September 18, 1998
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Notre Dame (3-3) broke a three-game losing streak by defeating the New Hampshire Wildcats (3-6) in four games 11-15, 15-12, 15-9 and 15-4 in the first match of the Michigan State Invitational.
Led by Lindsay Treadwell (Austin, Texas) and Christi Girton (Muncie, Ind.), who both had 15 kills, the Irish won for the first time since beating Georgia in five games at the Shamrock Inviational, September 4. Notre Dame also got five kills and three blocks from junior Mary Leffers (Tampa, Fla.), who played in her first game this season.
Irish Coach Debbie Brown started game one with a new starting lineup including Denise Boylan (Lisle, Ill.), Jo Jameyson (Alvin, Texas), Marcie Bomhack (Waukesha, Wis.), Kristy Kreher (Birmingham, Mich.), Girton and Treadwell. Notre Dame’s new lineup, which included two freshman, three sophomores and one senior, showed its youth in the opening moments of the game as the Wildcats went up 3-0. The Irish scored their first point after a kills by Bomhack and later came within one point at 3-2 when New Hampshire’s Cari Sanders hit the ball out of bounds. The Wildcats increased their lead to 5-2, before Notre Dame scored three-straight points to even the game at 5-5. The game would later be tied four more times until the Wildcats scored the game’s final three points to win, 15-11.
Game two marked the return of Notre Dame middle blocker Leffers for the first time this season. Leffers, a first team All-BIG EAST and NCAA District 1 selection in 1997, underwent knee surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee suffered during a spring scrimmage at Purdue. On her first play of 1998, Leffers broke a 10-10 tie with a kill on a set from Boylan. A New Hampshire hitting error and then a miscommunication by the Wildcat offense, moved the score to 13-10. The Wildcats made a late run, however, moving to within one at 13-12, before an ace by Emily Schiebout (Blaine, Minn.) and a block by Bomhack ended the game at 15-12, in favor of the Irish.
After two close games to start the match, the Irish built on their momentum, winning game three 15-9. To open game four, Notre Dame scored the first nine points before New Hampshire responded with four points of its own. The Irish recovered the four points on the serve of Girton, pushing the score to 12-4. A few plays later, Notre Dame scored the match’s final three points on a hitting error by Wildcat Liesha Campbell, a service ace by Kreher and a block by Jameyson and Boylan.
Notre Dame will play two matches Saturday against Utah (10 a.m.) and versus tournament host Michigan State (7 p.m.).