Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Women's Volleyball Hosts St. John's & UConn

Oct. 22, 1999

Notre Dame Drops Two In Utah
The Irish are coming off their first two-match losing streak of the season, falling to eighth-ranked Brigham Young (0-3) and Utah (1-3) earlier this week in Utah.

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 509, including 95 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, junior setter Denise Boylan (Lisle, Ill.) needs just 34 assists to pass Carey May (1994-97) for third place on the career assists list. Boylan currently has 2,760 assists, while Janelle Karlan is the Irish record holder with 5,197.

BIG EAST Play Resumes
After a week hiatus, conference play will resume for the 12 BIG EAST teams. The Irish play host to St. John’s at 7 p.m. on Friday and then play host to Connecticut at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

Scouting St. John’s
St. John’s enters tonight’s match with a 13-9 overall record and a 2-2 mark in the BIG EAST.

The Red Storm, under head coach Joanne Periso-Smith, have notable three-game wins over conference opponents Boston College, which defeated Connecticut earlier this year, and West Virginia, which the Irish also defeated in three games.

The Red Storm is led by junior outside hitter Olga Roudovski, who is averaging 3.73 kills per game, and senior outside hitter Kristine Knobel, who lead the team in digs per game with a 3.65 average. The St. John’s offense is run by setter Stasha Levi, who was a BIG EAST all-rookie pick in 1998.

Notre Dame is a perfect 4-0 against St. John’s, having posted four straight, three-game victories, including a 15-12, 15-5, 15-10 win at St. John’s in 1998.

Scouting Connecticut
Connecticut travels to Notre Dame after facing BIG EAST opponent Syracuse on Friday.

The Huskies have posted notable wins this season over Providence, Pittsburgh and West Virginia, and could enter Sunday’s match with the Irish on a five-match win streak depending on the outcome of their Friday night match.

Connecticut is led by middle blocker Chanice Harris, who has a 3.12 kills per game average, a .302 hitting percentage and a 1.67 blocks per game mark, which ranks second in the conference behind Notre Dame’s Mary Leffers.

Under second year head coach Kelli Myers, setter Maria Shaker (11.69 assists per game) and outside hitter Stephanie Schindel (3.15 kills per game) are other players to watch.

Notre Dame is 4-1 all-time against Connecticut as the teams split their two meetings a year ago. The Huskies ended Notre Dame’s 79 match win streak over conference opponents (second longest in NCAA history) with a five-game win during the 1998 regular season, while the Irish posted a thrilling come-from-behind victory over UCONN at the 1998 BIG EAST championships.

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 Wednesday, Oct. 13, the Irish were listed as a team in two categories, while senior Mary Leffers (Tampa, Fla.) was ranked individually in those same categories.

Notre Dame appeared for the first time as a team among the nation’s leaders in hitting percentage with a .277 average (17th overall). The Irish also continued their hike up the national ladder in blocks per game, ranking ninth overall with a 3.33 mark. Two weeks ago, the Irish were 14th in blocks and last week they were 12th. Top-ranked Penn State is currently first in hitting percentage (.326), while second-ranked University of Hawai’i is first in blocks (4.04).

Individually, Leffers leads the Irish in both hitting percentage and blocks per game. The middle blocker is 14th 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 .468, and the national leader in blocks, Heather Bown of Hawai’i, who boasts a 2.30 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 (Lisle, Ill.), 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 218-77 with the Irish and has a career record of 335-160, 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, 3-0 9/12 at #18 Clemson L, 0-3

9/18 Miami (Ohio) W, 3-0 9/24 at Wyoming W, 3-2 9/25 at #17 Colorado State L, 0-3 10/1 West Virginia* W, 3-0 10/3 Pittsburgh* W, 3-0 10/5 #23 Michigan L, 1-3 10/9 at Rutgers* W, 3-0 10/10 at Seton Hall* W, 3-0 10/17 USPV (Exhib.) L, 0-3^ 10/19 at #8 BYU L, 0-3 10/20 at Utah L, 1-3 10/22 St. John’s* 7 p.m. 10/24 Connecticut* 2 p.m. 10/30 at Boston College* 2 p.m. 10/31 at Providence* 2 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 bold All times local *BIG EAST Conference Matches ^Does not count toward record AVCA/USA Today Top 25 Poll
October 19, 1999

Rk School ('99 record)     Points (1st) 1.  Penn State (18-1)      1,480 (43) 2.  Hawai'i (16-0)         1,455 (17)  3.  Pacific (17-1)         1,374 4.  Florida (17-2)         1,293 5.  LBSU (15-2)            1,266 6.  UCLA (17-1)            1,212 7.  Stanford (14-2)        1,126 8.  BYU (13-2)             1,069 9.  UCSB (15-3)              99310.  Texas (13-3)             91511.  Pepperdine (14-2)        91412.  Kansas State (14-2)      85413.  Nebraska (14-4)          83914.  Clemson (18-1)           66015.  Colorado St. (17-1)      58816.  Texas A&M (14-4)         569 17.  USC (11-5)               52418.  Arizona (12-5)           47519.  Northern Iowa (19-0)     42520.  Illinois (11-3)          31321.  Colorado (11-6)          29222.  Arkansas (16-4)          25523.  Minnesota (16-4)         20324.  San Diego (14-3)         14925.  North Carolina (17-3)    109

Others receiving 30 or more points: San Jose State
Italics = 1999 Notre Dame opponents

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 18, 1999

 R  School           1999 Record 1. Penn State          18-1 2. Hawai'i             16-0 3. Pacific             17-1 4. Florida             17-2 5. UCLA                17-1 6. Long Beach State    15-2 7. Stanford            13-2 8. Kansas State        14-2 9. Nebraska            14-410. UC Santa Barbara    15-311. Texas               13-312. Brigham Young       13-213. Pepperdine          14-214. Colorado State      17-115. Arizona             12-516. Clemson             18-117. Texas A&M           14-418. USC                 11-519. Northern Iowa       20-020. Cal Poly            14-4

1999 NCAA District Rankings (10/20)

Rank  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

                      Overall    BE 1.   NOTRE DAME        10-6    4-0  2.   Georgetown        19-3    3-1 3.   Connecticut       14-4    3-1 4.   Rutgers          10-11    3-1 5.   Syracuse          14-9    2-2 6.   St. John's        13-9    2-2 7.   Boston College   10-11    2-2 8.   Providence         8-9    2-2 9.   Seton Hall        12-8    1-310.   Pittsburgh         8-7    1-3 11.   West Virginia     9-12    1-312.   Villanova         9-13    0-4

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, Georgetown

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, Connecticut