Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Volleyball Stays Perfect in BIG EAST

Oct. 27, 1999

Irish Sweep St. John’s, Connecticut
Notre Dame continued their dominance versus BIG EAST opponents in 1999 with two, three-game sweeps over conference foes, St. John’s and Connecticut.

Against the Red Storm Friday, the Irish got a game-high 16 kills on .577 hitting from sophomore Kristy Kreher (Birmingham, Mich.) to go along with nine digs. Three other Notre Dame players reached double-digits in kills, including Marcie Bomhack (13 kills), Christi Girton (11 kills) and Mary Leffers (10 kills). Leffers was perfect offensively with a .500 hitting percentage on 20 attempts, while junior Denise Boylan contributed 39 assists in the winning effort.

Sunday, the Irish were led once again by Kreher and Girton, who both had double-doubles. Kreher hit .700 with 15 kills and 11 digs, while Girton had 14 kills and 10 digs. Notre Dame also had four blocks apiece from Leffers and sophomore Marcie Bomhack, while Boylan had 51 assists.

The Huskies, who scored 11 points in game two, are the first BIG EAST team in 1999 to even reach double-digits versus the Irish.

Climbing Up The Record Books
With her eight-block performance against Utah, senior middle blocker Mary Leffers (Tampa, Fla.) passed up current Notre Dame assistant coach Jessica Fiebelkorn-Kerr for third on the career total blocks list with 517, including 103 in 1999. Fiebelkorn-Kerr totaled 504 over her four-year career with the Irish from 1989-92, while Mary Kay Waller, who played for Notre Dame from 1985-88, is the career leader in total blocks with 699.

In other record-breaking news, with her 39 assists against St. John’s, junior setter Denise Boylan (Lisle, Ill.) passed former Notre Dame standout Carey May for third place on the Notre Dame career assists list. Boylan has 2,850 career assists, including 691 in 1999. Janelle Karlan is the Irish record holder with 5,197.

Irish Look To Secure BIG EAST Tournament Bid This Weekend
The BIG EAST leading Notre Dame volleyball team can wrap up their fifth consecutive BIG EAST Tournament bid with victories this weekend over Providence and Boston College. With the two wins, the Irish would be 8-0 with three matches remaining, meaning the worst they could finish is 8-3.

Currently, six of the conference’s 12 teams have four or more losses, meaning that even if the Irish were to lose their last three matches, they would still qualify for the six-team tournament, November 19-21.

Hitting New England
Notre Dame travels to the New England area for two matches against BIG EAST foes Boston College and Providence this weekend. The Irish are undefeated against both schools with a 5-0 all-time record versus the Eagles and 4-0 mark against Providence.

Scouting Boston College
The Eagles, under second-year head coach Jackie Hadel, enter Saturday night’s match with a 10-13 overall record and a 2-4 mark in the BIG EAST. Boston College has posted notable victories over Connecticut in five games and Villanova in four games.

The Eagles are led by junior outside hitter Julia El-Hag, who is averaging 2.58 kills per game and a team-best 3.39 digs per game, and junior middle blocker Kristin Sprinkel, who leads the team in both blocks (0.84) and service aces (0.41) per game. Setter Kyleen Charlton runs the Eagle offense with a 9.94 assists per game average.

For the second straight season, Notre Dame senior Mary Leffers will face her former Tampa Bay Juniors club volleyball coach, Boston College’s Jackie Haydel. Leffers was a four-time selection at Junior Olympic tournament qualifiers and led the Tampa Juniors to a second place at the 1996 Junior Olympics.

Scouting Providence
The Friars, who are currently 10-13, will play two matches against Harvard and Syracuse before facing the Irish on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Providence, under head coach Ken Nichols, are led by sophomore outside hitter Sarah Katinger, who averages a BIG EAST leading 4.84 kills per game. Sophomore Annie Cella also is a threat offensively with her 3.63 kills per game and team-leading 3.93 digs per game.

The Friars have notable wins over BIG EAST foes St. John’s, Villanova, Seton Hall and Rutgers and are currently on a five-match win streak.

Irish Among National Leaders
The Notre Dame volleyball squad is leaving its mark as one of the nation’s top teams. In national statistics released last Sunday, Oct. 17, the Irish were listed as a team in two categories, while senior Mary Leffers was ranked individually in those same categories for the second week in a row.

Notre Dame appeared for the second time as a team among the nation’s leaders in hitting percentage with a .277 average (18th overall). The Irish also continued their hike up the national ladder in blocks per game, ranking seventh overall with a 3.33 mark. Two weeks ago, the Irish were 12th in blocks and last week they were ninth. Top-ranked Penn State is currently first in hitting percentage (.334), while second-ranked University of Hawai’i is first in blocks (3.98).

Individually, Leffers leads the Irish in both hitting percentage and blocks per game. The middle blocker is 17th nationally in hitting percentage with a .392 average, while she is second in blocks per game with a 1.91 mark. Leffers trails the national leader in hitting percentage, Heather Wright of the University of Florida, who is hitting .463, and the national leader in blocks, Heather Bown of Hawai’i, who boasts a 2.25 per game average.

Notre Dame Tops District Rankings
For the second straight time, the Notre Dame volleyball team is ranked first in the NCAA District I rankings, which were released on October 20.

Other BIG EAST teams in the top 10 district rankings include Georgetown (fourth) and Connecticut (sixth).

Head Coach Debbie Brown To Host Luncheon Notre Dame head coach Debbie Brown is slated to host a Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 27, in the monogram room in the Joyce Center from noon until 1:00 p.m.

The luncheon is part of the Breast Cancer Awareness Activities at Notre Dame.

Season Notes

DATE CHANGE: SportsCentral Notre Dame head coach Debbie Brown, who was originally slated to be on the SportsCentral (WHME-TV 46) show with host Bob Nagle on October 26 and November 9, is now scheduled to appear on November 16.

SportsCentral, which airs Saturdays at 6:30 p.m., 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.

NCAA Bids Keep 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, 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.

For other team members, please consult the bar on page three.

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 is in her ninth season at Notre Dame and her 15th overall. Brown has compiled a mark of 220-77 with the Irish and has a career record of 337-160, 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.

Notre Dame Third In Survey Of Top Athletic Programs
The Notre Dame athletic program has 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.


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 W, 3-29/25 at #17 Colorado State L, 0-310/1 West Virginia* W, 3-010/3 Pittsburgh* W, 3-010/5 #23 Michigan L, 1-310/9 at Rutgers* W, 3-010/10 at Seton Hall* W, 3-010/17 USPV (Exhib.) L, 0-3^10/19 at #8 BYU L, 0-310/20 at Utah L, 1-310/22 St. John's* W, 3-010/24 Connecticut* W, 3-010/30 at Boston College* 2 p.m.10/31 at Providence* 1 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)
Home matches in boldAll times local*BIG EAST Conference Matches^Does not count toward record

AVCA/USA Today Top 25 Poll
October 26, 1999

Rk   School ('99 record)    Points (1st) 1.  Penn State (20-1)       1,492 (56) 2.  Stanford (17-2)         1,363 (3)  3.  Hawai'i (17-1)          1,321 4.  Florida (19-2)          1,310 5.  Pacific (19-2)          1,250 6.  LBSU (17-2)             1,237 7.  UCLA (19-1)             1,235 (1) 8.  UCSB (18-3)             1,052 9.  Texas (15-3)            1,02010.  Pepperdine (16-2)         93611.  BYU (15-3)                89112.  Colorado State (19-1)     81013.  Nebraska (15-5)           74914.  Clemson (18-1)            72515.  Kansas State  (15-3)      69516.  Texas A&M (16-4)          59617.  USC (13-5)                552 18.  Northern Iowa (21-0)      43819.  Arizona (12-7)            37920.  Colorado (12-7)           27921.  Arkansas (18-4)           27022.  Minnesota (17-5)          22823.  Illinois (12-4)           20424.  San Diego (16-3)          19825.  North Carolina (18-4)     110 

Others receiving 30 or more points: Cal Poly

Probable Notre Dame Starters

Setter Denise Boylan, Jr. 6-1 (Lisle, Ill.)
Outside Hitters Marcie Bomhack, So., 6-0 (Waukesha, Wis.)Christi Girton, Jr., 6-3 (Muncie, Ind.)
OppositeKristy Kreher, So., 6-1 (Birmingham, Mich.)
Middle BlockersMary Leffers, Sr., 6-4 (Tampa, Fla.)Jo Jameyson, Jr., 6-1(Alvin, Texas)
Defensive SpecialistsAdrienne Shimmel, Jr., 5-10 (Mission Viejo, Calif.)Keara Coughlin, Fr., 5-7 (Chicago, Ill.)

Volleyball Magazine Poll
October 25, 1999

 R School                  1999 Record 1. Penn State                 20-1 2. Stanford                   17-2 3. Florida                    19-2 4. UCLA                       19-1 5. Long Beach State           17-2 6. Hawai'i                    17-1 7. Pacific                    19-2 8. UC Santa Barbara           18-3 9. Texas                      15-310. Colorado State             19-111. Nebraska                   15-512. Brigham Young              15-313. Pepperdine                 16-214. Kansas State               15-315. Clemson                    18-116. Texas A&M                  16-417. USC                        13-518. Northern Iowa              21-019. Cal Poly                   16-420. Arizona                    12-7

1999 NCAA District Rankings (10/20)

 R  Team                      Record    1. NOTRE DAME                 10-4    2. Temple                     13-4    3. Xavier                     14-5    4. Georgetown                 19-3    5. Virginia Tech              7-12    6. Connecticut                14-4    7. Rhode Island               10-6    8. Massachusetts              11-8    9. New Hampshire              14-8   10. Dayton                      9-9   

BIG EAST Standings

Standings              Overall   BE 1. NOTRE DAME           12-6   6-0    2. Georgetown           21-3   5-1 3. Syracuse             16-9   4-2 4. Rutgers             11-12   4-2 5. Providence           11-9   4-2 6. Connecticut          14-6   3-3 7. Seton Hall           13-9   2-4 8. St. John's          13-11   2-4 9. Pittsburgh            9-8   2-410. Boston College      10-13   2-4   11. West Virginia       10-13   2-412. Villanova            9-15   0-6

BIG EAST Players of the Week

9/6 -   Mary Leffers, Notre Dame        Yulia Vyturina, Georgetown9/13 -  Melissa Alpers, Pittsburgh9/20 -  Kiran Gill, Georgetown        Olga Roudavski, St. John's9/27 -  Breen Eddinger, Villanova        Dana Fiume, Syracuse10/4 -  Mary Leffers, Notre Dame        Lola Opadiran, Rutgers10/11 - Mary Leffers, Notre Dame        Chanice Harris, Connecticut10/18 - Yulia Vtyurina, Georgetown10/25 - Rachel Watson, Syracuse

BIG EAST Rookies of the Week

9/6 -   Melissa Wooley, Connecticut 9/13 -  Lauren Warner, Georgetown9/20 -  Lauren Warner, Georgetown 9/27 -  Erin Birunas, Villanova10/4 -  Lauren Warner, Georgetown10/11 - Carrie Norris, Pittsburgh10/18 - Melissa Wooley, Connecticut10/25 - Jen Crownover, Syracuse        Tari Boutin, Pittsburgh