Sept. 29, 1998

TAKING A BREAK: For the first and last time this season, the Irish (3-5) took almost two weeks off between the Michigan State match and the game this Friday, October 2 against Seton Hall. The team will not have another break of more than a week until after the BIG EAST championships and before the start of the NCAA playoffs.

COMING HOME: After five-straight road matches, Notre Dame will finally play a home match at the Joyce Center. Last year, the Irish were 10-3 at home over the course of the season and so far in 1998, they are 1-1.

SAVING THEIR BEST: By the start of BIG EAST Conference play a year ago, the Irish had already played 12 matches and participated in four tournaments. In 1998, head coach Debbie Browns squad has only played eight games and been in three tournaments. The eight-game total so far is the least among BIG EAST schools. Georgetown, for example, has already played 15 matches to date.

SCOUTING THE PIRATES: Seton Hall travels to South Bend for a Friday night match. Under 12th-year head coach Stephanie Mose, the Pirates are an even 7-7. Senior Jacki Woodford has 163 kills this year and averages 3.20 kills per game. Woodford also adds 132 digs and 19 blocks (six solo), while sophomore setter Kadri Kruus has dished out 446 assists, contributed 34 service aces and 35 total blocks.

Seton Hall enters the 8 p.m. match on a three-game losing streak with losses to Rutgers (1-3), New Hampshire (2-3) and Liberty (2-3) last weekend at the Double Tree/Sneaker Stadium Classic at Seton Hall. The Irish, incidentally, beat New Hampshire at the Michigan State Invitational, 3-1, and have never lost to the Pirates in three tries.

SCOUTING THE SCARLET KNIGHTS: Rutgers travels to the Joyce Center for a 2 p.m. match up on Sunday, October 4. The Scarlet Knights are also at .500 for the season with a 7-7 overall record. Rutgers, under fifth-year head coach Ann Leonard-House, picked up wins so far this season over Delaware, Massachusetts, Siena College, Morgan State, Fordham, Seton Hall and Liberty. One of their losses, however, was to the Wildcats of New Hampshire, who lost in four games to the Irish on Sept. 18.

Rutgers is led by Cheri Drake who leads her team with 169 kills (3.521/game) and a .394 hitting percentage. Setter Sheri Kujawa also contributes 11.646 assists per game, while Mary Kiriakou has totaled 65 blocks already this year.

The Irish are a perfect 4-0 against the Scarlet Knights with a 15-4, 15-7, 15-7 win in 1997.

STAYING ALIVE: With the two matches this weekend, Notre Dame will have a chance to advance its streak of 76 consecutive wins over conference opponents. The 76 victories include 39 against BIG EAST teams and 37 versus teams in the old Midwest Collegiate Conference. The win streak currently is the second-longest in NCAA history behind Western Michigan, which won 98 matches from 1982-1989.

POLL DROPPING: For the fourth consecutive week, the Irish, despite not playing a match, dropped out of the USA Today/AVCA poll completely for the first time this season.

INJURY REPORT: With outside hitter Emily Tarpoff (East Lansing, Mich.) definitely out for the season with a torn ACL, the Irish also have injuries to a number of players. Senior Audra Duda (Woodland Hills, Calif.) and junior Lauren Stettin (Burr Ridge, Ill.) are both out with hip and back injuries. Stettin is still recovering from back surgery that she had in the Spring. Junior Mary Leffers (Tampa, Fla.), who had surgery in April to repair a torn ACL, was cleared to play right before the Michigan State Invitational and should see action this weekend.

JUST PEACHY: Notre Dame Coach Debbie Brown is set to host the Breast Cancer Awareness Luncheon on Wednesday, October 7 starting at noon in the Continuing Education Dining Area near the Morris Inn. Sponsored by RecSports, the Alumni Association, IRISHealth and the Catherine Peachey Foundation, Inc., the topic for the luncheon is new approaches to treating cancer.

HEAD COACH DEBBIE BROWN: Brown, in her eighth season at Notre Dame, currently has a 193-63 record at Notre Dame and a 310-146 career record. Browns head coaching career also includes a six-year stay at her alma mater, Arizona State (1983-88). If Notre Dame wins its next six matches, Brown could get her 200th win as coach of the Irish against Duke on October 17.

Women's Volleyball Rankings R  School                Prev. Rank 1. Long Beach St. (12-0)   1 2. Penn State (12-0)       2 3. UCSB (12-0)             3 4. Nebraska (11-0)         4 5. Stanford (8-2)          5 6. Wisconsin (12-1)        6 7. Texas (8-2)             7 8. Hawaii (9-1)           8 9. Pacific (9-2)           910. Colorado (8-1)         1011. BYU (10-1)             1112. Florida (11-2)         1213. USC (7-3)              1314. LMU (8-2)              1615. Arizona (11-1)         1416. Arkansas (7-2)         1717. Minnesota (10-2)       1918. Illinois (9-3)         NR19. Texas A&M (9-1)        NR20. Fresno State (12-0)    NR
BIG EAST Standings(As of September 28, 1998)
Team Overall RecordGeorgetown 12-3Syracuse 10-3Pittsburgh 9-5Boston College 7-5St. Johns 9-7West Virginia 6-5Providence 7-7Rutgers 7-7Seton Hall 7-7Villanova 7-7Connecticut 8-9NOTRE DAME 3-5