Sept. 1, 1999
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – After nearly nine months of preparation, the four-time defending BIG EAST Champion Notre Dame volleyball will begin its 1999 campaign at home against Valparaiso at 7 p.m. tonight, September 1, in the Joyce Center.
Top Teams At This Weekend’s Shamrock Invitational
Notre Dame plays host to some of the top college volleyball teams in the country, Sept. 3-5, at the Joyce Center in a four-team tournament.
This year’s tournament features host Notre Dame, the University of the Pacific, Louisville and Northwestern.
Pacific, ranked sixth in the preseason national poll, is coming off an impressive showing at the State Farm/NACWAA Volleyball Classic. The Tigers defeated third-ranked Nebraska, ending the Cornhuskers’ 65-match home win streak. Pacific then beat sixth-ranked Florida in the championship final with outside hitter Elsa Stegemann tallying an arena-record 39 kills en route to the tournament MVP award.
Louisville finished last season ranked 21st in the nation after falling to national runner-up Penn State and begins this year with the 26th-most votes in the AVCA/USA Today preseason poll.
Northwestern ended their 1998 campaign with a record of 15-17, posting impressive wins over Big Ten rivals Indiana (3-0), Iowa (3-0) and Ohio State (3-1).
Notre Dame leads the all-time series versus both Northwestern (5-4) and Louisville (11-2), while it trails Pacific (1-3).
This is the sixth Shamrock Invitational at Notre Dame. The Irish opened by winning the first three from 1993-96, before Wisconsin won in 1997 and Colorado posted a 2-0 record last season.
1993 – Notre Dame
1994 – Notre Dame
1996 – Notre Dame
1997 – Wisconsin
1998 – Colorado
Notre Dame d. Georgia, 3-2
Colorado d. Georgia, 3-0
Colorado d. Notre Dame, 3-0
1998 All-Tournament Team
Lindsay Treadwell (Notre Dame)
Denise Boylan (Notre Dame)
Jo Jameyson (Notre Dame)
Sarah Lodge (Colorado)
Kelly Campbell (Colorado)
Kristin Dorsch (Colorado)
Kathy Vis (Georgia)
MVP – Sarah Lodge (Colorado)
On The Tube
The Notre Dame-Pacific match, this Saturday, Sept. 4, is being televised on a tape-delay basis by LeSea Broadcasting’s WHME-TV 46. Bob Nagle will be doing the play-by-play, while Dennis Brown, husband of Irish head coach Debbie Brown, will be doing the color commentary. The match will be broadcast locally at 11 p.m. EST the same night.
Dave Rosselli and Heather Awalt of KJAX-AM also will be broadcasting all the Pacific matches.
Still Among The Nation’s Best
Notre Dame received the 29th-most votes (82) in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA)/USA Today national preseason poll, released August 12.
The Irish are scheduled to face three teams in the AVCA top 20 this season including sixth-ranked Pacific (Sept. 4, Nov. 27), eighth-ranked Brigham Young (Oct. 19) and 24th-ranked Colorado State (Sept. 25). Also in the poll are future 1999 opponents Louisville (26th most votes), Clemson (28th), Utah (33), Sacramento State (34), Miami, Ohio (36), Washington State (41), Illinois State (50) and Georgetown (52).
At the top of the USA Today/AVCA poll this season is Penn State, which lost the 1998 NCAA title match to Long Beach State. Penn State garnered 30 of the 60 first place votes, followed by Stanford (20), which eliminated the Irish from last year’s NCAA Tournament in the second round.
Notre Dame was rated 20th in the Volleyball Magazine poll, which also listed Penn State as the top team to beat in 1999.
Notre Dame’s History in the AVCA Poll
First Ranking: 1992 (24th in preseason)
Highest Ranking: 7th (10/16/95)
Highest Final Ranking: 12th (1994)
Con. Weeks Rank: 66 (9/9/92 – 11/5/96)
On Top Of The BIG EAST
The Notre Dame volleyball team will begin its season as the favorite to claim its fifth-consecutive BIG EAST conference title in a poll of the conference’s 12 coaches released August 12.
The Irish, who finished their 1998 season with a 18-13 record overall and a 9-2 mark in the BIG EAST, received 119 of the possible 121 points, including nine of the 12 first-place votes. Notre Dame edged out second-place Georgetown, who garnered three first-place votes, by seven points for the top spot. Following the Hoyas is Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, West Virginia, St. John’s, Syracuse, Villanova, Seton Hall, Boston College and Providence. BIG EAST regular season play begins for the Irish at home at 8 p.m. on October 1 versus West Virginia.
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.
Other members of the team include Georgetown’s Yulia Vtyurina and Kiran Gill, Rutgers’ Lola Opadiran and Pittsburgh’s Paula Zemrowski. Vtyurina was selected as the preseason player of the year.
The Irish and the Crusaders have faced each other 15 times, with Notre Dame holding a 13-2 edge, including a 13-match win streak. The Irish won last year’s meeting 15-3, 15-4, 15-5 in Valparaiso, Ind.
The Wednesday night game will serve as a debut for first-year head coach Becky Madden, who took over the reigns from Nona Richardson.
Valparaiso, 10-18 in 1998, will be led by outside hitter Dion Frazier, who averaged nearly four kills (3.936) a game. Starting middle blockers Angie Nordquist and Carrie Goodrich, outside hitter Sarah Slowik and setter Jenny Rohren also return for the Crusaders.
Alumnae Make Return To Notre Dame
Some of the biggest names in Notre Dame volleyball past and present competed in the alumnae match, Friday, Aug. 27 at the Joyce Center.
Names from the past included: All-American Cristy Peters (1991-94), Byron V. Kanaley award-winner Terese Henken-Kasson (1981-83), career assist record-holder Janelle Karlan-Sanchez (1990-93), four-year monogram winners Katie Kavanaugh (1988-91) and Chris Choquette-Ford (1988-91) and current assistant coach Jessica Fiebelkorn-Kerr (1989-92).
The team of alumnae fell 3-0 to the 1999 Irish.
Kreher Named to U.S. Junior National Team
Sophomore opposite Kristy Kreher was one of 20 players chosen for USA Volleyball’s Junior National Team following a tryout at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., April 30 – May 1.
Although Kreher ultimately decided not to train with the team as it would cut into the start of the 1999 volleyball season and the academic year, the team, which included girls ages 17-19, trained in Colorado from July 10 – August 7. Twelve players then were chosen to compete in the Federation Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) Junior World Championships in Sakatoon and Edmonton, Canada, August 28 through September 5.
The team, which is in its second year of existence, consisted of nine college sophomores, eight incoming college freshmen and three high school seniors.
As a freshman in 1998, Kreher played in 28 matches for the Irish mainly at the opposite or right side position and garnered 1999 BIG EAST All-Rookie Team honors. She is the first Notre Dame player to be named to the junior national squad.
This year’s schedule takes the Irish to places they’ve never seen before, namely South Carolina, Wyoming and Utah. The team’s first road matches of the year will be against Kentucky and Clemson at the Big Orange Bash in Clemson, S.C., September 11-12. Then the team will play at Wyoming, September 24, followed by a trip to Utah in mid-October for two matches against Brigham Young (October 19) and the University of Utah (October 20). By the end of the ’99 season, the Notre Dame volleyball team will have traveled to 34 states in its history.
The Notre Dame volleyball welcomes four new players to its roster this season. In addition to middle blocker Kaitlin McEwen, who signed a national letter of intent to play at Notre Dame, February 3, the team also welcomes freshmen defensive specialist Janie Alderete and defensive specialist/outside hitter Keara Coughlin. Sophomore defensive specialist Sara Tonnies, who started practicing with the Irish last Spring, also is included on this year’s roster.
The Notre Dame-Illinois State match is listed incorrectly on the team’s 1999 schedule card. The match will take place at 7p.m. on November 3 at the Joyce Center.
SPORTCOURT Hits The Joyce
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.
Irish In The Pros
The Notre Dame volleyball team will play host to a 2:00 p.m. exhibition match on Oct. 17 at the Joyce Center against the United States Professional Volleyball (USPV) “Dream Team”. The first-year USPV includes 19 former college players, among them Notre Dame products Molly Stark (1990-93) and Jaimie Lee (1994-97).
The USPV will play an exhibition schedule against college and international teams from June 1999 – August 2000, with the hope of eventually starting a premier women’s league based in the Midwest in January 2001.
Lee and former Irish teammate Angie Harris (1994-97) also played professional volleyball in Switzerland during the spring of 1999 for Franches-Montagnes (based in Saignelgier) of the L.N.A league.
New On und.com
Some new items will appear on the Notre Dame volleyball page of www.und.com, the official web page of the Notre Dame athletic department, in 1999.
Features on players and coaches, weekly stats as well as all releases will be posted on the site. Currently a question and answer with head coach Debbie Brown and a preview of the team appear on the page. This weekend, look for a feature on Irish team captain Mary Leffers.
Head Coach Debbie Brown
Notre Dame head coach Debbie Brown begins her ninth season at Notre Dame and her 15th overall. Brown has compiled a mark of 208-71 with the Irish and has a career record of 325-154, 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.
AVCA/USA Today Top 25 Preseason Poll
Rk School '98 record Points (1st) 1. Penn State 35-1 1,420 (30) 2. Stanford 27-4 1,387 (20) 3. Nebraska 32-2 1,284 (1) 4. Hawai'i 32-3 1,258 (3) 5. LBSU 36-0 1,226 (5) 6. Pacific 26-6 1,196 7. BYU 31-4 1,186 8. Florida 5-3 1,169 9. Wisconsin 30-5 96310. UCLA 16-12 815 (1)11. UCSB 28-6 78112. Pepperdine 19-11 72213. Texas 27-5 66714. Illinois 22-11 64415. Arizona (22-7 62116. Texas A&M 21-9 56217. Ohio State 17-14 51718. San Diego 24-6 50019. Colorado 22-7 33620. Arkansas 29-6 32221. USC 24-6 31422. Michigan St. 23-7 29423. Kansas St. 19-12 20224. Colorado St. 24-8 17325. LMU 18-8 144
Others: Louisville, Texas Tech, Clemson, Notre Dame, Minnesota, Indiana, Santa Clara, North Carolina, Utah, Sacramento State, Northern Iowa, Miami (OH), Baylor, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Houston, Washington State, Washington, Florida St., Arizona St., South Florida, Northern Illinois, San Jose St., South Carolina, Eastern Washington, Illinois State, Oral Roberts, Georgetown, Ball State, UNLV, Temple, Nevada, Ohio.
Notre Dame History in the AVCA Poll
Year Preseason High Final1992 N.R. 20th (final poll) 22nd1993 19th 11th (10/26/93) 17th1994 17th 11th (11/15/94) 12th1995 11th 7th (9/19/95) 14th1996 9th 8th (9/3/95) 25th1997 17th 17th (preseason) 18th1998 16th 16th (preseason) NR1999 NR (29th-most votes)
Volleyball Magazine Preseason Poll
Rk School 1998 Record 1. Penn State 35-1 2. Stanford 27-4 3. Nebraska 32-2 4. Brigham Young 31-4 5. Long Beach State 36-0 6. Florida 35-3 7. Pacific 26-6 8. Hawai'i 32-3 9. Wisconsin 30-510. UCLA 16-1211. Illinois 22-1112. UC Santa Barbara 28-613. Arizona 29-614. Pepperdine 19-1115. Texas 27-516. Ohio State 17-1417. Michigan State 23-818. San Diego 24-619. USC 24-620. Notre Dame 18-13
1999 BIG EAST Preseason Poll
Rk Team Points (1st Place Votes) 1. Notre Dame 119 (9) 2. Georgetown 112 (3) 3. Connecticut 96 4. Pittsburgh 90 5. Rutgers 83 6. West Virginia 71 7. St. John's 52 8. Syracuse 49 9. Villanova 36 10. Seton Hall 34 11. Boston College 22 12. Providence 18
1999 Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
Denise Boylan, Notre Dame
Christi Girton, Notre Dame
Kiran Gill, Georgetown*
Yulia Vtyurina, Georgetown
Lola Opadiran, Rutgers
Paula Zemrowski, Pittsburgh
*= unanimous selection
Preseason Player of the Year
Yulia Vtyurina, Georgetown