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Nov. 23, 1997

Notre Dame Defeats Villanova in Big East Championship

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - The University of Notre Dame defeated Villanova University 3-1 on Sunday, Nov. 23, to win the 1997 Big East Volleyball Championship at Walsh Gymnasium, on the campus of Seton Hall University. With the loss, the Wildcats' record drops to 20-8 on the season.

Villanova jumped out to a quick start, taking a 5-2 lead in the first game behind the play of junior outside hitter Elizabeth Jones (Los Altos, CA./ St. Francis H.S.), who finished the match with 12 kills and 17 digs. After Notre Dame cut the lead to 5-4, the Wildcats came alive and put the game away beating the Fighting Irish 15-9 to take a 1-0 match lead.

Behind Big East player of the year Jaimee Lee, Notre Dame came back to defeat the Wildcats 15-3 in the second game, to even the match up at 1-1. Despite a valiant comeback attempt in the third game, taking a 8-7 lead after being down 7-3 early on, Villanova fell to the Irish 15-10, to go down 2-1.

In the third game, Notre Dame took control behind Lee and put the match away 15-4 to take the match and win their third consecutive Big East Championship.

For the Wildcats, senior Marisa Davidson (Mt. Airy, MD./ Glenelg H.S.) had a team-high 16 kills, to go with 12 digs. Fellow senior Stacy Evans (Los Altos, CA./St. Francis H.S.), who was named to the All-Big East First team at the annual Big East banquet held on Friday, Nov. 21, finished the match with 11 kills and 12 digs.

Villanova reached the championship match by defeating the University of Connecticut 3-1 inthe Big East Championship semifinals, on Saturday, Nov. 22.