Oct. 13, 1998

WIN STREAK COMES TO AN END: It was a frustrating week for the young Irish squad. After dropping a four-game match against Illinois State on Tuesday, Notre Dame (6-8 overall, 3-1 in the BIG EAST) lost in a nail-biting five-game match to BIG EAST Conference foe Connecticut on Friday. The Huskies beat the Irish in the rally-scoring fifth game, 14-16, to end the 78-match win streak against conference opponents.

The next night, Notre Dame came up against a good Fairfield squad and lost another five-game match 17-15 in the fifth game. The next day, however, the Irish got back on track with a 3-0 win over St. John’s.

STREAKING NOTES: The 78-match win streak versus conference opponents was the second-longest in NCAA college volleyball history and third-longest in women’s collegiate history. The 78 matches included 37 Midwestern Collegiate Conference games (1991-1994) and the first 41 in the BIG EAST.

BLOCK PARTY: One positive to come out of the past week’s games was the team’s blocking effort at the net. The Irish had 21 total team blocks against Fairfield and 20 against St. John’s and 16 versus Illinois State. The 32 total block total against Fairfield tied a Notre Dame team record set in 1995, while the 35 total block amount against St. John’s almost doubled the previous record for a three-game match, which was 18 versus Michigan in 1992. Over the four-game stretch, the Irish held a 66-38 total block margin over their opponents.

KREHER NIGHT: Over the first four games, a number of Notre Dame players, including freshman Kristy Kreher (Birmingham, Mich.), posted career-highs in several categories. Kreher had six block assists, double her previous high, in the St. John’s match. Fellow classmate Malinda Goralski (Missouri City, Texas), also posted career numbers at the net, when she sent nine balls to the floor (two solos, seven assists). Junior Emily Schiebout (Blaine, Minn.) tallied a career high hitting percentage (.483) with 17 kills on 29 attempts and just three errors against Fairfield. Freshman Marcie Bomhack (Waukesha, Wis.) had a career-high seven blocks in the match against Fairfield, one night after posting another career high 41 attack attempts against Connecticut.

SCOUTING THE BLUE DEVILS: Currently Duke, under fourth-year head coach Linda Grensing, is 6-10 overall, 1-5 in the Atlantic Coast Conference, not including the matches the Blue Devils will play tonight versus North Carolina and Friday night against North Carolina State. Grensing’s squad has posted notable wins against Ball State and Villanova. Of the team’s ten losses five have gone to five games apiece, where Duke is 1-5 in five-game matches. The one common opponent between the Blue Devils and the Irish so far this season is Georgia. While the Irish defeated the Bulldogs in five games, Duke lost to Georgia 3-0.

Leading the way offensively for Duke is outside hitter Sarah Peifer who averages 4.033 kills per game and has 27 services aces. Defensively, the Blue Devils are also led by Peifer, who has 219 digs, and senior outside hitter Megan Irvine leads in blocks with 60. Nina Rybak and Pam Gottfired have shared the setting duties for most of the season.

The all-time series between the Irish and Blue Devils stands at 4-1, with Notre Dame grabbing a 3-0 win in the two schools’ last meeting in 1995.

SCOUTING THE TAR HEELS: The Heels have been hot so far this season. With games against Duke and Wake Forest yet to play, North Carolina is 17-3 overall, 6-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. After losses to Iowa (0-3), Texas A&M (0-3) and Michigan (0-3), the Tar Heels have won 13 straight matches. Notable wins have come against UNLV (3-0), Clemson (3-1), Virginia (3-2) and Florida State (3-1).

UNC, under ninth-year coach Joe Sagula, are led by Casey Simpson, who is averaging 4.238 kills per game, however Simpson also leads the team in receiving errors with 25. Teammate Tori Seibert contributes 3.191 kills per game to the Tar Heels’ attack and adds 75 total blocks to the defensive effort. Senior setter Erin Berg (898 assists) will run the UNC offense on Saturday.

The all-time series between the Irish and Tar Heels stands 3-0 in favor of Notre Dame. Last year, behind a 16-kill performance from outside hitter Angie Harris, the Irish won in three games, 15-7, 15-13, 15-5.

SCOUTING THE GATORS: Florida, currently ninth in the USA Today/AVCA, is 15-2 overall and 6-0 in the SEC. Last weekend, the Gators scored two 3-0 wins at home over Kentucky and Tennessee. The Gators currently lead the three match all-time series between the two schools with two wins. Last year, Florida won in four games at the Joyce Center Arena.

Under eighth-year head coach Mary Wise, the Gators offense is led by opposite Jenny Manz (AVCA Div. I Player of the Week).

The Gators will face 17th-ranked Arkansas and LSU before hosting the Irish.

REUNIONS: In the almost week-long trip to Duke, North Carolina and Florida, a number of Irish players will get a chance to play against old teammates. Middle blocker Mary Leffers (Tampa, Fla.) will face high school teammate Dominique Philipp (Berkeley Prep) and former club teammate Sara Piefer (Tampa Juniors), while junior Mandi Powell (Monrovia Ind.) will be reunited with club teammate Bryn Gallagher (City Circle Volleyball Club) when the Irish play against Duke.

Leffers, traveling to her home state of Florida for the first time in her collegiate career, will see more than just familiar faces in the stands when the Irish play the Gators. On the other side of the net will be Leffers’ club teammates Jenny Manz and Sandra Reboucas. Manz also played this summer on the USA National B-Team with Notre Dame setter Denise Boylan (Lisle, Ill.). Although Irish junior Lauren Stettin (Burr Ridge, Ill.) will not be playing in Wednesday’s match, she will get a chance to see club teammate Jerilyn Hattenforf (Sports Performance).

NOTES: With the team’s visit to Florida, a total of 18 Irish players will have played matches in their home states during the 1996-98 seasons…Lindsay Treadwell (Austin, Texas) posted her 20th and 21st career double-double (kills/digs) in matches against Illinois State and Fairfield to tie her in the career record books in ninth place with Maurenn Shea. So far this season in 14 matches, Treadwell has had eight double-double matches… Treadwell also increased her career hitting percentage to .313 – still first in the Notre Dame record books…Sophomore Denise Boylan passed Shannon Tuttle (1992-94) to move to fourth on the career assists list with 1,919…Mary Leffers is now seventh on total blocks list with 337 to leap frog over both Cynthia May (307) and Janelle Karlan (313)…

Treadwell also has moved up on the block average list with a career 1.09 blocks per game average…Christi Girton’s (Munice, Ind.) .520 hitting percentage (15-2-25) was fourth-best all-time in five-game matches for an individual with at least 20 kills…In the Fairfield match, the Irish tied their most points in a match record of 74 (vs. Illinois State on Oct. 13, 1989)…Notre Dame set another record for hitting percentage in a five-game match, when the team hit .360, beating the previous record of .346 set in 1991.

BIG EAST Conference Top Five

       Individual                     TeamBIG EAST MATCHES ONLY Hitting                        Hitting2. Kristy Kreher (.400)        1. Notre Dame (.255)3. Mary Leffers (.373)4. Lindsay Treadwell (.360)    Blocking                               2. Notre Dame (3.50/g)Blocking  4. Mary Leffers (1.36/g)
ALL MATCHESHitting Hitting3. Lindsay Treadwell (.358) 4. Notre Dame (.225) Blocking Blocking 4. Jo Jameyson (1.18/g) 1. Notre Dame (3.31/g) Assists Kills4. Denise Boylan (10.74/g) 5. Notre Dame (14.08/g)

HEAD COACH DEBBIE BROWN: Brown, in her eighth season at Notre Dame, currently has a 196-66 record at Notre Dame and a 313-149 career record. Brown’s head coaching career also includes a six-year stay at her alma mater, Arizona State (1983-88). If Notre Dame wins its next three matches, Brown could get her 200th win as coach of the Irish against Providence on October 23 at the Joyce Center Arena.

Starting Line-up

Setter -         Denise Boylan, So. (Lisle, Ill.)Middle Blocker - Lindsay Treadwell, Sr. (Austin, Texas)Middle Blocker - Mary Leffers, Jr. (Tampa, Fla.)Outside hitter - Marcie Bomhack, Fr. (Waukesha, Wis.)Outside hitter - Jo Jameyson, So. (Alvin, Texas)Opposite -       Emily Schiebout, Jr. (Blaine, Minn.)

R School Prev. Rank 1. Long Beach St. (16-0) 1 2. Penn State (16-0) 2 3. Nebraska (15-0) 3 4. UCSB (16-1) 4 5. Stanford (12-2) 5 6. BYU (14-1) 11 7. Texas (12-2) 8 8. Colorado (12-1) 9 9. Wisconsin (15-2) 610. Hawai'i (12-2) 711. Pacific (13-3) 1012. Florida (15-2) 1213. USC (11-3) 1314. Arizona (14-2) 1415. USD (14-2) NR16. LMU (12-4) 1517. Arkansas (14-2) 1618. Illinois (12-4) 1819. Texas A&M (12-2) 1920. Louisville (14-2) 20

Attendance Leaders:1. Hawai'i 6,4622. Nebraska 3,2393. Illinois St. 2,5324. Florida 2,3545. Long Beach St. 2,1246. Wisconsin 1,9847. Pacific 1,9828. Penn State 1,9459. Stanford 1,84310. Illinois 1,782

The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and Jeff Sagarin have teamed up to compile a division I power rating for 302 college women’s volleyball teams. Sagarin’s system takes into account things like wins, losses, points scored, points allowed, difficulty of schedule and home court advantage.

Sagarin (Bloomington, Ind.) also does ratings systems for college basketball and football among other sports.

The ratings are available at www.kiva.net/jsagarin/sports/vballskd.htm or by a link on the AVCA’s website www.avca.org.

8/30 - Notre Dame (#19)9/16 - Notre Dame (#52)9/20 - Notre Dame (#72)9/27 - Notre Dame (#70)10/4 - Notre Dame (#73)