Irish return home to battle Big East foes
By RACHAEL PROTZMAN
Notre Dame volleyball returns home this weekend hoping to remain undefeated in the Big East as it takes on Boston College and Providence, along with non-conference foe North Carolina.
"Our team expects to come out strong against every team and keep playing with the confidence that we had last weekend," said junior Marcie Bomhack. "Hopefully everyone on the team will have a chance to play."
The No. 23 Irish, currently 18-5 overall and 8-0 in conference play, open the weekend Friday against the Boston College Eagles. The Irish have won their last six matches against the Eagles. Boston College is 10-15 overall and 3-5 in the Big East this year.
Saturday could bring the toughest test of the weekend, as North Carolina is 21-5 this year. Top player Laura Green poses a threat to the Irish defense with 338 kills in 2000.
"I think that out of the three teams we play, North Carolina will be the biggest competition for us, but we have to be prepared for everyone we play," said Bomhack.
Notre Dame holds the historical advantage with a 3-1 series lead. The game will be televised at 11 p.m. Saturday.
Back in the Big East, Notre Dame will look for its sixth consecutive three-game win over Providence Sunday.
The Friars, 16-12 overall and 2-6 in the Big East, will rely on Sarah Katinger to provide Providence's offense and increase her 2000 total of 457 kills.
"I think one thing our team can do that we haven't in the past is finish the team off," Bomhack said. "When we get a lead, we need to play hard to the 15th point and not let them come back at all."
The Irish are coming off Big East road victories over Connecticut 15-11, 11-15, 15-5, 13-15, 16-14) and St. John's (15-0, 15-9, 15-10).
Senior Christi Girton posted her career-high of 31 kills against the Huskies, while Marcie Bomhack added 19 kills and 13 digs. Junior Kristy Kreher added 21 kills and nine digs. Sophomore Janie Alderete contributed her career-best defensive performance with 18 digs for the Irish.
"I think that we've played a lot tougher competition throughout the year than the teams we're playing and have played on a much higher level," Bomhack said. "That should give us an advantage."
All Sports Stories for Friday, November 3, 2000