Sept. 18, 1999
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – In front of its largest crowd this season, the Notre Dame volleyball team improved to 5-2 overall with a 15-8, 15-1, 15-5 win Saturday over the visiting Miami University RedHawks, who fell to 5-4 with the loss.
The Irish were led offensively by sophomore opposite Kristy Kreher (Birmingham, Mich.), who tallied 11 kills on .563 hitting and three aces. The Irish also got nine kills from junior outside hitter Christi Girton (Muncie, Ind.), who along with freshman Janie Alderete (Santa Clara, Calif.), made their first appearances in the starting lineup in 1999. Girton added 11 digs, senior captain Mary Leffers (Tampa, Fla.) had eight blocks and junior setter Denise Boylan (Lisle, Ill.) recorded 30 assists and four blocks for the Irish.
Notre Dame never fell behind in the match. In game one, the Irish gained the momentum early with a 12-2 lead, before the RedHawks scored four unanswered points to move within six at 12-6. Notre Dame, however, capitalized on a hitting error by Miami’s Alissia Thompson to score point number 13 and then gained match point a play later with a kill by Leffers. The RedHawks would score point number seven and eight to move to 14-8, but a kill by Kreher put game one away for the Irish.
After a dominating game two win (15-1), the Irish extended their 4-3 lead in game three by reeling off six unanswered points to move the score to 10-3. Miami would score its fourth point on a hitting error by Notre Dame’s Kreher and its fifth point on a block by Thompson and Mindy Clark, but the Irish lead proved insurmountable as freshman Kaitlin McEwen’s (Baton Rouge, La.) solo block ended the game and match with a 15-5 Notre Dame win in the third game.
Miami was led by Thompson, who tallied 10 kills, but the Irish enjoyed a .329 hitting percentage to Miami’s .116 mark to win the match in three games. With the win the Irish moved to 3-3 all-time versus the RedHawks in the two schools’ first meeting since 1991.
Notre Dame will be back in action Friday at Wyoming (Sept. 24), followed by another away match against 17th-ranked Colorado State, September 25.