Oct. 18, 2000
The University of Notre Dame volleyball team (14-5, 4-0 BIG EAST) lost its first road game of the year Wednesday, night at Michigan (6-15, 14-16, 14-16). The 21st-ranked Irish were led by senior Jo Jameyson (Alvin, Texas), who had eight kills and four blocks, and junior Kristy Kreher (Birmingham, Mich.) with 13 kills, seven digs and six blocks, but were unable to hold leads in both game two and three of the match. Michigan came out red-hot in the first game of the match, building an 11-2 lead on eight kills and two service aces. Irish head coach Debbie Brown called both of her available timeouts, and Notre Dame’s offense began to wake up. A service ace from Keara Coughlin (Chicago, Ill.) and kills by Kreher and Denise Boylan (Lisle, Ill.) cut the Wolverine lead down to 12-6, but two Irish attack errors and a kill from Michigan’s Chantel Redus earned her team the victory in the first game.
Notre Dame got back into the match due to a flash of dominance at the net with eight team blocks in game two. With the score knotted at 3-3, Jameyson and Boylan combined for three straight blocks to build a 6-3 Irish advantage. Michigan answered with two kills, but the Irish again strung together three straight blocks by Malinda Goralski (Missouri City, Texas), Christi Girton (Muncie, Ind.) and Kreher to build an 11-5 advantage.
The Wolverines fought back in game two with a series of kills and the game stood at 14-12 with the Irish holding the lead. Both teams fought back and forth, but Michigan’s Sarah Behnke had three kills at the end of the game to allow the Wolverines to steal the game-two victory and a 2-0 advantage in the match.
Over the break between games two and three, Debbie Brown regrouped her team and Notre Dame began to string together some consistent play. The Irish opened up game three with five straight points and would hold that lead throughout the game. Freshman Jessica Kinder (Fresno, Calif.) was inserted in the starting line up of game three and provided the Irish a boost with three kills and some solid defensive play with three digs. Both teams would battle back-and-forth with a series of consecutive side-outs with the score at 10-6, but a kill from Girton and two blocks by Goralski gave the Irish a 12-7 advantage. Kreher would lead the Irish to game point with three consecutive kills and Michigan called a time out with the score 14-11.
Once again, Michigan was able to rally. Three kills by Joanna Fielder and three decisive kills by Katrina Lehman closed out the game and the match for the Wolverines.
Notre Dame returns to BIG EAST action this weekend when Rutgers visits the Joyce Center on Friday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. It will be ‘Beach Volleyball Night’ at the Joyce Center. Fans are encouraged to dress for the beach and register for a chance to win a trip to Florida.