tournament team by tallying 21 kills, nine digs and four assists. The 20-plus kill effort was Kreher’s second of the season (23 against #15 BYU on Sept. 2).
Senior Christi Girton had 19 kills and 16 digs against the Spartans while Bomhack added 13 kills and 15 digs.
Nebraska earned the adidas Invitational title by defeating Notre Dame, Michigan State and UCLA over the weekend.
Nebraska setter Greichaly Cepero earned tournament MVP honors while leading the Cornhuskers to a 3-0 record over the weekend. Kreher earned her second consecutive all-tournament team selection (she was also named to the Shamrock Invitational all-tourney team on Sept. 3) after leading the Irish in kills in the UCLA and Michigan State matches.
Twenty Years in the Making: The Notre Dame volleyball team is celebrating its first 20 years of varsity status this season. One of the university’s first varsity sports for women founded in 1980, the volleyball program is one of the most successful in school history. Of the 590 matches the Irish have played, they have been victorious in 411 of them for an impressive .700 winning percentage.
Boylan Earns Player of the Week Honors: Senior setter Denise Boylan was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week on Monday, Sept. 4, for her performance during the Shamrock Invitational (Sept. 1-3). She led the team to three victories, including a come-from-behind upset over #15 BYU. Boylan’s statistics over the course of the Shamrock tournament: 136 assists (12.36 apg), 27 digs, 10 blocks, 10 kills and five aces.
Preseason Honors: Notre Dame senior setter Denise Boylan was chosen as the BIG EAST preseason player of the year on Aug. 8. Boylan earned first-team all-BIG EAST honors in 1999 after leading the Irish with 1,132 assists and 35 aces. Her career marks of 3,291 assists and 11.84 assist per game average are both second in school history.
Boylan was joined on the preseason all-BIG EAST team by fellow senior Christi Girton. Girton had previously earned second team all-BIG EAST accolades after the 1998 and 1999 seasons. She led the team in kills (333) and digs (201) last season and ranks 10th on the career hitting percentage list with a .254 mark.
1999 Review: Notre Dame earned its eighth consecutive NCAA tournament bid after going 20-9 overall and 11-0 in conference play to capture the BIG EAST regular season title. It was Notre Dame’s fourth regular season title since they began league play in 1995.
Senior middle blocker Mary Leffers earned the 1999 BIG EAST player-of-the-year ward, becoming the third Notre Dame player to be so honored (Jaimie Lee ’96,’97 and Jen Birkner ’95).
Notre Dame returns five starters in 2000 from the ’99 team, including all-BIG EAST first-team selection Denise Boylan and second-team selections Christi Girton and junior Kristy Kreher.
Top Hitters Return: Even after the loss of Mary Leffers, the top career percentage hitter in school history, Notre Dame boasts two of its top all-time ball strikers on its 2000 roster.
Kristy Kreher put together one of the best hitting percentage seasons ever in 1999, recording 272 kills on 592 attempts with only 85 errors (.316 percentage). Kreher has moved up the career charts as well, ranking second in hitting percentage with a .294 mark entering the 2000 season. In 10 matches this season, Kreher has a .317 percentage (129 kills, 40 errors on 281 attempts).
Senior Christi Girton also had an impressive 1999 season with 333 kills and just 111 errors for a .302 mark, which is tied for the 10th-best season mark in Irish history.
Head Coach Debbie Brown: Now entering her 10th season as head coach, Debbie Brown has led the Notre Dame volleyball team to victory in nearly 75 percent of its matches, going 235-83 (.738) since she joined the program in 1991. That success came after six years as head coach at Arizona State (1983-88), giving her a 351-166 record over 15 seasons.
Brown has coached teams that have qualified for the NCAA tournament 13 times and have won nine conference championships. The Irish have won four of five regular-season conference titles since they began BIG EAST play in 1995 and also have won four of five BIG EAST tournament titles. An NCAA berth at the end of the 2000 season would give Brown her 14th consecutive post-season coaching opportunity.
Home Court Advantage To Be Tested: The Irish continued their traditional success at home in 1999 with a 10-2 Joyce Center record. Notre Dame is 165-64 all-time in the Joyce Center and the Debbie Brown era (1991-current) is even better. Since 1991, Notre Dame has won 111 of 131 home matches for a stellar .847 winning percentage.
These numbers are being challenged in 2000 as the Irish have played #1 Nebraska, #7 UCLA, #15 BYU and #17 Michigan State in the first two weeks of the 2000 season. Notre Dame also will play host to #4 Colorado State, and #22 Loyola Marymount in addititon to the 2000 BIG EAST volleyball championship Nov. 18-19.
A Highly-Rated Group of Freshmen: The class of 2004 that features Kim Fletcher (St. Louis, Mo.), Jessica Kinder (Fresno, Calif.), Kristen Kinder (Fresno, Calif.), Katie Neff (St. Louis, Mo.) and Christa Moen (San Antonio, Texas) was ranked the ninth-best recruiting class in the nation by Volleyball Magazine. Fletcher and Kristen Kinder were members of Volleyball Magazine’s “Fab 50” list of the top senior high school volleyball players in the country.
Freshmen Contribute Early in the Season: The 2000 freshmen class has made some significant contributions in the first seven matches of the year. OH Jessica Kinder and MB Kim Fletcher have been in and out of the rotation for the Irish in the first three weeks of the season. Fletcher has played in 19 of the 35 games this season, scoring 29 kills, 11 digs and 11 blocks. Kinder has come off the bench with an effective jump-serve to score 10 aces and also has nine kills and 24 digs.
MB Katie Neff and S Kristen Kinder were in the starting line up of the third game versus Valparaiso. K. Kinder set the Irish to a .409 hitting percentage in the decisive game and added three kills. Neff had two kills and a block in the game. K. Kinder also saw action in the Florida A&M match, playing two games and totalling four kills, 15 assists, three aces and nine digs.
Freshman DS Christa Moen has seen action in 10 games this season, tallying 18 digs.
A Record Number of Home Matches?: The Irish have 17 home matches scheduled in 2000. If Notre Dame qualifies for the BIG EAST tournament (the top four teams in the conference will make up the tournament field) it will have an opportunity to play the most home matches in the program’s history. Notre Dame played 18 home matches in 1992 and 1996.
Freshmen Connections: Four of the five Notre Dame freshmen enjoy two different bonds. Jessica and Kristen Kinder will be the first pair of twins to take the court for the Irish. Classmates Katie Neff and Kim Fletcher are both from the St. Louis, Mo., area and played on the same club team, the St. Louis Elite.
Neff and Fletcher will get a chance to play hometown St. Louis University when the Billikens visit the Joyce Center Nov. 7. The Kinders, who call Fresno, Calif., home, will get to return to the west coast when the Irish travel to USC Nov. 24.
California Dreaming: When the Irish travel to Los Angeles, Calif., for their final regular season match up versus USC, a number of players will get a chance to play in their home state. The Golden State is home to four players on the 2000 roster: Senior Adrienne Shimmel (Mission Viejo), sophomore Janie Alderete (Santa Clara) and freshmen Jessica and Kristen Kinder (Fresno).
Texas Representation: Texas also boasts four players on the 2000 Irish roster. Seniors Jo Jameyson (Alvin) and Michelle Graham (Austin), junior Malinda Goralski (Missouri City) and freshman Christa Moen (San Antonio) will compete with California for state bragging rights in the Irish locker room. Assistant coach Lindsay Rosenthal (Austin) also hails from the Lone Star State.
Shimmel Off the Bench: Senior OH Adrienne Shimmel has provided the Irish quite a boost off the bench this season. She set career-highs in kills (six), attack attempts (16) and blocks (three) in the Irish victory over Samford.
Shimmel’s 12 kills on the season has her poised to eclipse her career total of 17 entering the 2000 campaign.
Is It a Tournament Game?: #24 Notre Dame meets #22 Loyola Marymount on Thursday, Sept. 21, at 7:00 p.m. in the Joyce Center. Although both teams will participate in the Golden Dome Invitational Sept. 22-23, the Thursday-night match is not a part of the tournament. Performances in the Irish-Lions matchup will not count toward Golden Dome Invite all-tournament player judgements.
Golden Dome Invitational History: The Golden Dome Invitational returns to the Irish home schedule this weekend … The first Golden Dome Invitational took place in 1988 … Over the history of the event, 14 teams have traveled to Notre Dame, Ind., for the event … Notre Dame boasts a 9-6 overall record in the Golden Dome Invite and is riding a four-game winning streak in the tournament (3-0 vs. SW Missouri St. ’93, 3-1 vs. #3 Nebraska in ’93, 3-0 vs. Loyola Marymount in ’94 and 3-1 vs. Rice in ’94).
Scouting the Lions: Loyola Marymount (8-1) and the Irish are meeting for just the second time … Notre Dame won the first meeting in the ’94 edition of the Golden Dome Invitational 15-6, 15-4, 15-8 … LMU is 8-1 on the year, suffering their loss versus Duke in the Blimpie/Hoosier Invitational II in Bloomington, Ind. … the Lions are led by Sarah McFarland who was named West Coast Conference player of the week after averaging 7.82 kills per game at the Blimpie/Hoosier Invite.
Scouting the Rams: Colorado State (11-1) and Notre Dame are meeting for the third time … the Rams have won both previous meeting in ’88 and ’99 … CSU is coming off a sweep of the Coors Classic in Fort Collins, Col., last weekend, where they defeated UMass, Loyola-Chicago and Georgia Tech … the Rams will meet Wyoming in Fort Collins on Wendesday, Sept. 20, before making the trip to South Bend …. the Ram offense is led by Courtney Cox, who has 173 kills on the season.
Scouting the Cowgirls: Wyoming (6-7) and Notre Dame are meeting for the second time … the Irish traveled to Laramie, Wyo., last season and earned a hard-fought five-game victory … Jamie Burke has 170 kills and 141 digs in 2000 … Melody Friehauf leads the team in blocks this season with 69 and is second in kills with 138.