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Daily Dish - 10.3.11

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5692986.jpeg - Adriana Leon celebrated a very happy birthday with a goal and an assist, while Lauren Bohaboy and Jessica Schuveiller also scored goals, leading Notre Dame to its second consecutive shutout victory, a 3-0 BIG EAST Conference women's soccer decision over Providence on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Stadium ... Melissa Henderson chipped in with her BIG EAST-leading sixth assist of the season (third of the weekend), while Molly Campbell and Sammy Scofield also added assists for the Fighting Irish - for Scofield, it was the first point of her collegiate career.

- Lola Arslanbekova knocked down 28 kills on a .375 clip with 14 digs and four blocks to lift visiting Louisville over Notre Dame in BIG EAST Conference volleyball action Sunday at Purcell Pavilion ... Louisville responded after hitting .026 in the first set to post the 3-1 (17-25, 25-16, 25-22, 25-21) win while handing Notre Dame its third straight loss ... the Irish looked crisp in the opening set while hitting .237 and receiving four blocks from both Andrea McHugh and Toni Alugbue to set the tone for a great all-around team effort in the frame.

- St. John's Daniel Herrera tallied the golden goal in the 110th minute as the 15th-ranked Red Storm topped No. 10 Notre Dame 2-1 in BIG EAST men's soccer action on Saturday night at Belson Stadium in Queens, N.Y. ... the loss snapped Notre Dame's four-game win streak and five-game unbeaten streak ... St. John's grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 54th minute on a goal from Andres Vargas ... that was the first goal Notre Dame had surrendered in the last 323:39 of play.

- Notre Dame leads the nation in fewest rushing touchdowns surrendered in 2011 (tied with Alabama, Louisville, Michigan and Utah) with one - and that one on a one-yard run by Michigan's Denard Robinson after picking up a fumble ... but that streak figures to endure a severe test Saturday as Air Force comes to Notre Dame Stadium with the third-best rushing offense in the country (364.5 yards per game) ... the Falcons already have 15 rushing touchdowns combined in their four games to date ... over Notre Dame's last 10 football games (last five in 2010, first five in 2011), Irish opponents have scored only twice on the ground ... both those were one-yard quarterback sneaks (by Robinson and USC's Mitch Mustain) ... in fact, the previous two opponents rushing touchdowns also came from quarterbacks (Navy's Ricky Dobbs).

- Notre Dame's offense already has three 500-plus-yard games in its first five outings ... how unusual is that? In 1970, when the Irish set their all-time single-season record by averaging 510.5 yards per game (behind quarterback Joe Theismann), they had only two in their first five contests and finished with five 500-yard days for the full season ... more recently, in 2009 when the Irish ranked eight nationally with 451.75 yards per contest, they finished with four 500-yard efforts (with Jimmy Clausen at the helm) ... in 1968 - the only other year the Irish averaged 500 yards a game for the full season (504.4 to rate second nationally) - Terry Hanratty and Company accounted for five 500-yard efforts.

- Notre Dame defeated Air Force 11 straight times to begin the football series (1964 through the 1981 season) - and the Irish later enjoyed an eight-game series win streak (1986 through 1995) ... but the Falcons have now defeated the Irish in two of their last three visits to Notre Dame Stadium ... those Air Force victories came in 1996 (a 20-17 overtime Falcon triumph over the eighth-rated Irish) and a 41-27 win in 2007 ... meanwhile, Notre Dame hasn't lost to Air Force in Colorado Springs since 1985, Gerry Faust's final season as Notre Dame head coach (the last of four straight Falcon series wins).

- The official NCAA strength-of-schedule standings (those don't include non-NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision opponents) this week list Notre Dame 20th at .641 (25-14) ... so far, only one 2011 Irish opponent has played a more difficult slate (Michigan 18th at 26-14 for .650) ... check the Sagarin ratings this week and you'll find Notre Dame's schedule rated fifth nationally, with the Irish listed 24th overall as the highest-ranked two-loss team on the chart.

- The only teams in the country that won road football games each of the last two Saturdays are Notre Dame and SMU (won at Memphis and TCU).

- The Irish have played three straight football games allowing 13 points or less - and that hasn't happened since 1989 when Notre Dame was ranked number one (45-7 over #7 Pittsburgh, 41-0 over Navy, 59-6 over SMU).

- Here are comments from Brian Kelly's media briefing this afternoon ...

"He (Cierre Wood) is one of those guys I want on our football team because he loves competition. Once he was seasoned enough I think we're seeing the results."

"I'm more concerned with the individual instead of the entire scheme relative to our special teams. I'm more interested in getting (Kyle) Brindza right because he's the best we've got and getting (David) Ruffer right and getting our long snapper more consistent. Those are the three individuals that have got to play better."

"Option offense requires my attention because there's things we've got to do that are not necessarily in the playbook. I'll be more involved with that in terms of decision-making and those will be in meetings. It won't be me coaching on the defensive side of the ball."

"I think we've been pretty consistent in running the football and stopping the run and I think that's what I look towards more than anything else."

"He (Manti Te'o) might have had his best game against Purdue. I thought this was his most disciplined game in terms of the way he played. Sometimes he tries to do too much. He was very detailed and he was outstanding against the bootleg."

- The Irish hockey team opened its season Sunday night at the Joyce Center with a 4-0 exhibition win over Western Ontario ... Notre Dame got goals from Bill Maday (two), Anders Lee and Garrett Peterson ... the Irish icers will make their first-ever appearance in the new Compton Family Ice Arena on Oct. 21 against Rensselaer (RPI) Engineers in a 7:05 p.m. (ET) contest ... the Irish will play their final games at the Joyce Center the weekend of Oct. 14-15 when they play host to Ohio State in the CCHA openers for both teams.

Live Chat - Volleyball vs. Louisville

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The Fighting Irish end their BIG EAST Conference weekend twinbill today at 2:00 p.m. (ET) with a bout against Louisville at Purcell Pavilion.

Irish UNDerground will have all the angles in and around the court covered throughout today's game. Be sure to share your questions, comments and complaints and let your voice be heard throughout the Notre Dame nation.

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Live Chat - Volleyball vs. Cincinnati

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The Irish volleyball squad starts the weekend with a BIG EAST Conference match today against Cincinnati at 2:00 p.m. (ET). Notre Dame - picked second in the BIG EAST preseason poll - looks to bounce back from last week's loss to Villanova with a win over the Bearcats - who were picked third in the preseason poll.

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For Your Viewing Pleasure

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Click HERE
(or on the sweet women's soccer national championship trophy in the photo above)
to view the 2010-11 Notre Dame Athletics Annual Report

Daily Dish - 9.26.11

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5669346.jpeg - No. 20/24 Notre Dame put together a pair of stirring second-half comebacks to force overtime, but No. 14/15 Marquette scored the match-winner 18 seconds into the extra session, defeating the Fighting Irish, 3-2 in BIG EAST Conference cross-divisional women's soccer action on a rainy Sunday afternoon at Valley Fields in Milwaukee.

- Notre Dame stumbled out of the gate and never fully recovered during Sunday's BIG EAST Conference volleyball match with Villanova ... while hitting .094 with 11service errors, Notre Dame fell to the Wildcats, 3-1 (25-18, 15-25, 25-19, 25-19) during the nationally televised contest on ESPNU with 1,337 fans on hand to watch at Purcell Pavilion.

- Here are some of Brian Kelly's comments from Sunday's media teleconference:

"Tommy (Rees) is 6-1 as a starter. He's led two very huge drives for us late in the games against Michigan and Pittsburgh. He's obviously not a finished product yet, nobody is. He'll continue to get better and better and we'll continue to help him in terms of play-calling and getting him in the right kind of situation so he can be successful."

"We felt our recruiting efforts and everything we have done since we have been here is to put together a championship defense and then we'll catch up on offense. I think you have to start with building your defense first and the line of scrimmage. We are not there yet but we are on the right road."

- Looking for a key matchup this week in the Notre Dame-Purdue football game? It's Notre Dame's rushing defense (ranked 25th nationally and allowing 93 yards a game) against Purdue's rushing attack that's rated 11th nationally at 258.67 yards per contest.

- Michael Floyd is now eighth nationally in receptions at 8.75 per game.

- The Irish football squad has outgained all four opponents in first-period total yardage, amassing a combined 464-156 edge.

- Notre Dame's defense now has permitted only two opponent rushing scores over its last nine combined games - and both those were one-yard quarterback sneaks.


Live Chat - Volleyball vs. Georgetown

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Notre Dame begins the BIG EAST Conference portion of the 2011 slate today when it takes on Georgetown at 2:00 p.m. (ET).

Irish UNDerground is dedicated to provide you with an inside look at all the happenings in and around today's game. Feel free to share you questions, comments and complaints with us throughout the game - let your voice be heard!

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Daily Dish - 9.19.11

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atkinsonmsu.jpeg

Weekly Sports Schedule - 9.19-9.25

- Melissa Henderson posted her second hat trick of the season and fifth of her stellar career, leading No. 12/14 Notre Dame to a clinical 4-1 BIG EAST Conference women's soccer win at Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon before a sellout crowd of 1,400 fans at Gettler Stadium ... Henderson netted two goals less than nine minutes apart midway through the first half after the Fighting Irish spotted the Bearcats an early lead ... she then completed her three-goal day with a key insurance score in the 65th minute ... Lauren Bohaboy opened her goal-scoring account with a tally in the final three minutes, while Elizabeth Tucker dished out two assists.

- A goal from Harrison Shipp in the 54th minute was all the 16th-ranked men's soccer team needed to defeat Michigan State, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon at DeMartin Stadium ... Notre Dame now has a four-game unbeaten streak, which includes three straight victories ... Shipp had a game-high three shots on goal ... Will Walsh made five saves for Notre Dame to earn his second shutout of the season ... Walsh has all seven decisions this season for the Irish.

- Notre Dame stayed focused in front of a raucous crowd of 3,410 at the Wisconsin Field House to sweep the host Badgers, 3-0 (25-22, 25-22, 25-23), in volleyball action Saturday night ... the win was the first ever for the Irish volleyball program on Wisconsin's home floor and snapped the Badgers' six-game winning streak heading into the contest ... Notre Dame was led by InnTowner Invitational MVP Kristen Dealy, who connected for eight kills and a pair of solo blocks with nine digs in the finale ... Hilary Eppink (nine kills) and Frenchy Silva (14 digs) were named to the all-tournament team.

- The men's golf team jumped two more spots on the final day of the Olympia Fields Invitational at Olympia Fields Country Club in Chicago, Ill., finishing Sunday in a tie for eighth amongst a deep 15-team field ... the Irish closed with a final day 294 (+14) to conclude the 54-hole tournament at 883 (+43) ... Stanford held on for the tournament title, finishing up the event with a score of 849 (+9) for a full 16-shot victory over both Auburn and Oklahoma State who finished tied for second at 865 (+25) ... in addition, with Notre Dame's tie for eighth, the Irish posted victories over three teams which appeared in last season's NCAA Championship final four: Augusta State, Duke and Ohio State.

- The men's tennis team managed a pair of singles victories in a rain-shortened final day at the Illini Invitational in Chicago on Sunday ... Casey Watt earned his first victory of the weekend, taking down California's Riki McLachlan in straight sets, 7-5, 6-3 ... Blas Moros closed out the weekend with a 2-2 singles record after dropping Alabama's Stuart Kenyon, 6-3, 6-4.

- Former Irish assistant football coach Urban Meyer will be one of the color commentators on ABC Sports Saturday for the noon Notre Dame-Pittsburgh telecast ... he'll join Dave Pasch and Chris Spielman.

- Former Irish baseball player Steve Sollmann is back on campus working as an academic counselor in the Academic Services for Student-Athletes department ... Sollmann played second base and was a 10th-round draft pick of the Milwaukee Brewers in 2004 ... he had a .360 career average at Notre Dame and earned All-America honors in 2003 and was a two-time Academic All-American.

- Notre Dame fans are lining up to attend winter sports ... led by a near 300 percent increase in hockey sales, all three winter sports season (hockey, men's and women's basketball) ticket sales are on pace to exceed their 2010-11 season-ticket totals.

- Brian Kelly comments from his Sunday media teleconference included these tidbits:

"I think right now he (Aaron Lynch) shows himself very well as a guy that can get after the quarterback. He's relentless and he's very, very physical. He doesn't beat you with speed off the edge, he beats you with power."

"I got a chance to shake hands with every one of the 1966 players (in town for the national championship team's 45th reunion) as they came off the stage for our pep rally on Friday and our team got a chance to interact with them as well. It was a great way to mix our team with Ara Parseghian and his championship team."

"If we can control the line of scrimmage, take care of the football, play better pass coverage, especially at the end of the game, we're probably sitting here with a different record."

"They're not going to forget the fact that they've let two games slip away. You want that feeling of: We're not going to let this happen again. Enough is enough. If that's what they do the rest of the year that's a good place to be."

- Kicker David Ruffer is Notre Dame's 2011 nominee for the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete program ... offensive lineman Chris Stewart was a winner of that award a year ago ... Ruffer was a first-team Academic All-American in 2010 with his 3.9 GPA.

- The connection Saturday with NASCAR driver Kurt Busch attending the Notre Dame-Michigan State football game is former Irish football walk-on defensive back Chris Ham, who works with Busch in the marketing area ... a 1995 Notre Dame graduate in business, Ham lives in Winston-Salem, N.C., and is president of his own consulting form as well as director of motorsports for Lennox Motorsports.

- Army quarterback Trent Steelman, Notre Dame cornerback Robert Blanton, and Notre Dame running back/kick returner George Atkinson III have been named FBS Independent Players of the Week, for games through Sept. 17 ... Blanton was instrumental in Notre Dame's inaugural win of the season, a 31-13 home decision over No. 15 Michigan State ... Blanton thwarted a late Spartan rally when he secured an interception deep in Notre Dame territory and returned it 82 yards, setting up a game-sealing field goal for the Fighting Irish ... Atkinson tallied 142 yards on four kickoff returns, highlighted by an 89-yard scoring scamper, in Notre Dame's win over Michigan State ... Atkinson is the first Fighting Irish freshman to return a kickoff for score since Raghib Ismail in 1988.

- Quarterback "hurries" are an inexact football statistic since they are not kept routinely in college press boxes and are not considered official by the NCAA ... still, Aaron Lynch's six hurries Saturday against Michigan State are more than any single Irish player had in all of 2010.

- Notre Dame's fall slate for men's lacrosse includes an Oct. 8 home game against Air Force (10 a.m. at Arlotta Stadium on the morning of the Notre Dame-Air Force football game) and an Oct. 15 road date at Navy (noon at Miller Field in Annapolis, Md.).

- Michael Floyd's 31 receptions after three games (10.33 per game) rank him fourth nationally (USC's Rob Woods has 33) ... Floyd also is fourth in receiving yards per game at 132.33 each.

- Notre Dame's football schedule this week ranks 28th by the NCAA in degree of difficulty, with Irish opponents standing 15-9 (.625) ... Irish opponents still unbeaten include South Florida, Michigan, USC and Stanford.

- Looking way ahead to Notre Dame's next home football game Oct. 8 vs. Air Force - the featured event of the weekend will be dedication of the Dan Devine sculpture.

- Tickets remain on sale to the public through the Purdue ticket offices for the Oct. 1 Notre Dame-Purdue football game in West Lafayette.

- The women's tennis team and head coach Jay Louderback have announced their 2011-12 schedule.

Daily Dish - 9.17.11

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- Former Irish football standout Jerome Bettis joined the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame Thursday night in Novi, Mich., with Notre Dame athletics administrators Bill Scholl, John Heisler and Josh Berlo in attendance ... among the previous hall of famers with Notre Damec onnections inducted have been George Gipp (1957), Gus Dorais (1958), Leon Hart (1997) and Bill Laimbeer (1999),

- Our baseball team played host to Michigan State this morning at at Eck Baseball Stadium on the Notre Dame campus.

- A golden goal in the first minute of overtime from Adam Mena gave the 16th-ranked men's soccer team a 2-1 triumph of Michigan on Friday evening at Alumni Stadium ... Mena scored both Irish goals on the evening and Greg Klazura assisted on each tally.

- Kristen Dealy became the eighth player in Notre Dame volleyball history to record 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in a career with a 13-kill effort in a 3-1 win Friday evening over Western Michigan in Madison, Wis. ... Dealy hit .306 with 21 digs, one ace and a solo block for the Irish ... entering the contest, Dealy had 995 kills and 1,042 digs ... her 1,000th kill came in the second set to make her the first Irish player to join the 1,000-1,000 club since Adrianna Stasiuk did so in 2007.

- Louisville's Erin Yenney scored the lone goal of the match in the 56th minute and the Cardinals made it stand, upsetting the Irish women's soccer team, 1-0, Friday night before a crowd of 2,501 fans at Alumni Stadium ... the loss was the first for the Fighting Irish in BIG EAST regular-season action since Sept. 30, 2005 (a 4-1 defeat at Marquette), snapping a 62-match unbeaten streak in the process.

- The men's tennis squad won five doubles contests and four singles matches on day one of the season-opening Illini Invitational in Chicago, Ill. ... Notre Dame's doubles tandems went 5-3 on day one with victories over teams from Texas and Alabama ... the Irish were a combined 4-0 in doubles against the Crimson Tide.

- Jessica Rydberg won the women's 5K race and Martin Grady finished second in the men's five-mile race to power the Notre Dame women's and men's cross country squads to a pair of victories at the 32nd annual National Catholic Championships on Friday afternoon at the Notre Dame Cross Country Course ... Rydberg's time (17:16) was the fastest since Notre Dame's JoAnna Deeter ran 16:52 in 1999 ... it's also the third-fastest time in the meet's history ... she is the ninth straight Notre Dame women's runner to win the meet ... the Irish women have won 18 times out of the last 20 years, including each of the last 10 ... the men won for the third straight year and for the 20th time in the last 24 years.

- Former Notre Dame Bengal Bout champion Mike Lee won a unanimous four-round decision Friday night over Jacob Stiers of Kansas City, Kan., in front of 3,296 fans at Purcell Pavilion ... Lee is now 7-0 in is professional career ... the event benefited both the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation and the Robinson Community Learning Center.

- Lou's Lads, the organization of former Notre Dame football players who played under Lou Holtz, presented its first scholarship on Friday night at a dinner at the Gillespie Conference Center in South Bend to current Notre Dame senior Paul Moya from Los Lunas, N.M.

McHugh In Peru

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Daily Dish - 9.10.11

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4619696.jpeg - A highly efficient and balanced offensive output by the Irish volleyball team helped produce a 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-17) win over visiting Lipscomb Friday night at Purcell Pavilion ... Notre Dame hit .549 as a squad, committing just two errors on 91 swings with 52 kills ... with the effort from above the net, Notre Dame set a program record for hitting pct. in a three-set match ... the previous best (.539) was set against Marquette in 1986.

- Melissa Henderson put Notre Dame ahead off assists from Mandy Laddish and Courtney Barg in the 67th minute, but No. 2 Stanford rallied with two goals in the final 10 minutes, including Mariah Nogueira's match-winner with 2:23 left, to pull out a 2-1 women's soccer victory at the Stanford Invitational before a sellout crowd of 1,960 fans in Stanford, Calif. ... all three Fighting Irish losses this season have come away from home at the hands of top-10 opponents.

- The men's soccer team jumped out to a 2-0 lead by the 31st minute, yet Denver netted two second-half goals en route to a 2-2 tie during the first day of the 10th annual Mike Berticelli Memorial Tournament at a soggy Alumni Stadium ... Chris Sutton put Notre Dame on the board in the 21st minute as he took a pass from Harrison Shipp and blasted the ball into the lower right corner of the netting from 25 yards away ... it was Sutton's first career goal ... the Fighting Irish went up by two goals with just over 14 minutes left in the first half as Danny O'Leary headed in a Brendan King corner kick for the first goal of his career ... a heavy rain arrived at Alumni Stadium toward the end of the first half and the precipitation was on and off for the remainder of the contest ... Notre Dame led 2-0 at halftime.

- A trio of men's tennis student-athletes received rankings in the annual preseason polls released Friday by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association ... Casey Watt is ranked No. 28 in singles to open the 2011-12 season, while the doubles duo of Niall Fitzgerald and Spencer Talmadge are ranked No. 21.

- Women's golf coach Susan Holt has announced that senior golfer Becca Huffer will serve as the team's captain for the 2011-12 season ... a three-time all-BIG EAST selection, Huffer is coming off her best season at Notre Dame as she turned in four top-10 finishes as a junior, including a career-best second-place finish at the John Kirk / Panther Intercollegiate last spring as she carded a five-under par 211 in leading the Irish to a tournament win ... for the season, Huffer's 74.97 stroke average was second on the team and the second lowest of her career.

- Hockey fans will have an opportunity to purchase two different nine-game, half-season ticket packages or a four-game package for games over Christmas break at the new Compton Family Ice Arena ... those packages are now on sale at the Murnane Family Ticket Office at Purcell Pavilion, via und.com/tickets or by calling 574.631.7356 ... the nine-game packages - Blue and Gold Nights - are available in the mezzanine level only since the main bowl of the arena is already sold out with full season tickets.

- The men's golf team is set to get its 2011 fall season underway this weekend when it heads to the Gopher Invitational on Sunday and Monday at Spring Hill Golf Club in Wayzata, Minn. ... the 14-team field represents the largest in the tournament's history with 10 collegiate conferences being represented ... Notre Dame earned its best finish at the event in 2007, tying for fourth with a three-round total of 893 (+29).

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