November 21, 1998
PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Fortunately for the Notre Dame women’s volleyball team, the BIG EAST Tournament seeds did not play true to form as the third-seeded Irish defeated the second seed University of Connecticut in an exciting five-game, come from behind win at Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Fieldhouse. Notre Dame won the match 9-15, 11-15, 15-13, 15-13, 15-13 to move onto the BIG EAST Championships match tomorrow (Sunday, November 22) against top-seeded Georgetown at 2 p.m.
Despite being down two games to none, the Irish rebounded behind the emotional play of senior Lindsay Treadwell (Austin, Texas) and the consistent hitting of outside hitters Marcie Bomhack (Waukesha, Wis. ) and Christi Girton (Muncie, Ind.). Treadwell tallied 10 kills and 15 digs for her 13th double-double (kills/digs) of the season, which now puts her career total at 26. Bomhack, meanwhile, had a career-high 18 digs and 13 kills on a career-high 52 attempts. Girton also added 14 kills on 51 attempts and had a career and team season-high 21 digs. Kristy Kreher (Birmingham, Mich.) also added 14 kills and 14 digs for her second career double-double.
The Huskies opened with an early 4-0 lead, before an ace by Emily Schiebout (Blaine, Minn.), a cross-court kill by Bomhack and a Huskie hitting error brought the Irish within one. Following a long rally and a service ace, UCONN increased its game one lead to 6-3 heading into a Notre Dame timeout. Two Irish hitting errors gave Connecticut point number seven and eight, before Notre Dame could respond with two points of its own on a Huskie hitting error and a kill by Treadwell. The two teams then traded points to move the score to 10-6, but two Connecticut hitting errors reduced its lead to two points. The Huskies got those points back plus one to move back ahead by five 13-8. UCONN got to match point a 14-9 on a block and later won on the next serve with an ace 15-9.
With the score 1-1, the Irish got their first lead of the match on a UCONN net violation at 2-1. A net violation by Notre Dame, however, brought the score back to 2-2. The Huskies pulled back into the lead by three at 5-2, until a UCONN net and a Kreher kill moved the score to 5-4. Following two Connecticut points, the Irish reeled off six straight points on two net violations, two consecutive stuff blocks and a kill by Treadwell and Girton to retake the lead at 10-6. The Huskies responded with two points, prior to giving up one more on a net violation. At 11-10 in favor of the Irish, a net violation by Michelle Graham (Austin, Texas) knotted the game at 11 apiece. The Huskies retook the lead on a Schiebout hitting error and a Notre Dame net violation at 13-11. A bad Irish set gave the Huskies its first game point, which it converted on a block of Bomhack to win 15-11.
In game three, the Irish began with a 5-0 lead. The Huskies got one point back, but a ball handling violation, a block by Bomhack, a net violation and a kill by Kreher increased Notre Dame’s advantage to 9-1. UCONN got two points back on a kill and a hitting error, moving the score to 9-3. The Irish tallied point number 10 on a kill by Girton, however, Girton then returned the favor with a hitting error at 10-4. An ace and a transition kill by the Huskies changed the score to 10-6, heading into a Notre Dame timeout. Three more UCONN point brought the Notre Dame lead down to one at 10-9. The Irish finally got off point number 10 with a Schiebout kill to bring their lead back to two at 11-9, but consecutive blocks of Notre Dame hitting attempts and a Huskie kill allowed UCONN to take its first lead of the match at 12-11. A Girton kill tied the match at 12-12, but an ace by the Huskies allowed them to regain the lead at 13-12. Jo Jameyson (Alvin, Texas), who saw her first action of the match in game three, evened the score with an ace. Girton’s left-side kill and a UCONN hitting error, provided the Irish with life in the match and a 15-13 win in game three.
Game four started with a ties at one, two and three, before the Irish pushed five points for a 8-3 lead. After several sideouts, the Huskies finally scored on a ball handling error. A kill by Girton, a block by Treadwell and a UCONN hitting error pushed the Irish into a six-point lead at 11-5. Four Irish hitting errors, a setting mistake, and a kill by Jenelle Koester allowed the Huskies back in at 11-11. The Huskies took the lead on a kill following a long rally with a controversial non-call, and then upped their lead to two at 13-11. A kill by Girton allowed the Irish to come within one at 13-12 before a UCONN timeout. Following two sideouts, Girton’s block for a point pulled the Irish even at 13-13. The Irish got their first game point following a long rally and a block by Treadwell. Following two sideouts, Notre Dame put the game away, 15-13, with a right-side bang from Kreher.
For the second time this season, the Irish and Connecticut moved to a rally-scoring fifth game. The Huskies scored the first point of the game, but the Irish responded after a kill by Kreher fell into the Huskie backcourt untouched. With the scored tied at four, UCONN retook the lead with three points to move ahead 7-4. The Irish remained behind by three at 9-6, until a kill by Annette Rynn got UCONN its largest lead at 10-6. The Irish bounced back to come within one at 11-10 following kills by Treadwell and Kreher, however, the Huskies advanced their lead to 13-10 before a Notre Dame timeout. Another two kills by Kreher and a service ace by Girton knotted the score at 13-13, before UCONN’s coach called a timeout. Bomhack then hit the following play down for a kill to give the Irish its first match point. On the next play a UCONN hitting error ended the game in favor of the Irish, 15-13.
The Irish (16-12 overall, 11-2 in the BIG EAST) face Georgetown Sunday in a rematch of the game that Notre Dame won earlier this season in Notre Dame’s Joyce Center.