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    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    1. Kristy Frilling, a junior on the Notre Dame women's tennis team, completed her run to the title at the 2010 ITA Midwest Regional Tuesday at the Varsity Tennis Center in Ann Arbor. The victory secures a spot in the singles draw at the National Individual Indoor Championships in Flushing, N.Y., Nov. 4-7. Frilling jumped out to an early lead in the match over No. 2-seeded Denise Muresan of Michigan, staking to a 4-2 advantage in the first set and eventually finishing it off 6-2. She looked to close out the match with relative ease, leading in the second set 5-2, but Muresan battled back to take a 6-5 lead on serve. Frilling recovered from there though, posting a break of serve to square the set at 6-6 and taking the ensuing tiebreaker, 7-2, for the match and tournament title. Over the course of her five matches, Frilling did not drop a set and was pushed to only one tiebreaker -- against Muresan. She becomes the first Irish player to claim the Midwest Regional title since Colleen Rielley claimed the top spot in '06. The National Individual Championship gets underway Nov. 4 at the USTA-Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing N.Y.

    2. The Notre Dame men's golf team wrapped up its fall season Tuesday with a victory at the St. Mary's Invitational at the Bayonet and Blackhorse Golf Club in Seaside, Calif. Tom Usher helped the Irish cause, earning medalist honors with a four-under par (212) performance over the two days. The Irish entered the day with a 16-shot advantage and, with the help of a 291 (+3), widened the margin to 20 shots for their first win of the fall season. Overall, the team finished at three-under par (861), marking the third-straight tournament finishing with an under-par team score. The host St. Mary's Gaels finished second at 881 (+17). This marks the first time in program history that the Irish have started the season with five consecutive top-two finishes. After struggling on his opening nine holes of the day, Usher bounced back on the back nine and carded a four-under par (32) to climb back to even for the day, including three straight birdies on holes 10 through 12. His third round 72 helped him hold on for medalist honors by two strokes, finishing with a two-day total of 212 (-4). A week after earning his highest finish to-date with the Irish, Chris Walker topped it by earning sole possession of third place at even par (216). He played his final round at even par (72), finishing the back nine at one under (35) including back-to-back birdies on holes 10 and 11. Max Scodro represented the third Irish golfer in the top five, finishing in a share for fourth at 217 (+1). Scodro recorded the lone under-par round for the Irish on Tuesday at one-under par (71), aided by five birdies. For the fall season, Scodro finished in the top 10 on four occasions and top 25 in all five events. Paul McNamara III carded the last score for the Irish rotation on the final day with a four-over par 76, including four birdies on the round. He, like Walker, earned his career-high finish to-date with the Irish in a tie for seventh at two-over par (218). Niall Platt rounded out the Irish five, posting a final round 80 (+8). He concluded the tournament at 15-over par (231), good for a share of 57th. Notre Dame now enters into its winter offseason before returning to the course in the spring at The Match Play Feb. 10-12 at the TPC of Tampa Bay in Lutz, Fla.

    3. The Notre Dame men's tennis team concluded the 2010 USTA/ITA Midwest Regional Monday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion in Notre Dame, Ind. Casey Watt was unable to advance to the final round after dropping a two-set match (6-3,6-4) to Matt Allare of Ohio State. Watt was downed by Allare in the first set 6-3, but came out battling in the second set. He was up 3-0 before Allare topped him 6-3 to advance to the final round of singles. Highlighting the tournament for the Irish were the 13 players in the main draw of 64 players. Additionally, doubles partners, Stephen Havens and Tyler Davis and Spencer Talmadge and Niall Fitzgerald advanced to the doubles quarterfinals. The Irish will take a week off before concluding their fall slate on Nov. 5-7. The team will split their squad with half of the team traveling to the Alabama Invitational in Tuscaloosa, Ala. and the rest competing at the William & Mary Invitational in Williamsburg, Va.

    4. The University of Notre Dame has been selected as one of 16 host sites for first- and second-round games in the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship, it was announced Tuesday. Games will be played at the 9,149-seat Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center on either March 17 & 19 or March 18 & 20, with exact dates and ticket availability for those contests to be released at a later date. With Tuesday's selection, Notre Dame will play host to action in the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship for the eighth time, and the third time in four seasons. Most recently in March 2010, the Fighting Irish earned their eighth trip to the NCAA regional semifinals (Sweet 16) in the past 14 years with victories at Purcell Pavilion over Cleveland State (86-58) and Vermont (84-66) in the first two rounds of the NCAA Championship's Kansas City Region. Overall, Notre Dame has been home to NCAA early-round tournament action in 1994, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2009 and 2010, with the Fighting Irish competing on their home floor each time and going 8-2 in those contests on the Purcell Pavilion hardwood, advancing to the Sweet 16 in 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2010, and going on to win their first NCAA title in '01. In addition, the 1983 NCAA Mideast Regional was played at the arena -- Tennessee defeated Ole Miss, 90-83 in overtime and Georgia ousted Indiana, 86-70 in the regional semifinals before Georgia earned a trip to the NCAA Women's Final Four with a 67-63 victory over Tennessee. Joining Notre Dame as host sites for early-round games in the 2012 NCAA Championship are (host school listed in parentheses): Ames, Iowa (Iowa State); Baton Rouge, La. (LSU); Bowling Green, Ohio (Bowling Green); Bridgeport, Conn. (Fairfield); Chapel Hill, N.C. (North Carolina); Chicago, Ill. (DePaul); College Park, Md. (Maryland); College Station, Texas (Texas A&M); Little Rock, Arkansas (Arkansas-Little Rock); Nashville, Tenn. (Vanderbilt); Norfolk, Va. (Old Dominion); Norman, Okla. (Oklahoma); Spokane, Wash. (Gonzaga); Tallahassee, Fla. (Florida State), and West Lafayette, Ind. (Purdue). The 2012 NCAA Championship regionals will take place March 24-27 in Des Moines, Iowa (Wells Fargo Arena); Fresno, Calif. (SaveMart Center); Kingston, R.I. (Ryan Center), and Raleigh, N.C. (RBC Center). The 2012 NCAA Women's Final Four will be held April 1 & 3 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colo.

    Sunday, October 24, 2010

    1. Senior left wing Calle Ridderwall scored two second-period goals and sophomore goaltender Mike Johnson stopped 28 of 29 Boston College shots as Notre Dame handed the top-ranked Eagles a 2-1 hockey loss at a sold-out Joyce Center on Saturday night. The Irish win over a number-one-ranked Boston College team marks the fourth time since the 2003-04 campaign that Notre Dame has defeated an Eagle squad that was the top-ranked team in the nation. The Irish turned the trick on Oct. 23, 2003, a 1-0 win at Boston College and followed that with a home win on Oct. 22, 2004 (3-2) before taking a 7-1 verdict on Oct. 21, 2006 at Chestnut Hill. The win over a number-one-ranked team was the first for the Irish since April 10, 2008, when the Irish knocked off top-ranked Michigan, 5-4 in overtime, in the NCAA semifinal game. Senior left wing Brian Gibbons scored Boston College's lone goal on the power play in the first period. The win was the third straight for Notre Dame and improves the Irish to 4-1-0 on the season. The loss was the first for Boston College this season and the Eagles' first since Feb. 19. Since that date, Boston College had gone 16 games without a loss (15-0-1), including a 12-0-1 mark on the way to winning the 2009-10 national championship. Boston College is now 3-1-0 on the year. "This was a good game for us. It's good to know that we can play a team of that caliber," said head coach Jeff Jackson following the game. "There is a reason that they are ranked number one in the country. They are fast, they are a great transition team, they are well coached, play well defensively and have good goaltending. This win helps us. It's still too early in the season; you don't want to get too excited about it. It's more about us learning to be a consistent team." Jackson was pleased with the way his sophomore goaltender played. "To win a game like that you have to have a difference maker in goal and tonight Mike (Johnson) was," said Jackson. "This was a statement game for him. He's played some good games for us in the past but if he can play with that kind of consistency every night, he can be a top collegiate goaltender." The Irish finished the game outshooting Boston College by a 34-29 margin. Johnson finished with 28 saves on the night while Muse had 32. Notre Dame returns to CCHA action this coming week with a home-and-home series against Western Michigan. On Friday the Irish play host to the Broncos at the Joyce Center, while the two teams will battle in Kalamazoo, Mich., on Saturday. Both games start at 7:35 p.m. The Notre Dame win over Boston College was the fifth for the Irish in the last seven meetings against the Eagles since the 2003-04 season. BC leads the all-time series with a 16-12-2 record. The win for Notre Dame was just the third at the Joyce Center in the series as the Eagles lead, 7-3-1.

    2. Junior forward Melissa Henderson scored her team- and BIG EAST-leading 14th goal of the season to put the #4 Notre Dame women's soccer team on top of Georgetown in the 74th minute, but the Hoyas got a late equalizer and two of the conference's top squads wound up playing to a 1-1 double-overtime draw in a wildly-entertaining regular season finale on a sun-drenched Sunday afternoon at North Kehoe Field in Washington, D.C. With the tie, the Fighting Irish extend their NCAA Division I-record unbeaten streak against conference opponents to 77 matches (72-0-5) and lengthen their current unbeaten streak to 13 in a row (11-0-2). The 2010 campaign marks the first time Notre Dame has ever recorded multiple draws during conference play (either in the BIG EAST or in its previous membership in the Midwestern Collegiate Conference), and it's only the fourth time in the program's 23-year history that the Fighting Irish have registered two or more ties in a single season (the others coming in 1991, when they had three draws, and 1995 and 2007, when they logged two ties). Notre Dame (15-1-2, 9-0-2 BIG EAST) appeared headed for another late-match win following Henderson's goal, which came at 73:31 via a penalty kick after she was hauled down in the box. However, Georgetown (13-5-1, 7-3-1) got back on level terms with 4:09 remaining on Camille Trujillo's goal off a scramble in the area. The Fighting Irish outshot the Hoyas, 3-1 in the two overtime periods, but the two sides wound up sharing the spoils when the final whistle blew. Senior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss was magnificent between the pipes for Notre Dame, making a career-high eight saves, including several giant stops during the first half when she recorded six of her saves. Georgetown's Jackie Desjardin matched Weiss nearly stop for stop, finishing with six saves. For the day, GU held a narrow 18-16 edge in total shots, with a 9-7 margin in shots on goal. The teams nearly split the corner kick tries (8-6 Hoyas), while Notre Dame was charged with 11 of the 17 fouls in the match, as well as both offside calls.

    3. Marquette overcame a 2-1 deficit while rallying to win the final two sets Sunday afternoon at Purcell Pavilion as the visiting Golden Eagles defeated the Notre Dame volleyball team, 3-2 (16-25, 26-24, 25-22, 15-8). Ashley Beyer recorded a match-high 21 kills, including five of Marquette's 10 in the final set, as the Irish fell at home to a BIG EAST Conference team for just the eighth time since joining the league in 1995. Notre Dame (13-9 overall, 6-3 BIG EAST) remains at home for two more matches next weekend against St. John's (Saturday) and Connecticut (Sunday). The Irish out-hit Marquette, .274 to .263, for their highest percentage in a five-set match since 2009. Notre Dame also out-blocked (13.5-7.0) and even out-scored (81.5-80.0) the Golden Eagles (15-7, 6-2) on the day. Double-doubles were recorded by freshman Andrea McHugh (19 kills, 10 digs), junior Kristen Dealy (14 kills, 14 digs) and freshman Sammie Brown (56 assists, 12 digs). Senior Kellie Sciacca (12) and Hilary Eppink (13) also had double-digit kill outputs for the Irish, with Sciacca and Brown each blocking six shots. Freshman Andie Olsen came off the bench to convert five swings for kills and had a pair of solo blocks.

    4. The Notre Dame men's tennis team has much to celebrate after sending three doubles teams and Casey Watt for singles to the USTA/ITA Midwest Regional quarterfinal round Sunday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion in Notre Dame, Ind. Watt defeated Ohio State's Chase Buchanan, the number-one seed in the singles draw after a hard fought 7-6 (7) set, followed by a solid 6-2 set to round out the match. The Irish were well represented in doubles play as they had three pairs that participated on the day. Left-handed senior captain Tyler Davis teamed up with senior Stephen Havens to down Michigan State's Denis Bogatov and Ron Hulewicz 8-5. The duo later fell to Devin McCarthy and Balazs Novak of Ohio State in a competitive 8-6 match. Watt and David Anderson dropped an 8-5 decision to Matt Allare and Peter Kobelt of Ohio State. Junior Niall Fitzgerald and sophomore Spencer Talmadge claimed a victory over Evan King and Jason Jung of Michigan in a 8-5 match Sunday morning. In the quarterfinals the pair fell to Illinois State's Timon Reichelt and Alex Pelaez in a close 9-8 (3) decision. Watt will battle Ohio State's Matt Allare in the semifinals at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Following the semifinal singles round will be the championship singles match. Semifinals and final doubles matches will conclude the 2010 Midwest Regional.

    5. The Notre Dame women's golf team fired its best round of the tournament on the final day of competition on Sunday at the Landfall Tradition at the Dye Golf Course in Wilmington, N.C., as the Irish carded a 296 (+8) to finish sixth overall with a three-day total of 896 (+32). Notre Dame's 296 third-round score was the lowest on the day among the 18 teams competing in the event. The Irish were led by junior Becca Huffer who posted a third-round score of 73 for a 54-hole total of 218 (+2) to finish sixth overall among the 90 competitors in the three-day event. UCLA captured the team title after carding a three-day total of 880 (+16), followed by North Carolina (885/+21) and Texas (890/+26). The No. 21-ranked Irish, according to Golfstat, defeated several top-ranked teams in the tournament including Michigan State (14), Wake Forest (15) and South Carolina (18). Brittany Altomare of Virginia and UCLA's Tiffany Lua both tied for first at two strokes under par (214) in the 54-hole tournament to claim the top spot on the leader board. Irish freshmen Nicole Zhang and Kristina Nhim tied for 17th and 26th, respectively. Zhang shot a final round 76 for a three-day score of 224 (+8), while Nhim finished with a 74 for a 226 (+10) total. Senior So-Hyun Park finished 40th overall after recording a 75 in the final round, her best 18-hole score during the three days. Park's 54-hole total was a 230 (+14). Senior Katie Conway rounded out the tournament with a 74 to improve her score by seven strokes from the previous day's second round. Conway's combined score in the event was 240 (+24). The Irish will conclude their fall slate at the Alamo Invitational, which will be played at the Briggs Ranch in San Antonio, Texas.

    6. The Notre Dame women's tennis team concluded day four of the 2010 ITA Midwest Regional on Sunday at the Varsity Tennis Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., with Kristy Frilling advancing into the quarterfinals of the singles draw. Frilling moved on with a convincing straight-sets victory over Northwestern's Belinda Niu (6-2, 6-3). She has not dropped a set through her first two matches in the draw and meets Paloma Escobedo of Ohio State in the quarters. Frilling and teammate Shannon Mathews were unable to advance in doubles action, however. The tandem fell to Kelsey Haviland and Gabby Steele of Ohio State in the quarterfinals by a score of 8-6. Kristen Rafael and Britney Sanders also fell in quarterfinal action, dropping an 8-6 decision to Northwestern's duo of Linda Abu Mushrefova and Nida Hamilton. In other Irish singles action Chrissie McGaffigan, Mathews and Rafael all fell in the round of 16. McGaffigan dropped a tough three-set decision to Mimi Nguyen of Michigan, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-1). Mathews fell to Northwestern's Brittany Wowchuk in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1, while No. 2 seed Denise Muresan was too much for Rafael, holding on for a 6-4, 7-5 victory. Frilling returns to the court for the Irish on Monday for singles quarterfinal action, tentatively scheduled to get underway at noon (ET). With a victory she will compete in the first semifinal, which is slated to play at 3:00 p.m.

    7. The Notre Dame men's golf team prepares to get its final tournament of the fall season underway Monday at the St. Mary's Invite in Seaside, Calif. The two-day tournament allows all teams to play on two different courses, taking to the Bayonet Course for rounds one and three and Blackhorse Golf Course in round two. The Bayonet Course sets up as a par 72, 7,117-yard challenge, while the Blackhorse Golf Course sets up as a par 72, spanning 7,024 yards. The St. Mary's Invite features the most teams that the Irish have faced in any single tournament on the season, with a total of 15 teams taking to the tees. The field also sets up with a heavy dose of home cooking, as eight of the teams competing - Cal Poly, Loyola Marymount, Pacific, San Francisco, Santa Clara, St. Mary's (Calif.), UC-Irvine, UC-Santa Barbara - call the state of California home.

    8. Sophomore Hilary Eppink bounced 10 kills on a .562 average and freshman Andrea McHugh knocked down 14 kills on 26 swings while adding a pair of aces as Notre Dame defeated visiting Syracuse, 3-0 (25-16, 25-10, 25-17). With the win Saturday afternoon at Purcell Pavilion, the Notre Dame volleyball team improved to 13-8 overall and 6-2 against BIG EAST Conference opponents. Eppink and McHugh combined for over half of Notre Dame's 46 kills, as Syracuse (21-4, 3-4) could muster only 25 kills while hitting .067, including a -.062 average in the first set. McHugh has now registered at least 10 kills in six of the last seven matches. Notre Dame hit .330 on the day, including 17 kills on 25 swings with two errors in the second frame. Senior Kellie Sciacca hit .467 with seven kills on 15 attempts without an error, and junior Kristen Dealy chipped in six kills and a match-high 14 digs. Dealy also had a hand on two of Notre Dame's nine blocks. Freshman Sam Brown had four kills and tied Eppink for team-high honors with four blocks, while fellow first-year middle blocker Andie Olsen tossed down each of her three kills in the final set. Freshman Sammie Brown had 33 assists and two points from behind the service strip

    9. Notre Dame and fifth-ranked Connecticut played to a 0-0 tie in BIG EAST men's soccer action Friday night in front of 4,463 fans at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn. The Fighting Irish now are 7-4-4 overall this season and 4-2-1 in league play. Despite the lack of scoring, the match featured an up-tempo pace with several scoring opportunities for both squads. Connecticut (10-1-4, 4-0-3) held a slim 17-16 edge in shots, while the Irish had six shots on goal and the Huskies had five. Connecticut gained one more corner kick (5-4) than Notre Dame. "It was a great game," stated Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. "There were chances, there was excitement and the game was played at a high tempo. I think the crowd really got their money's worth tonight. They didn't get goals, but they got action. I was pleased."

    10. Notre Dame's hockey win over #1 Boston College last night marks the first win by a Notre Dame team over a top-ranked opponent since the #17 Irish women's tennis team defeated #1 Northwestern 5-2 on Feb. 21, 2010, at the Eck Tennis Pavilion in Notre Dame, Ind.

    11. The latest issue of Sports Illustrated includes a list of the top 10 tight ends in NFL history by pro football expert Peter King - and the list contains two Notre Dame products. Number five on the list is Hall of Famer Dave Casper while number nine is Mark Bavaro.

    12. After Notre Dame's football opponents put together a 7-2 weekend (only Purdue and Boston College lost), the Irish schedule moved to eighth in the NCAA football schedule strength rankings at .647 (44-24). Iowa State remains #1 at .707 (46-19). Meanwhile against Tulsa this weekend, the Irish face an offense ranked eighth in total offense (491.57 yards per game) and 13th in both scoring (38.43 points) and rushing (221.57 yards).

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    1. Notre Dame won 11 of 14 individual races to defeat BIG EAST Conference rival Pittsburgh, 184-116, Friday afternoon at Rolfs Aquatic Center to open the dual meet portion of the 2010-11 men's swimming and diving season. Bill Bass (200 free, 100 fly) and Michael Sullivan (500 free, 200 individual medley) led the way with two wins, while Eric Lex (1-meter) and Nathan Geary (3-meter) teamed to sweep the diving events. Notre Dame (1-0) has now won seven straight dual meets against the Panthers. Notre Dame hits the water at 2:00 p.m. (ET) Saturday for a meet at Oakland. Michigan will also join the Irish and Golden Grizzlies. Pittsburgh won the first two races (200 medley relay and 1,000 free) before Bass punched in the first of his two victories. Christopher Johnson (100 breast), Tylor Gauger (200 fly), Joshua Nosal (100 free), Bertie Nel (200 back) and Joshua Choi (200 breast) also earned wins for the Irish.

    2. The Notre Dame women's basketball team has been selected to finish fourth in the BIG EAST Conference in 2010-11, according to a preseason vote of the league's 16 head coaches released Thursday morning during the annual BIG EAST Women's Basketball Media Day at the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill in New York City. The Fighting Irish picked up 177 points in the balloting (coaches may not vote for their own teams), placing behind only two-time defending national champion Connecticut, which was a unanimous choice to win the conference title with 225 points, West Virginia (207 points, one first-place vote) and Georgetown (186 points) -- St. John's rounded out the top five with 173 points. Notre Dame has two starters and eight monogram winners returning for the program's 34th season in 2010-11, joined by a three-player freshman class that has been ranked as high as eighth in the country by some media outlets. The Fighting Irish are coming off a 29-6 season that saw them rise to No. 3 in the national polls (they finished seventh in the year-end Associated Press poll and 11th in the final ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll) and advance to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the eighth time in the past 14 years. Furthermore, Notre Dame adds a three-player freshman class that has been ranked as high as eighth in the country, according to ESPN Hoopgurlz, marking the program's 14th consecutive Top 20 recruiting class. The conference coaches also unanimously voted sophomore guard Skylar Diggins (South Bend, Ind./Washington) to the 10-player Preseason All-BIG EAST Team. A preseason candidate for both the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/State Farm Wade Trophy and the John R. Wooden Award, as well as a consensus preseason All-American by most major media outlets, Diggins is coming off one of the finest rookie seasons in the 33-year history of Fighting Irish women's basketball as the first freshman in 17 seasons to lead Notre Dame in scoring and the first Fighting Irish rookie in 16 years to top 100 assists in her debut season.

    3. The Notre Dame women's tennis team struggled at the opening day of competition at the 2010 ITA Midwest Regional on Thursday at the Varsity Tennis Center in Ann Arbor. JoHanna Manningham (Mishawaka, Ind.) and Julie Sabacinski (Plantation, Fla.) fell in singles qualifying action. Manningham faced off against Alex Power of Cleveland State in the opening round of qualifying. After dropping the opening set 7-5, Manningham cruised through the second set, winning 6-0. Power, however, rebounded in the third to take the decisive set, 6-3. Later in the day, Manningham competed in a consolation bracket match, falling to Lauren Gruber of Wisconsin in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3. Sabacinski enjoyed a first-round bye as the bracket's No. 1 overall seed before meeting Kari Wig of Michigan in the round of 32. Sabacinski looked to be locked in after jumping out to a 5-2 lead in the opening set. However, Wig captured each of the next five games to claim the set, 7-5. Sabacinski was unable to recover in the second set, falling 6-3. Doubles action got underway today with the Irish sending three teams into the draw. Sabacinski returned to the court with partner Chrissie McGaffigan (Davenport, Iowa), Kristen Rafael (Grand Prairie, Texas) teamed up with Britney Sanders (Ontario, Calif.) and Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) joined up with Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) as the draw's No. 1 seeded team. All three Irish tandems enjoyed first-round byes and got their tournament underway in the round of 32, tentatively scheduled to commence at 3:30 p.m. (ET).

    4. The Notre Dame men's tennis squad earned eight victories in the qualifying round Thursday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion in Notre Dame, Ind. and the Lakeland Athletic Club in Niles, Mich. Junior Niall Fitzgerald (Wicklow, Ireland/Blackrock College) posted an impressive win when he downed DePaul's Mathias Hamback 6-2, 6-1 in his second match of the qualifying round. Freshmen Matt Dooley (New Braunfels, Texas/New Braufels) and Ryan Bandy (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Xavier) racked up wins in the first round of play. Dooley defeated Michigan State's Jason Norville in a two-set match in the first round before falling to Jose Munoz of Marquette in the second round. Bandy defeated Austin Brooks 6-2, 6-2 of Michigan State, prior to being downed by Western Michigan's Casey Cullen. Seniors Matt Johnson (Portage, Mich./Portage Central) and Sean Tan (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood) claimed second round victories on Thursday. Tan posted two impressive wins - first in a two-set match ending in a close win of 7-6 over Gautham Oraskar of University of Illinois at Chicago. Next he downed Craig Cox of Green Bay 6-3, 6-4. Johnson dropped a satisfying win over Marquette's Logon Collins 6-4, 6-4 to propel him into the quarterfinals. The qualifying draw begat at 8 a.m. today and main draw followed at 11:15 at Lakeland and 12:00 p.m. at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Doubles competition began at the Eck at 6:00 p.m.

    5. Senior Tim Abromaitis (Unionville, Conn.), was named to the 2010-11 preseason All-BIG EAST Second Team at the conference's annual media day on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden in New York City, N.Y. Notre Dame was chosen seventh in the preseason coaches' poll. The Irish finished with 123 points. Pittsburgh was chosen to win the conference's annual regular-season race as the Panthers garnered 12 first-place votes and 208 points. Villanova was picked second with one first-place vote and 187 points and was followed by Syracuse (187 points) as the Orange garnered two first-place votes. Georgetown was tabbed fourth with 173 points followed by West Virginia (164 points), and St. John's (145 points and 1 first place vote) was tabbed to finish sixth. Behind the Irish was a tie for the eighth spot with Louisville and Marquette both gathering 121 points. Connecticut was selected to finish tenth with 113 points and was followed by Seton Hall (104 points), Cincinnati (91 points), USF (54 points), Providence (36 points), Rutgers (32 points), and DePaul (26 points). Abromaitis finished last season scoring 16.1 points per game, ranking behind only Luke Harangody on the Irish squad. He also finished first on the team in free throw percentage (87.3%) connecting on 117 out of 134 foul shots. He averaged 4.7 rebounds per game, and tallied 52 assists last season. Abromaitis shot a team-leading 42.9% from behind the three-point arc last season (minimum of 50 attempts), which included 81 made three pointers, also leading the team. He also finished second on the team in field goal percentage at 49.5 percent (minimum of 100 attempted shots). Abromaitis played in all 35 games last year, and started 26 of the contests. Georgetown guard Austin Freeman was chosen as the BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year while Fab Melo of Syracuse was selected as the league's preseason rookie of the year. 6. Construction at Madison Square Garden forced the BIG EAST men's basketball media day Wednesday into a new venue, the MSG Theatre. Commissioner John Marinatto began his opening remarks by offering best wishes to Rutgers and the family of football player Eric LeGrand who was seriously injured last weekend. Marinatto noted that American Eagle Outfitters is the newest conference partner and will have its name on the BIG EAST Men's and Women's Basketball Championships (as presenting sponsor), in addition to funding 37 post-graduate scholarships. As Marinatto noted, BIG EAST basketball represents the largest family in college athletics - and he welcomed the four new head coaches - Steve Lavin at St. John's, Oliver Purnell of DePaul, Kevin Willard of Seton Hall and Mike Rice at Rutgers. Finally, Marinatto invited preseason player of the year Austin Freeman of Georgetown to offer some remarks on what it means to play basketball in the BIG EAST.

    7. The #4-rated Notre Dame's women's soccer team pulled out a 1-0 win this afternoon at Villanova on a goal by freshman Adriana Leon at the 22:45 mark to move to 15-1-1 and 9-0-1 in the BIG EAST standings. The Irish outshot the Wildcats 19-6, including 8-3 in shots on goal, and had six corner kicks (to none for Villanova).

    8. The Notre Dame men's soccer team used three different goal scorers to defeat BIG EAST Blue Division foe Seton Hall 3-1 on Tuesday evening at Owen T. Carroll Field in South Orange, N.J. The victory improved the Fighting Irish to 7-4-3 overall and 4-2-0 in league play. Senior forward Steven Perry (Edmond, Okla./Bishop McGuinness) tallied his team-best ninth goal of the season, while junior midfielders Michael Rose (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) and Brendan King (Naperville, Ill./Edison Academic Center [Fla.]) also scored for the Irish. Freshman forward Harrison Shipp (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) collected two assists to move his team-leading assist total to six for the season. Perry also picked up an assist.

    9. Junior libero Frenchy Silva scooped a career-high 29 shots, tying the 14th-best single-match performance in school history, as the Notre Dame volleyball team dropped a 3-1 (25-19, 21-25, 25-23, 25-18) non-conference decision to Western Michigan Tuesday evening at University Arena in Kalamazoo. It was the second straight 20+ dig performance for Silva and her third of the season. Western Michigan evened the all-time series with the Irish at eight matches apiece following on the heels of its 3-2 comeback win at Notre Dame in 2008. Notre Dame returns home this weekend for BIG EAST Conference matches versus Syracuse Saturday and Marquette Sunday. A pair of Broncos (16-6) in Ashley Turnage and Ali Gossen had 13 kills, as Notre Dame (12-8) received 10 from sophomore Hilary Eppink and 11 from senior Kellie Sciacca.

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    1. Maybe it's simply a coincidence, but isn't it bizarre that Notre Dame's football team already has played four teams that wear gold helmets (Purdue, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Western Michigan - all Irish wins), with three more to come (Navy, Tulsa, Army)? The Navy game this week will be the fourth of five straight weeks the Irish play against a team wearing gold helmets.

    2. Seniors Lauren Fowlkes and Rose Augustin scored 8:09 apart early in the second half as the #4 Notre Dame women's soccer team knocked off Providence, 3-1 in BIG EAST Conference action on Sunday afternoon at Glay Field in Providence, R.I. The Fighting Irish win, coupled with Georgetown's simultaneous 3-0 loss at West Virginia, clinched Notre Dame's sixth consecutive BIG EAST National Division title and its 13th conference regular-season crown (division or overall) since joining the BIG EAST in 1995-96. Freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker added a goal, while freshman forward Adriana Leon and junior midfielder Courtney Barg chipped in with assists for the Fighting Irish. Sunday's win not only locked up the division championship, but it also lengthened Notre Dame's NCAA Division I-record unbeaten streak against BIG EAST opponents to 75 consecutive matches (71-0-4). In addition, it was the 80th career win for the current Fighting Irish senior class. Notre Dame (14-1-1, 8-0-1 BIG EAST) outshot Providence, 15-12 for the match, along with a 7-6 edge in shots on goal -- in the second half, the Fighting Irish outshot Providence, 9-5, including a 5-2 edge in shots on goal. The Friars took the advantage on corner kicks, 8-6, although Notre Dame attempted four of the five tries from the flag in the final 45 minutes. Senior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss registered five saves in the Fighting Irish net, including three high-quality stops in the first half, to earn her 14th win of the season, tying her career high set last year.

    3. The Notre Dame men's golf team (577, +1) sits in a tie for second place after the first day of action Sunday at the Lone Star Invitational at Briggs Ranch Golf Course in San Antonio, Texas. Individually, Chris Walker leads the Irish after carding a first-day 142 (-2). The team got off to a sluggish start in the morning round, ending the round in seventh place after posting a nine-over par 297 but rebounded in afternoon play, shooting an eight-under par round of 280 to move into a share of second with Weber State at one-over par, 577. Texas-Arlington paces the field after firing a first day 569 (-7). After shooting a 75 (+3) in his opening round, Walker rebounded with a five-under par (67) round to close out his day at two under (142) and in a share of third place. Niall Platt led the way in morning round action for the Irish, carding a one-under par 71. He posted a 72 (E) in afternoon action to finish the day with a 143 (-1), good for a tie for eighth. Tom Usher recorded a 76 (+4) in his morning round but rebounded with a two-under par (70) round in the afternoon to jump into a tie for 22nd at 146 (+2). Max Scodro sits fourth amongst Irish golfers after posting a 76 (+4) in the morning and a 71 (-1) in the afternoon. Overall, he is in a tie for 28th at three-over par (147). Paul McNamara III rounds out the Irish lineup, sharing 37th place at five-over par (149). He shot an opening round 75 (+3) before bettering that by one shot in the afternoon round with a 74 (+2). Final round action was slated to begin at 8 a.m. today with a split tee start based on 36-hole standings.

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    1. The #21 Notre Dame men's soccer team fell 2-0 to second-ranked Louisville on Saturday night at Cardinal Park in Louisville. The Fighting Irish now are 6-4-3 overall and 3-2-0 in BIG EAST play. Following a scoreless first half, Louisville (10-0-2, 5-0-0) grabbed the lead in the 55th minute on a goal from Dylan Mares. Mares sent the ball into the lower left corner of the goal off a cross from Colin Rolfe. The Cardinals made it 2-0 in the 84th minute as Nick DeLeon placed his 25-yard shot into the right corner of the goal. "Not a whole lot happened in that first half. I thought we came out and played pretty well in the second half, but we lost two goals," said Notre Dame head coach Bobby Clark. "I didn't think we started the game well and we could never get control of the game. Louisville was playing at a high tempo in front of their crowd." Louisville held a 6-4 advantage in shots on goal for the match. Junior midfielder Brendan King had a team-high two shots on goal for Notre Dame. The Cardinals also held a slim 6-5 edge in corner kicks. Senior goalkeeper Philip Tuttle made four saves for the Irish, while his counterpart Andre Boudreaux also had four stops for the Cardinals. "It was a gritty game and I thought we worked very hard," added Clark. "A positive to take away is that they (Louisville) are a good team and we can play with them. This is the kind of game that you'll face if you want to make a run in the NCAA tournament." Notre Dame will continue its three-game BIG EAST road trip at Seton Hall on Tuesday. Kickoff against the Pirates is slated for 7:00 p.m. (ET).

    2. The Notre Dame men's cross country team placed seventh at the Pre-National meet Saturday, while the women concluded the event in 23rd place. The race was held at the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center in Terre Haute, Ind. Senior Dan Jackson was the top finisher for the men and 15th overall in 24:11.3. Erica Watson completed the six-kilometer race in 64th place crossing the line in 21:23.1 for the women. Oklahoma captured the men's crown, scoring 106 points. In second place was Brigham Young (138), followed by Colorado with 140 points. The individual top finisher in the race was Samuel Chalanga of Liberty in 23:19.9. The Irish were seventh overall and totaled 225 points. Trailing Jackson in the eight-kilometer race was Jordan Carlson who finished 31st overall in 24:19.1. Johnathan Shawel was 55th in 24:38.4, followed by 59th-place finisher Jeremy Rae in 24:39.9. Freshman Martin Grady and Mat Abernethy claimed 61st and 121st in 24:40.7 and 25:16.0, respectively. Rounding out the Irish squad was Walter Schafer in 156th in 25:39.4. On the women's side, Florida State won first place scoring 115 points, followed by Arizona and Iowa State with 128 and 175 points, in that order. Risper Kimaio of the University of Texas-El Paso won the individual women's title in 20:03.4. The Irish concluded the race in 23rd place, scoring 547 points. Following Watson was freshman Meg Ryan in 92nd place, stopping the clocks at 21:38.5. Kelly Curran finished in 120th place, Rebecca Tracy in 132nd, and Rachel Velarde in 139th. The trio finished within seconds of each other with times of 21:51.9, 21:55.8 and 21:58.9, in that order. The men's and women's cross country teams will return to action Oct. 30 for the BIG EAST Championship meet in Syracuse, N.Y.

    3. The Notre Dame men's golf team will take to the course at the Lone Star Invitational in San Antonio, Texas, today and Monday. The two-day, 54-hole tournament will be taking place at Brigg's Ranch Golf Club, measuring to 7,258 yards while playing to a par 72. The Lone Star Invitational will give many members of the Irish squad the unique experience of not only playing in the state of Texas, but also against many teams in which Notre Dame does not normally tee it up with. Of the 12 teams participating in the event, nine hail from Texas (Texas-San Antonio, Houston, North Texas, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin, Texas-Pan American, Texas State, UT-Arlington and Texas-El Paso), one from Louisiana (Louisiana Monroe) and Utah (Weber State), with Notre Dame serving as the lone representative from Indiana.

    4. Among visitors to Notre Dame Stadium yesterday were former Irish quarterback Jimmy Clausen (his NFL Carolina Panthers have an open date this weekend) and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Also present were representatives of the Champs Sports and Orange Bowls.

    5. Notre Dame's football schedule ranks 12th this week in degree of difficulty in the latest NCAA statistics released today, with Irish opponents at 39-22 (.639), Iowa State far and away ranks #1 at 41-14 (.745). Here's where Notre Dame's 2010 opponents rate:

    13. Purdue
    t15. Michigan
    37. Michigan State
    44. Pittsburgh
    51. Stanford
    58. USC
    72. Tulsa
    86. Navy
    89. Boston College
    95. Army
    96. Utah
    112. Western Michigan

    6. It's fall break at Notre Dame, so the campus will be quiet. With no classes in session, football coach Brian Kelly is sticking with the normal schedule early in the week, then switching to earlier practices Wednesday and Thursday since the Irish have a rare noon kickoff Saturday against Navy at the New Meadowlands Stadium.

    Saturday, October 16, 2010

    1. For the second night in a row, the #19 Notre Dame hockey team got a balanced attack and steady goaltending to hand Lake Superior State a 4-2 loss in front of a sold-out Joyce Center on Friday night on the Notre Dame campus. Senior center Ben Ryan and freshman linemate Anders Lee each had a goal and an assist -- while Calle Ridderwall and T.J. Tynan added single goals in the win. Ryan and Lee's linemate, Ryan Guentzel chipped in a pair of assists, as did freshman defenseman Kevin Lind to lead the Irish to the victory and a sweep of the Lakers. The win was the second straight for the Irish who improved to 3-1-0 overall and 2-0-0 in CCHA play. The Lakers fell to 0-3-1 on the year and 0-2-0 in the conference. Notre Dame continues its four-game homestand Oct. 23 when top-ranked Boston College comes to town. The two teams will face off a 7:05 p.m. at the Joyce Center. "We came out with a lot of energy tonight," said head coach Jeff Jackson. "I really liked our first period. It may have been the best period that we've played this season as far as doing a nice job managing the puck through the neutral zone and scoring a couple of nice goals." The Irish wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as they scored twice in the first 2:49 of the game to build a 2-0 lead. Ridderwall started the Notre Dame attack when he scored his second goal in as many nights at the 2:04 mark of the first. The senior left wing took a cross-rink pass from freshman Bryan Rust and snapped a shot past Lake Superior goaltender Brian Mahoney-Wilson for a 1-0 lead. Lind started the play with a long breakout pass to Rust in the neutral zone. The lead would go to 2-0 just 45 seconds later when Tynan beat Mahoney-Wilson with a nice move in front at 2:49 for his second of the season. As quick as the Irish scored twice, Lake Superior cut the lead in half just 33 seconds later at 3:22 when Schofield whipped a backhander from the slot through a screen and between Irish goaltender Mike Johnson's pads for his third of the year. The Irish nursed the lead, relying on the steady goaltending of Johnson who would finish with 26 saves in the game. "Mike has the ability to be an outstanding college goalie and he knows the most important part of that is consistency," said Jackson. "He has to be as good as he was last night, which he was. That's good for us and our future. If he can play a consistent game every night, then he can be an elite Division I college goalie." The lead would stay 3-1 until the Irish capitalized on their second power-play chance of the night at 11:06. This time Lee would get the goal with assists to Ryan and Guentzel.

    2. Senior middle blocker Kellie Sciacca recorded her 1,000th career kill Friday evening at Purcell Pavilion as Notre Dame pulled out a 3-1 (18-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-18) BIG EAST Conference volleyball win over DePaul. Sciacca, who finished the night with eight kills and seven blocks, delivered kill No. 1,000 in the second set to become the 19th player in Irish history to reach the milestone. She later ended the frame with one of her two solo blocks on set point. Notre Dame (12-7 overall, 5-2 BIG EAST) used Sciacca's defense at the net and freshman Andrea McHugh's offense on the pipes, as the outside hitter went for a career-high 23 kills on 50 swings (.340). McHugh had seven kills in both the second and third sets. DePaul (1-19, 0-7) raised a few eyebrows by capturing the opening frame for its first victorious set over the Irish in last eight matches of the series. Notre Dame recovered to win the next three for its eighth straight win over the Blue Demons. The Blue Demons hit .273 in the first set, its highest clip of the night. The visitors finished with a .216 clip, compared to Notre Dame's .255. Freshman Maggie Brindock did the bulk of the setting, dishing out 35 assists with two kills and seven digs. Junior Hilary Eppink had 11 kills and was one of eight Irish players with converted attacks. Sciacca led the Irish with two aces, as Notre Dame did not commit a service error all evening. Notre Dame never trailed in the third or fourth sets. The Irish are slated to play a non-conference match at Western Michigan at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday.

    3. Junior forward Melissa Henderson scored her team-high 13th goal of the season in the 78th minute to put #4 Notre Dame in front, but Connecticut got a late equalizer in regulation and the women's soccer teams wound up finishing with a 1-1 draw in BIG EAST Conference action on a cold and rainy Friday night at Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn. Senior forward/midfielder Erica Iantorno set up Henderson's go-ahead score, which looked as though it would stand up as the winner before the Huskies netted the tying goal on Linda Ruutu's free kick with 2:35 left. Still, the draw extends Notre Dame's NCAA Division I-record unbeaten streak against BIG EAST opponents to 74 consecutive matches (70-0-4), also the fourth-longest unbeaten conference run across all divisions in NCAA history. The Fighting Irish (13-1-1, 7-0-1 BIG EAST) outshot Connecticut, 21-12 in the match, with each side recording seven shots on goal. Notre Dame also held a distinct advantage from the corner flag with an 8-1 corner kick edge. Playing in her home state for possibly the final time as a collegian, senior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss registered six saves in the Fighting Irish net. Her UConn counterpart, Jessica Dulski, also came up with six stops, including three point-blank saves against Henderson in the second half. "This was a good lesson for us in understanding that we have to remain focused and strong for the full 90 minutes," Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. "We got the lead and some other good scoring opportunities that we didn't capitalize on, and when you're playing on the road against a good team like Connecticut, you have to take advantage of those chances. We gave UConn a good look with that free kick and they made us pay. Now we need to apply what we learned tonight and come back with a better performance on Sunday against a very solid Providence team."

    4. Expect near perfect weather conditions in South Bend today for the Notre Dame-Western Michigan football game. The high is 67 degrees, there's no chance of rain and there's not a cloud in the sky.

    Friday, October 15, 2010

    1. The Notre Dame hockey team got solo goals from David Gerths, Calle Ridderwall, Billy Maday and Mike Voran plus a 26-save performance from goaltender Mike Johnson to lead the Irish to a 4-2 CCHA-opening win over Lake Superior on Thursday night in front of a sold-out crowd at the Joyce Center. The victory for the Irish was the 300th of head coach Jeff Jackson's career as he improved to 300-118-47 in this 12th season behind the bench. Ironically, the first 182 wins for Jackson came as the head coach of the Lake Superior State Lakers, a team he led to a pair of national championships. In his first five-plus seasons at Notre Dame, Jackson has 118 wins. The win improved the 19th-ranked Irish to 2-1-0 on the year and 1-0-0 in the CCHA while Lake Superior fell to 0-2-1 overall and 0-1-0 in conference action. The two teams will meet at 7:35 p.m. tonight in game two of the series at the Joyce Center. "With this team I have to watch the tape because they play at such a frenetic pace," said Jackson. The newest members of Jackson's 2010-11 team played a big role in win number 300. Goal number one was recorded by three players who got their first career points, as Gerths scored his first career goal just 3:45 into the game. "The younger guys are really playing with confidence," said Maday. "None of them seem to be struggling at all. They are pushing the rest of us to make us better. It's been great so far, the energy that they have provided us." For the night, Notre Dame out shot the Lakers by a 34-28 margin. Lake Superior was 1-for-8 on the power play while the Irish were 1-for-4. Notre Dame's win over Lake Superior ran the Irish unbeaten streak to 13 games (10-0-3) versus the Lakers since the middle of the 2005-06 season. Notre Dame's short-handed goal versus the Lakers was the third this season for the Irish in as many games. Last season, they had four short-handed tallies in 38 games. The sell-out crowd of 2,989 was the ninth consecutive sellout for the Irish going back to the second half of 2009-10. Since Dec. 13, 2008, Notre Dame has had sellouts in 24 of its last 28 games.

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    1. The Naval Academy Athletic Association and the Navy squash program will honor former Midshipmen squash coach Dave Brown – and current Notre Dame RecSports assistant director/club sports -- in a ceremony prior to the annual Navy squash alumni match Oct. 30. Among the highlights of the program, Brown will have a court named in his honor and will serve as the coach of the alumni team. Under the direction of Brown, Navy's squash program was a model of consistency and excellence. After serving as an assistant under the legendary Bob Bayliss (he's now the Notre Dame men's tennis coach) for three seasons, he took over the head coaching duties in 1981-82. Brown directed the Midshipmen to a 267-117 record (.695) over the course of 17 seasons and helped mentor 22 All-Americans including four-time selections Spencer Wall (1984-85-86-87), John Sprenger (1985-86-87-88) and Jamie Slough (1991-92-93-94). His 267 wins are tied as the most wins by a Navy squash coach and among those wins was a flawless 10-0 mark against archrival Army, who has since dismantled its program. Brown's teams didn't just beat Army, they dominated the Black Knights winning 82 of the possible 90 individual matches. Along the way, he directed the Mids to a top-10 ranking in 13 of the 17 seasons. While at the Academy, he led the Midshipmen to three prestigious awards among the squash community. Navy was the recipient of the 1984 and 1991 Barnaby Award which is presented to that team who shows the most improvement over the course of the year. In 1993, Casey Garwood, a two-time All-American, was named the winner of the Skillman Award which is presented to that individual who displays the best sportsmanship over the course of the year. And finally, Navy was the recipient of the Coaches Award (now known as the Sloane Award) for outstanding sportsmanship in 1982, `85, `87 and `96. The former President of the National Intercollegiate Squash Racquets Association (now known as the College Squash Association) and member of the Association's Executive Committee, Brown was inducted into the Men's College Squash Hall of Fame in 1999 (one of just 20 coaches among that elite group). Brown left his post at the Academy following the 1997-98 season and to come to Notre Dame. Under his current position, Brown oversees the schedules, budgets, travel, and compliance with club leagues or associations. He also attends home competitions, and oversees other facets of club sports including scheduling of outdoor fields, maintaining the St. Joe Beach and Boathouse and manage other RecSports duties. A Carey, Ohio native, Brown graduated from Slippery Rock University with a bachelor's degree in English. He later went on to receive his master's degree in education from Bowie University. 2. The Notre Dame men's golf team concluded play in second place after shooting a final round 286 (-2) on Tuesday at the Firestone Invitational on Firestone's North Course in Akron, Ohio, to finish at 14-under par (850) overall. Junior Max Scodro (Chicago, Ill.) led the way for the Irish with a three-round total of 209 (-7), good for third place overall. Notre Dame entered the day at 12-under par (564) and, with the help of three golfers shooting par or better on the final day, dropped two more shots to finish at 14-under par. However, Indiana used a final day 285 (-3) to hold on for the one-shot victory. The Irish effort places as both the second lowest 54-hole tournament team score in strokes (850) and to-par (-14) in program history, bested only by the 2005-06 BIG EAST tournament when the team finished at 842 (-22). Scodro continued his mastery of the par-5s on Tuesday, carding two more birdies on his way to five total birdies in his closing 18 holes. He used a final round 70 (-2) to finish third overall with a 54-hole total of 209 (-7). Scodro's tournament enters him into the Irish record book as well sitting in a tie for the lowest 54-hole tournament both to-par (-7) -- Cole Isban at 2006-07 Border Olympics -- and in total strokes (209) -- tied with Doug Fortner, Jeff Connell and Isban. Junior Tom Usher (Bradford, England) posted his best round of the tournament on Tuesday, carding a final round 69 (-3) to climb into fourth place. He played the front nine in 33 (-3) aided by four birdies, before coming in with a 36 (E) and two more birdies to close out the round. Overall, Usher finished at 212 (-4). Junior Chris Walker (The Woodlands, Texas) finished as the third Irish player at par or better on the final day, recording a 72 (E). He sat at two-over par entering the final hole before posting an eagle-3 on the 18th hole. His two-day score concluded at 217 (+1), good for a share of 14th. Freshman Niall Platt (Santa Barbara, Calif.) shared 14th at one-over par (217) with Walker after finishing his tournament with a third round 80 (+8). Senior Connor Alan-Lee (Solana Beach, Calif.) jumped into the four-ball count on Tuesday, posting a final round 75 (+3) helped by a pair of birdies on the front nine to round out Notre Dame's rotation. He concluded the tournament at 15-over par (231), earning a share of 62nd. Individually, freshman Andrew Lane (Fairport, N.Y.) concluded with his best round of the tournament, posting a final day 73 (+1) and carding three birdies. He finished in a tie for 57th place with a 230 (+14). The Irish return to action Sunday and Monday at the Lone Star Invitational in San Antonio, Texas at The Golf Club of Texas at Briggs Ranch.

    3. The Notre Dame men's basketball team will hold a one-hour practice session that will be open to the public from 10-11 p.m. Friday at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. The doors will remain open all evening prior to the practice as a result of Notre Dame's volleyball game against DePaul at 7:30 p.m., at Purcell Pavilion. Fans are encouraged to attend both events. The start time of the practice could begin after 10 p.m., but not earlier, and will be dependent on the length of the volleyball match. Irish players will be available for an informal autograph session following the open practice. Oct. 15 begins the first official day of practice for 11th-year head coach Mike Brey and his 2010-11 Irish squad. Notre Dame will hold a two-hour closed practice beginning at 5:00 p.m. that afternoon in the practice gym known as The Pit in the Joyce Center. Notre Dame returns three starters from last year's team that finished 23-12 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth time in 10 years. The Irish finished 10-8 in BIG EAST play and advanced to the semifinal of the BIG EAST Championship for the second time in four seasons before losing to eventual champion and NCAA Final Four participant West Virginia. The Irish open the season with two exhibition games against Marian University (Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m.) and against Catholic University (Nov. 6 at 7:00 p.m.) before the regular-season opener against Georgia Southern Nov. 12 at 8:30 p.m.

    4. Notre Dame head baseball coach Mik Aoki has announced the dates for the 2010 Irish Winter Youth Clinic, which will feature one session for aspiring baseball players (Dec. 27-30). The clinic provides an excellent opportunity for boys ages 6-12 to be instructed by the Notre Dame baseball staff. Staff members will offer instruction throughout the camp. Participants will be tutored in all phases of the game, including hitting, defense, pitching and base running. The clinic will begin at 9:00 a.m. each day and run until noon on Monday, December 27, through Thursday, December 30. Prospective players have the option to attend one day or all four days. All prospective campers must submit a completed application form. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis until all positions are filled. Acceptance of a camper will be verified upon receipt of the application with full payment. Please note that it is extremely important to provide a valid email address, as our confirmation will be sent via email. Please make checks payable to Notre Dame Baseball Camp. Credit card payments will not be accepted.

    5. Notre Dame freshman left wing Anders Lee (Edina, Minn.) has been named the Central Collegiate Hockey Association's rookie of the week for the week ending Oct. 10. In two games last week at the Warrior Ice Breaker Tournament in St. Louis, Mo., Lee had three goals and one assist for four points and was +4 on the weekend. In Notre Dame's 6-3 win over Holy Cross in the opening game of the tournament, the 6-3, 218-pound left wing recorded his first career goal and his first career hat trick with six shots on goal and a +3 for the game. He would add one assist and be +1 in the 5-4 loss to Boston University in the tournament championship game. Lee got his career off to a fast start versus Holy Cross, scoring on his first collegiate shot just 1:58 into the game as he tucked the rebound of defenseman Kevin Lind's (Fr., Homer Glen, Ill.) shot past Crusader goaltender Thomas Tysowsky to give the Irish a 1-0 lead. His second goal came at 12:14 of the opening period when he one-timed a pass from linemate Ryan Guentzel (Sr., Woodbury, Minn.) from the bottom of the left circle past Tysowsky to make it 2-1. The talented left wing closed out the hat trick at 11:36 of the second period when he teamed with linemates Ryan Guentzel and Ben Ryan (Sr., Brighton, Michigan) to make the score 5-2 on the way to the 6-3 win. Guentzel and Ryan each had career-high, three-assist games in the victory. With the hat trick, Lee became just the second Notre Dame rookie to record a hat trick in his first game, joining John Noble `73, who scored three times in his first game in and 8-3 win over Windsor on Nov. 15, 1969. Lee also joins teammate Billy Maday (Jr., Burr Ridge, Ill.), Christiaan Minella `09 and Tim Wallace `06 as recent Notre Dame players to score on their first collegiate shots on goal. On Sunday in the Warrior Ice Breaker title game, Lee had one assist with four shots on goal and was +1 for the contest that was won by Boston University, 5-4, on a goal with 1:07 left in the game. He set up Shayne Taker's first collegiate goal when he carried the puck out of the left corner and tried to jam a shot between BU goaltender Grant Rollheiser's pads. The Terrier goaltender made the stop but Taker crashed the net to flip the rebound home to tie the game at 3-3. Lee and his Notre Dame teammates return to action Thursday and Friday when the Irish play host to the Lake Superior State Lakers in the CCHA openers for both teams. Both contests will start at 7:35 p.m. at the Joyce Center.

    6. Looking for a home Notre Dame athletic event this week? Here's the schedule:
    -- Men's soccer at 7 p.m. tonight vs. Marquette
    -- Hockey at 7:35 p.m. Thursday and Friday vs. Lake Superior State
    -- Volleyball at 7:30 p.m. Friday vs. DePaul
    -- Football at 2:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Western Michigan
    Und.com will stream the first four events live on Notre Dame's official athletics Web site, while NBC will carry the football game.

    7. If you enter Notre Dame Stadium at Gate D for an Irish home football game, you may know that the ushers assigned to that gate sing "God Bless America" before they open the gate two hours prior to kickoff – and they've been doing that ever since 9/11/01.

    8. In what has become an annual tradition of sorts, New England Patriots football coach and avid lacrosse fan Bill Belichick took a few moments during his conference call with Baltimore media to talk lacrosse – and the topic became Notre Dame lacrosse. Belichick, who spoke while preparing for Sunday's showdown between the Ravens and the Patriots, said he admired Notre Dame's run to the national title game, especially after he watched the Fighting Irish 10-8 home loss to Rutgers on March 27. That setback began a three-game skid for Notre Dame and nearly jeopardized the team's hopes for a berth in the NCAA Tournament. But they recovered in grand fashion, upending higher-seeded opponents in Princeton, Maryland and Cornell before falling to Duke in the championship final. "Coach [Kevin] Corrigan did a great job at Notre Dame," said Belichick, whose son Stephen is a junior defenseman for the Scarlet Knights. "When I saw my son's team, Rutgers, beat them out there, they sure didn't seem like a national championship contender at that point. But they just got better with each game, and they really played great down the stretch, and that's when it counted. They got some great goaltending and big plays out of their midfield. So it was a terrific game, and it was a big win for Duke after they had been so close. So it was great for lacrosse." The sport took a little bit of a bum rap when several fans complained that Duke's 6-5 overtime win against Notre Dame wasn't explosive enough and lowered the game's high-octane reputation a notch. Belichick, a defensive guru with teams like the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and Patriots, didn't seem to mind. "I love a good defensive game," he deadpanned.

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    1. The latest issue of Sporting News ranks Notre Dame second best among "places to watch college football," as voted on by a panel of 70 former coaches, current coaches and broadcasters (including Brian Kelly and Lou Holtz, as well as Notre Dame alumnus Gerry DiNardo) and based on each school's stadium, fans, city/surroundings, traditions and history. Here's the ratings of "Saturday Shrines":

    1. Bryant-Denny Stadium, Alabama
    2. Notre Dame Stadium, Notre Dame
    3. Beaver Stadium, Penn State
    4. Tiger Stadium, LSU
    5. Ohio Stadium, Ohio State
    6. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Florida
    7. Michigan Stadium, Michigan
    8. Neyland Stadium, Tennessee
    9. Memorial Stadium, Nebraska
    10. Rose Bowl, UCLA
    11. Sanford Stadium, Georgia
    12. Kyle Field, Texas A&M
    13. Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, Texas
    14. Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn
    15. Memorial Stadium, Clemson
    16. Camp Randall Stadium, Wisconsin
    17. Doak Campbell Stadium, Florida State
    18. Kinnick Stadium, Iowa
    19. Lane Stadium, Virginia Tech
    20. Michie Stadium, Army

    2. The Notre Dame football team will unveil its new adidas TECHFIT compression football jersey Saturday against Western Michigan. The new Notre Dame TECHFIT jersey from adidas is a complete reconstruction of the standard uniform with multiple innovations to reduce the weight of the jersey by 30 percent. These technologies include a streamlined fit, new fabric, reduced seams and an ultra lightweight name and numbering system. In addition, the Notre Dame TECHFIT jersey keeps players cool with integrated ventilation zones and moisture management fabric. Reduced seams and a restriction-free, high-stretch collar design increases range of motion to support player agility and speed. In addition to Notre Dame, six other adidas schools will debut the new TECHFIT jerseys this month, including Michigan, Louisville, Cincinnati, Texas A&M, UCLA and Tennessee.

    3. Asked what she likes about her Irish women's basketball team (at media day this afternoon), Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said, "There are so many things to like – their enthusiasm, their energy, their work ethic. The comment we hear from people who watch us practice is intensity. The one thing we still need to see is our mental toughness. What happens when we face some adversity?"

    4. Notre Dame went from 17th to 19th this week in the USCHO college hockey poll after its 1-1 weekend (win over Holy Cross, one-goal loss to #14 Boston University).

    5. Irish men's basketball coach Mike Brey opined today at media day on several topics:
    -- "(Carlton) Scott and (Tim) Abromaitis and (Scott) Martin are going to have to be on the floor at the same time to do what we want to do a lot of the time."
    -- "We need to protect the paint and rebound and go one and done on defense."
    -- "We're bigger as a team. I'm looking up at just about everybody other than a couple of young guards."
    -- "We can spread you out – and then the question becomes, who can score inside so they don't maul our guys on the perimeter? And at times last year (when Luke Harangody was hurt), we played without a pivot guy."
    -- "We've got some interchangeable parts, and those are things we've got to learn about before we get into the BIG EAST."

    6. The Irish men's lacrosse team heads to San Francisco this weekend for a Saturday afternoon game against Johns Hopkins at Kezar Stadium. On Thursday, the Notre Dame upperclassmen will take part in networking events at Google and EA Sports. The Irish also will participate in Saturday clinics for both coaches and youth players at Kezar Stadium.

    7. Notre Dame women's soccer senior forward/midfielder Rose Augustin has received two weekly awards in recognition for her play in two Fighting Irish victories last weekend. The veteran striker today was selected to the 11-player Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week, in addition to being named the BIG EAST Conference Offensive Player of the Week. It's the first time in Augustin's career she has received either award. Augustin had a hand in all five Notre Dame goals last weekend, scoring twice and dishing out three assists as the Fighting Irish defeated BIG EAST foes Seton Hall (2-1) and Rutgers (3-2) at Alumni Stadium. Against SHU, Augustin opened the scoring just 1:21 into the match, then assisted on Henderson's vital insurance goal in the 58th minute. Two days later against Rutgers, Augustin posted a goal and two assists, again scoring the opening goal and then assisting on goals by Henderson and senior forward/midfielder Erica Iantorno in a span of 1:57 midway through the second half that gave the Fighting Irish the lead for good.

    Sunday, October 10, 2010

    1. Senior forward/midfielder Rose Augustin chalked up a goal and two assists, and senior forward/midfielder Erica Iantorno added her first career game-winning score in the 67th minute as the No. 5/7 Notre Dame women's soccer team celebrated Senior Day with a hard-fought 3-2 BIG EAST Conference victory over Rutgers on a sun-splashed Sunday afternoon before a crowd of 1,166 fans at Alumni Stadium on the Notre Dame campus and a national cable television audience on ESPNU. Junior forward Melissa Henderson sparked a two-goal flurry by the Fighting Irish midway through the second half, netting her team-high 12th goal of the season and eighth in the past five matches. Freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker also got into the scorebook with an assist on Augustin's first-half goal. The win extended Notre Dame's NCAA Division I-record unbeaten streak against BIG EAST opponents to 73 consecutive matches (70-0-3), passing Division III member Wisconsin-Stevens Point for the fourth-longest unbeaten run against conference foes in NCAA history (across all divisions) -- the Pointers compiled a 72-match streak from 1996-2000. It also marked the 11th time in the 12-year tenure of head coach Randy Waldrum that Notre Dame came away with a win on Senior Day. The Fighting Irish (13-1, 7-0 BIG EAST) collected their ninth consecutive win behind a strong second half that saw the hosts outshoot Rutgers, 12-2, including a 5-1 spread in shots on goal. Notre Dame finished the day with a 15-6 shot edge (8-4 in shots on goal) and earned a 4-2 advantage on corner kicks, while the Scarlet Knights were called for 11 of the 18 fouls in the match. Karla Schacher pulled the Scarlet Knights (8-7, 3-4) back within a goal with her score in the 77th minute, after setting up Rutgers' first goal with a cross that deflected in off a Notre Dame defender for an own-goal. Senior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss earned the victory in the Fighting Irish net, making two saves. Meanwhile, Emmy Simpkins was credited with five saves in the Scarlet Knights' goal.

    2. Boston University defenseman Sean Escobedo scored with 1:07 left in the third period to give the Terriers a 5-4 win over Notre Dame in the championship game of the Warrior College Hockey Ice Breaker Tournament Sunday afternoon at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Escobedo's goal snapped a 4-4 tie and handed Irish freshman goaltender Steven Summerhays the loss in his first collegiate start. Notre Dame was led offensively by sophomore Nick Larson, who scored twice in the game. Freshman Bryan Rust added a short-handed goal and freshman defenseman Shayne Taker scored his first career goal. Sahir Gill, David Warsofsky, Joe Periera and Kevin Gilroy joined Escobedo on the scoresheet for Boston University. Gill added three assists in the game for a four-point game in just his second collegiate contest. The win dropped the 17th-ranked Irish to 1-1-0 on the season while the 14th-ranked Terriers improved to 2-0-0 in the early season.

    3. No. 21 Cincinnati downed the Notre Dame volleyball team, 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-19), in a BIG EAST Conference volleyball match Sunday evening at Fifth Third Arena in Cincinnati. The Irish dropped to 11-7 overall and 4-2 in league play, while the Bearcats moved to 17-3 and stayed unscathed against BIG EAST opponents (6-0) as a national television audience watched on ESPNU. The loss was the second straight for Notre Dame, who had won its first four league matches heading into the weekend. The Irish now look ahead to a date with DePaul at Purcell Pavilion on Friday (Oct. 15) at 7:30 p.m. (ET). Cincinnati extended its home winning streak to 35 matches, the second-longest home streak in the nation behind three-time defending national champion Penn State. The Bearcats have now won a school-record 27 sets in a row since rallying from a 2-0 deficit for a win over No. 5 Illinois on Sept. 17. The Irish were led by freshman Andrea McHugh's 12 kills with senior Kellie Sciacca adding 11. Sciacca now needs three more for 1,000 career kills. The Irish hit .204 for the match, highlighted by a .375 clip in the second set. Junior Frenchy Silva had seven digs with freshman Sammie Brown pacing the Irish with nine. Junior Kristen Dealy had a match-high three solo blocks. Stephanie Niemer had a match-high 20 kills and Annie Fesl dished out 42 assists as the Bearcats hit .424. Entering the weekend, Niemer led the BIG EAST and ranked fourth in the nation averaging 5.29 kills/set, while Fesl was second in the conference and seventh in the country with 11.84 assists/set.

    4. The University of Notre Dame women's golf team finished fifth after carding an even-par 288 during the final round of the Mercedes-Benz Championship at the Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn. Freshman Nicole Zhang carded a 72 in the third round, totaling an 216 for even par on the weekend. Tennessee claimed the the Mercedes-Benz Championship crown for the second consecutive year. The Vols compiled a three-day total of 849 (-15), followed by Arkansas (869/+5). Kent State (874/+10) and Mississippi (875/+11) finished in third and fourth, respectively. Natalie Gleadall of Mississippi and Erica Popson of Tennessee tied for first place, totaling a 207 (-9) to capture the Mercedes-Benz tournament record for 54-hole score. Zhang tied for ninth place, trailed by So-Hyun Park who tied for 13th place. The senior carded a final round score of 73 (+1) to place her one-stroke over par in the tournament. Junior Becca Huffer tied for 30th place, posting a 70 (-2) on Sunday, besting her first and second round score of 76 by four-strokes. Kristina Nhim improved her score from the second round by two-strokes. The freshman carded a 73 in the final round of play, compiling a 226 (+10) total. Senior Katie Conway posted a 78, moving her three-day total to 232 (+16) and a 65th place finish. Individual Irish competitor Katie Allare concluded the weekend with a total score of 235 (+19) at the 2010 Mercedes-Benz Championship.

    5. The Notre Dame women's rowing team earned a third-place finish on Sunday amongst the women's collegiate division in the Head of the Rock Regatta at the YMCA of the Rock River Valley in Rockford, Ill. Notre Dame's novice eight "A" boat earned a race victory on the day. The Irish placed third in the women's collegiate division after seeing six boats earn points for the squad, helping to amass a 220-point total.

    6. The No. 22 Notre Dame men's soccer team dropped a 2-1 decision at West Virginia on Saturday night at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. The setback ended Notre Dame's four-game unbeaten streak. West Virginia (6-3-2, 2-1-0) grabbed the lead in the 12th minute as Abel Sebele converted a penalty kick after an inadvertent handball was called on the Irish. The Mountaineers made it 2-0 in the 21st minute when Franck Tayou headed in a cross from Raymon Gaddis. West Virginia led 2-0 at halftime. Notre Dame (5-3-3, 2-1-0) out shot West Virginia 8-3 in the second half. The Fighting Irish also had two more corner kicks (6-4) in the stanza. The Irish cracked the scoring column in the 83rd minute when senior forward Steven Perry deposited a cross from sophomore midfielder Dillon Powers. Perry leads the Fighting Irish with six goals this season, while Powers has a team-best four assists. Notre Dame held a 10-6 advantage in shots for the match. The Irish had eight corner kicks compared to six for the Mountaineers. Senior goalkeeper Philip Tuttle made one save for the Irish, while his counterpart Zach Johnson had four stops. Tuttle has a 2-1-1 record this season.

    7. The Notre Dame men's golf team enters its third tournament of the fall season on Monday and Tuesday at The Firestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club's North Course in Akron, Ohio. The 54-hole tournament will be broken up into two days with the first 36 holes to be played on Monday and the final 18 set for Tuesday. The world-renowned North Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, opened in 1969 and has been rated by Golf Digest as one of Ohio's top-10 courses. It plays as a par 72, spanning 7,060 yards. This marks the first time that the Irish are competing in the Firestone Invitational and the team will feature the same lineup that played at the Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic (FIGGC) two weeks ago, which includes senior Connor Alan-Lee (Solana Beach, Calif.), juniors Max Scodro (Chicago, Ill.), Tom Usher (Bradford, England) and Chris Walker (The Woodlands, Texas) as well as freshman Niall Platt (Santa Barbara, Calif.). Freshman Andrew Lane (Fairport, N.Y.) also will compete at the Firestone Invitational as an individual entrant.

    Saturday, October 9, 2010

    1. Notre Dame hockey freshman left wing Anders Lee sure knows how to make an entrance. In his first career game for the Fighting Irish, Lee scored three goals to help pace the Notre Dame attack in a 6-3 win over Holy Cross in the first round of the Warrior College Hockey Ice Breaker Tournament at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on Friday night. Lee made the most of playing with seniors Ben Ryan and Ryan Guentzel on his line as both players recorded three assists as that nine had a nine-point night. Joining Lee on the score sheet were senior Joe Lavin, sophomore Nick Larson and fellow freshman T.J. Tynan. Shayne Stockton, Adam Schmidt and Erik Vos scored for the Crusaders. Notre Dame will now play in the championship game at 3:00 p.m. (CT) Sunday versus Boston University, a 4-3 winner Friday over Wisconsin. Lee wasted little time getting Notre Dame's first goal of the season just 1:58 into the game. Ryan started the play moving the puck back to defenseman Kevin Lind at the left point. Lind's shot was stopped by Holy Cross goaltender Thomas Tysowsky but Lee was there for the rebound to give the Irish the 1-0 lead. The Crusaders answered at 8:41 when Shayne Stockton whipped a shot from the left circle past Mike Johnson in the Irish goal to make it 1-1. The Irish lead would go to 2-1 at 12:15 with Lee getting his second of the game off a great centering feed by Guentzel. The senior right wing weaved through a pair of Holy Cross players and found Lee camped on the right post where he one-timed it past Tysowsky. Lavin increased the lead to 3-1, notching a short-handed goal at 18:13. Again Guentzel led the rush, taking a shot off Johnson's pads before racing down the right side. He cut to the Crusader goal, firing a shot on Tysowsky that was stopped but Lavin crashed the crease to shovel the rebound home for his first of the year. The Irish out shot Holy Cross, 18-9, in the opening stanza. Notre Dame's lead would go to 4-1 as the Irish scored via the power play at 3:09 of the second. Center Riley Sheahan carried the puck out of the left wing corner along goal line and out waited the Crusader defense before centering a pass to Larson at the top of the crease. The sophomore left wing redirected the shot behind Tysowsky to give Notre Dame a three-goal cushion. Holy Cross would cut the lead in half at 6:28 when Adam Schmidt fired a shot from the right wing boards that got past Johnson to make it a 4-2 lead. Before the Crusaders could mount another charge, Lee stepped in to make it a three-goal game with his third of the night at 11:36. Ryan and Guentzel set up the goal as the Edina, Minn., native snapped a shot from in close past Tysowsky for the hat trick. Tynan closed out the scoring at 19:41 of the second period when he scored his first of the season. Billy Maday took a shot in close that Tysowsky kicked out towards the right circle. Tynan tracked the loose puck down and buried a wrist shot over the Crusader goaltender's glove to make it a 6-2 game. Holy Cross would close the scoring with the lone goal of the third period at 17:59 when Vos tucked the rebound of a Brendan Baker shot past Johnson for the final of 6-3. The two teams finished the night with 35 shots each. Johnson made 32 saves in the win while Tysowsky finished with 29 on the night. The Irish killed all six Holy Cross power-play chances while scoring once in four chances of their own. Ryan equaled a career high with three points in the game while Guentzel's three-point night was a career best.

    2. Notre Dame started the 2010-11 men's swimming and diving season in the same fashion it has done so for many others -- by winning the Dennis Stark Relays. After suffering a setback to Michigan in the 2009 edition of the event, the Irish bounced back Friday evening at Rolfs Aquatic Center to accumulate 256 points while defeating Oakland (190) and Valparaiso (120). Welsh and company won nine of 12 events, with Oakland taking first in three races. Notre Dame remains at home and battles BIG EAST Conference rival Pittsburgh Oct. 22 at noon. The Notre Dame women's swimming and diving team outlasted three visiting squads to win its version of the Stark Relays. Notre Dame earned 200 points while bettering Illinois State (196), Valparaiso (118) and St. Mary's (112) on the leaderboard. With Stark -- the former head coach of both the Notre Dame men's and women's program -- looking on from the pool deck, the Irish won 11 of 12 events and fell short of the sweep after a disqualification in the 400 medley relay. The Notre Dame women will now travel to Auburn for a double-dual meet along with LSU. The three teams begin action Oct. 22 at 6:00 p.m. (ET).

    3. The Irish women's tennis duo of Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) lost in round of 16 action at the 2010 Riviera/ITA All American Championships on Friday against California's tandem of Mari Andersson and Jana Juricova. Frilling also fell in singles draw action in the quarterfinal round. Frilling and Mathews battled Andersson and Juricova down to the wire, but were defeated by the Golden Bears duo, currently ranked as the top team in the nation according to ITA rankings, 8-6. In singles action, Frilling advanced through her round of 16 match, knocking off Stanford's Mallory Burdette in three sets, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3, 6-4. However, she ran into Juricova once again, falling to the nation's No. 1 ranked player in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. Next up for the Irish is national team indoor regional qualifying taking place on Thursday-Friday, Oct. 21-22 on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

    4. The Notre Dame women's golf team currently sits in sixth place after the first round of the three-day (Oct.8-10) Mercedes-Benz Championship Friday at the Holston Hills Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn. The Irish posted a 295 (+7) 18-hole total and are being led by freshman Nicole Zhang (Calgary, Alberta/ Bishop Carroll) and seniors So-Hyun Park (Seoul, South Korea/Bradenton (Fla.) Preparatory Academy) and Katie Conway (Wading River, N.Y/Shoreham-Wading River) who all carded a 73 (+1) at the conclusion of the first round. Leading the tournament is Tennessee at 280 (-8), followed by Arkansas and Mississippi tied for second (291/+3). Texas Christian University is in fourth (294/+5) and Kent State is leading the Irish by one stroke at 294 (+6) in fifth place. The Irish leaders played a consistent 18-holes on the day as Zhang, Park and Conway all shot one-over par on the day and are tied for 12th place. Junior Becca Huffer (Denver, Colo./Littleton) and freshman Kristina Nhim (Cypress, Calif./Cypress) rounded out the team scores, posting 76 a (+4) and a 78 (+6), respectively. Huffer is tied for 42nd, while Nhim is tied for 56th. Senior Katie Allare (Phoenix, Ariz./Xavier Prep.) competed individually for Notre Dame and shot a five-over par 77 that puts her in a tie for 48th.

    5. Junior forward Melissa Henderson (Garland, Texas/Berkner) and senior forward/midfielder Rose Augustin (Silver Lake, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) each registered a goal and an assist as No. 5/7 Notre Dame showered Seton Hall with a season-high 32 shots on the way to a 2-1 BIG EAST Conference women's soccer victory on Friday night before an enthusiastic crowd of 1,513 fans at Alumni Stadium. With the win, the Fighting Irish (12-1, 6-0 BIG EAST) extended their NCAA Division I-record unbeaten streak against BIG EAST opponents to 72 consecutive matches (69-0-3), tying Division III member Wisconsin-Stevens Point for the fourth-longest unbeaten run against conference foes in NCAA history (across all divisions) -- the Pointers compiled their 72-match streak from 1996-2000. Henderson had a career-high 11 shots, including seven on goal in Friday's win over Seton Hall, logging the most shots by one Notre Dame individual in a match since 2005, when Kerri Hanks took 12 shots in three different contests. (the last on Oct. 21, 2005 in a 4-0 win over Villanova at old Alumni Field). As a team, the Fighting Irish rang up their highest shot total since Nov. 14, 2008, when they squeezed off 34 shots in a 5-2 win over Toledo in the opening round of the NCAA Championship, also at old Alumni Field. Henderson's three-point night was her fourth in a row and included her team-leading 11th goal and seventh assist of the season. Augustin kept up the scoring pace behind her teammate, now standing alone in second on the squad with seven goals and four assists this year. Notre Dame not only outshot Seton Hall, 32-4, but also held a 15-2 edge in shots on goal, just one off their season high in that category (16 at Louisville on Sept. 26). The Fighting Irish added a season-high 14-0 margin in corner kicks, giving them a massive 36-1 spread from the corner flag during the past three matches.

    6. Notre Dame' s Casey Watt (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland) was unable to continue in the main draw singles event Thursday at the ITA All-American Championship in Tulsa, Okla. Watt, ranked 39th according to the ITA preseason rankings was eliminated Thursday morning by 14th ranked sophomore Marcel Thiemann. Thiemann bested Watt 6-3, 6-1, moving Watt to the consolation bracket. In the consolation bracket Watt battled Ashley Watling of Tulsa. The junior dropped the match in a 6-4, 6-2 decision. The Irish will continue their fall slate when they play host to the Midwest Regional Championships. The contest will welcome 120 student-athletes and over 20 teams to the Eck Tennis Pavilion.

    7. Junior midfielder Adam Mena (Holland, Mich./West Ottawa) scored the game winner in the 80th minute as the No. 22 Notre Dame men's soccer team defeated No. 20 Indiana 2-1 on Wednesday night at Bill Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. The win upped the Fighting Irish unbeaten streak to four games. Senior forward Jeb Brovsky (Lakewood, Colo./Green Mountain) put Notre Dame (5-2-3) on the board in the 14th minute when he deposited the rebound off a Steven Perry (Edmond, Okla./Bishop McGuinness) shot. It was Brovsky's second goal of the season. Indiana (5-4-1) answered back in the 24th minute as Will Bruin scored off a pass from Andy Adlard. The match was knotted 1-1 at halftime. The Hoosiers had seven shots in the first half compared to five for the Irish. Both teams had two corner kicks in the opening stanza. Senior goalkeeper Philip Tuttle (Hooksett, N.H./Brewster Academy) made two saves for the Irish to improve his record to 2-0-1 on the season. Notre Dame also had one team save. Indiana's Luis Soffner made one stop in the loss. The Hoosiers held an 11-8 edge in shots for the match. Indiana had eight corner kicks, while the Irish had five. Mena had the most important shot of the night for the Fighting Irish as he put home the game winner from 18 yards out on the right side. It was his first goal of the season. Perry also picked up the assist on Mena's goal.

    8. The national colors will be presented prior to the Notre Dame-Pittsburgh football game today by Richard C. Notebaert, chair of Notre Dame's Board of Trustees, and his wife, Peggy. Notebaert was elected chair in 2007 and re-elected to a second three-year term this year. A member of the Board since 1997, Notebaert is a Fellow of the University and previously served as chair of the Board's University Relations and Public Affairs and Communications Committee. He is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Qwest Communications International Inc. He previously served as chief executive officer of Tellabs Inc. and as chairman and chief executive officer of Ameritech Communications. The couple recently made a leadership gift to Notre Dame to establish the Richard and Peggy Notebaert Premier Fellowships in support of doctoral students in the University's Graduate School.

    9. Today's U.S. Air Force flyover, as the National Anthem concludes prior to the Notre Dame-Pittsburgh football game at Notre Dame Stadium, features four T-38s from the 394th Combat Training Squadron, with ground support from the 509th Bomb Wing, with both groups coming from Whiteman (Mo.) AFB. The flyover is coordinated by 2005 Notre Dame graduate Capt. John J. Harding. Lead pilots are Capt. Jason Boman (Boulder, Colo.), 1st Lt. Kevin Gadd (Orem, Utah), Capt. Brooks Walters (Park City, Utah) and Capt. Colter White (Louisville, Ky.).

    10. Other introductions/presentations today at the Notre Dame-Pittsburgh football game include:
    -- 1st timeout of 1st period: Introduction of Notre Dame's 1970 football team, which is holding its 40th reunion this weekend; the group includes approximately 65 players, six coaches, 17 student managers, one trainer and several administrators.
    -- 2nd timeout of 1st period: Haiti volunteer introduction -- On the field will be representatives of the Notre Dame contingent who assisted with recovery efforts in Haiti following the January earthquake. Léogâne, a city devastated by the quake, is home to the Notre Dame Haiti Program, which was founded by Biology Professor Father Tom Streit. Also volunteering in Léogâne is Emil's Army, a group of medical professionals and former chemistry students of Professor Emeritus Emil T. Hofman. Following the massive earthquake, Dr. Ralph Pennino, a 1975 graduate of Notre Dame, mobilized a network of alumni medical professionals that treated more than 25,000 people and delivered food and water to Haitian citizens.
    -- 3rd timeout of 1st period: Presidential Team Irish Award – Department of Transportation Services.
    -- 4th timeout of 1st period: Notre Dame women's soccer team introduction; the Irish advanced to the NCAA College Cup (equivalent of Final Four) in 2009 and the current Irish are 12-1 and ranked #5.
    -- 1st timeout of 3rd period: Notre Dame faculty recognition – Peter Easton, Notre Dame Alumni Professor of Accountancy and director of Center for Accounting Research and Education (CARE) Both the Pittsburgh (6:00 program) and Notre Dame (8:00) bands will perform at halftime. The band OK Go will perform with the Notre Dame band.

    11. The Notre Dame men's lacrosse team is holding a reunion this weekend. At 11:30 a.m. today is faceoff for the Steak and Hot Dog game that coincides with the alumni tailgate at the Arlotta Stadium patio. At 1:00 p.m. comes recognition of the Class of 2010 (senior members of the Irish squad that played in the NCAA championship game last May) who will be returning for alumni weekend. The annual Steak and Hot Dog game has become legendary tradition in the Notre Dame lacrosse program and is consistently the fiercest scrimmage of the year. The Sunday following the game the team will get together at coach Kevin Corrigan's home to watch NFL football and hang out. The winning team enjoys steaks, while the losing team has hot dogs.

    Wednesday, October 6, 2010

    1. The sons of a couple of former Irish star football linemen are now playing in the collegiate ranks:
    -- Mike Gann is a senior DT at Army and had started 15 times coming into the 2010 season. He has started every game so far in 2010 and has nine tackles, three tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks. He's the son of Mike Gann, who started at DT for the Irish from 1982-84 and then played nine years with NFL Atlanta Falcons.
    -- Sean Williams is a senior DE at Yale. He made 20 tackles and was honorable mention all-Ivy League in 2009. He has five tackles and two sacks so far in 2010 and is listed as the starter at defensive end. His younger brother Scott, a sophomore on the Yale squad, is listed as a defensive back. They are sons of Larry Williams, Irish starter at offensive tackle from 1982-84 and a captain in 1984. Larry's wife is the former Laura Lee, a tennis standout at Notre Dame in her college years. Larry Williams played seven seasons in the NFL with four different teams.

    2. Notre Dame women's golfer Nicole Zhang has been named the BIG EAST women's Golfer of the Month. The freshman earned the accolade following her nine-under par (207) collegiate debut on Sept. 25-26 at the Mary Fossum Invitational at the Forest Akers Golf Course in East Lansing, Mich. Zhang carded a 69 (-3), 67 (-5) and 71 (-1) over the two days, helping her team to a first-place finish while winning the individual crown. She also was the only golfer to finish under par at the tournament. Her 54-hole total is the lowest combined score in program history, besting the record of Lisa Maunu at the Cougar Class in 2007-08 when she carded a six-under par 210. Zhang's second round score of 67 (-5) also earned a spot in the record books, sitting as the second lowest single-round score in program history. Maunu and current Irish senior So-Hyun Park (Seoul, South Korea/ Bradenton (Fla.) Preparatory Academy) hold the top spot with a six-under par, 66 to their ledger. The nine-under par shot by Zhang also broke the Mary Fossum Invitational individual record, which previously stood at 214 (-2) posted in '07 and '09. Zhang and the Irish return to action Friday through Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship at the Fox Den Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn. Zhang also is featured in the latest Golf Digest, since her three sub-par rounds at the Michigan State tournament represented half the below-par rounds compiled in the entire three-day event.

    3. Notre Dame junior women's tennis player Shannon Mathews dropped her opening round match of qualifying to Florida's Joanna Mather, 6-0, 6-2, on Tuesday evening at the 2010 Riviera/ITA Women's All-American Championships. Mathews moves into the consolation bracket, taking to the court today against Valeria Pulido of USC, who was defeated by fifth-seeded Reka Zsilinska of Duke in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1. Notre Dame junior Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) will join Mathews at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships on Thursday, opening play in the main draw of singles. She also will team with Mathews to compete in the main doubles draw, which also gets underway on Thursday.

    4. The 2010 Warrior College Hockey Ice Breaker Tournament, to be held Friday and Sunday in St. Louis, Mo., will have live video streaming of all four games on line at the Hockey Primetime website. The cost to see all four games is $9.95. Hockey fans can subscribe to the pay-per-view broadcasts with access to all four games at HockeyPrimetime.com. Hockey Primetime's Justin Bourne and Blake Benzel also will be hosting a live blog for college hockey fans to follow during the tournament. The Warrior College Hockey Ice Breaker Tournament features four of college hockey's top teams - Notre Dame, Holy Cross, Wisconsin and Boston University - and will be played at St. Louis' Scottrade Center, home of the NHL's St. Louis Blues. Notre Dame will face off against Holy Cross at 5:30 p.m. (CT) in the opening game on Friday, with Boston University and Wisconsin tangling at 8:30 p.m. (CT). After an off day on Saturday, the third-place and championship games will be played at noon (CT) and 3:00 p.m. (CT) respectively on Sunday, Oct. 10.

    5. For the second time this preseason, Notre Dame women's basketball sophomore guard Skylar Diggins has received recognition on a national player of the year award watch list, earning a spot on the 2010-11 preseason John R. Wooden Women's Award candidate list, it was announced Tuesday by the award's sponsor, the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The award, named for the late legendary UCLA men's basketball coach, is presented annually to the nation's top collegiate women's basketball player who also best exemplifies the term "student-athlete." Diggins is one of 30 players who have been named preseason candidates to this year's Wooden Women's Award based upon their on-court performance last season as well as their team's success.

    6. Notre Dame women's soccer senior defender/co-captain Lauren Fowlkes has been chosen as one of the 10 finalists for the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, it was announced Wednesday. The Senior CLASS Award is presented annually to the nation's top senior player based on their dedication and achievement in four areas: Classroom, Character, Community and Competition. Those 10 finalists were selected from a list of 30 candidates in each division, based on personal qualities that define a complete student-athlete. They have been placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote which began Wednesday and continues through Nov. 14. Fans now can vote on-line daily through the Senior CLASS Award web site (www.seniorclassaward.com), while a special page highlighting Fowlkes' accomplishments and a link to the on-line voting ballot will go live on the official Notre Dame athletics web site (www.UND.com) in the coming days. Votes from coaches and media will be coupled with fan balloting to determine the recipient of the award, with this year's honoree to be announced Dec. 3-5 during the NCAA Women's College Cup in Cary, N.C. Fowlkes is aiming to follow in the footsteps of her former Fighting Irish teammate, high-scoring forward Kerri Hanks, who took home the 2008 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award on the way to earning her second Missouri Athletic Club Hermann Trophy.

    7. The Irish men's soccer team is in Bloomington, Ind., tonight to take on #25 Indiana in a 7:00 p.m. game.

    8. Notre Dame's men's basketball season opener against Georgia Southern Nov. 12, at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center has been moved to an 8:30 p.m. (ET) start. The tip was originally announced at 9:00 p.m. (ET) a month ago when the schedule was released.

    9. Notre Dame forward/midfielder Jeb Brovsky has been named one of 10 finalists for the 2010 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in the men's soccer division. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - classroom, character, community and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The finalists were chosen by a media committee from the list of 30 men's candidates and 30 women's candidates that were announced in August. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to determine the winner. Fans are encouraged to vote via the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award website through Nov. 14. Fan votes will be combined with media and coaches votes to determine the winner. Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award® winners during the 2010 NCAA Men's and Women's College Cup championships in early December. Notre Dame's Lauren Fowlkes, a defender, is one of 10 finalists in the women's soccer division. Notre Dame and Stanford are the only two schools with finalists in both the men's and women's soccer divisions. Brovsky has started all nine games this season and has tallied three points on one goal and one assist. He put the Irish on the board in the 12th minute in last Sunday's 2-1 win over Providence, which moved Notre Dame to 2-0 in BIG EAST play and atop the Blue Division standings. The Irish, who are ranked 22nd in the latest Soccer America poll, are 4-2-3 overall this season. Brovsky carries a 3.442 cumulative grade-point average as a management major in Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business, which is routinely ranked as one of the top business schools in the country. He also is a three-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star. Brovsky, along with the rest of the Notre Dame men's soccer team, is heavily involved in community activities. He has worked with the Salvation Army in South Bend in addition to volunteering at the South Bend soup kitchen and has collected donations for the South Bend Catholic Social Worker House. Brovsky also has volunteered for Notre Dame's Holy Half Marathon, which gives its proceeds to support victims of Hurricane Katrina and others in similar need.

    Monday, October 4, 2010

    1. Notre Dame currently sports the nation's sixth-best regular-season conference volleyball winning streak, which stands at 19 matches. The Irish won their last BIG EAST contest of the 2008 season, went 14-0 in 2009, and have swept each of their four matches in 2010. The program is accustomed to such winning streaks in BIG EAST action, having once won 45 (Oct. 1, 1999-Nov. 9, 2002) and 35 (Sept. 30, 1995-Oct. 4, 1995) straight league matches.

    NCAA Active Volleyball Regular-Season Conference Winning Streaks
    (through Oct. 3)

    1. Hawaii -- 29
    2 (tie). Central Arkansas and Lipscomb -- 27
    4. Northern Iowa -- 24
    5. Albany -- 23
    6. Notre Dame -- 19

    2. Four freshmen -- David Gerths, Mike Voran, Jeff Costello and Anders Lee -- joined senior Calle Ridderwall in finding the back of the net Sunday to lead Notre Dame to a 5-3 exhibition hockey win over the University of Guelph. A fifth freshman, center T.J. Tynan, set up three of the goals as the Irish opened their final season at the Joyce Center with a preseason victory. Jon-Thomas Macdonald, Kenneth Peroff and Thomas Kiriakou scored single goals for the Gryphons who are now 3-3-0 on the year. Guelph is located 62 miles west of Toronto, Ont., with the University of Guelph playing in the West Division of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA). The win gives Notre Dame a 1-0-0 record in the preseason as the Irish now prepare to open the regular season at the Warrior College Hockey Icebreaker Tournament in St. Louis, Mo., Friday. Notre Dame will square off at 5:30 p.m. (CDT) versus Holy Cross at the Scottrade Center, home of the NHL's St. Louis Blues. The second game of the tournament is at 8:30 p.m. (CDT) between Boston University and Wisconsin. The third-place and championship games will be played at noon and 3:00 p.m. (CDT), respectively, Sunday.

    3. While rookie NFL and former Notre Dame standout quarterback Jimmy Clausen was throwing his first NFL touchdown pass Sunday, another former Irish standout, 46-year-old kicker John Carney, was winning the game for his New Orleans Saints. Clausen's 55-yard TD throw to Jonathan Stewart tied the game at seven for the Carolina Panthers. But Carney, who was retired in San Diego just a week ago, came on to kick field goals of 32, 32 and 25 yards in the 16-14 New Orleans victory. Carney's game-winner from 25 yards came with 3:55 left in the game in New Orleans.

    4. Six different Notre Dame pitchers, including four freshmen, tossed 2.0 scoreless innings and combined for 18 strikeouts in a 6-0 shutout of the Ontario Blue Jays in exhibition fall baseball action from Frank Eck Stadium Sunday evening. Irish rookies Anthony McIver, Sean Fitzgerald, Donnie Hissa and Dan Slania surrendered seven hits in their 8.0 innings of work. The quartet punched out 11 and walked four. McIver allowed one hit and issued one walk, but struck out two. Fitzgerald yielded three hits, one walk and registered three strikeouts. Hissa, who was credited with the victory, allowed a pair of hits. He also walked one and struck out one. Slania fanned five and walked one in his outing. He surrendered one hit. Sophomores Patrick Veerkamp and Adam Norton also pitched well. Veerkamp recorded two strikeouts without a walk and allowed one hit. He was the only pitcher to not issue a free pass. Norton struck out five and walked one. Notre Dame, which continued its use of wood bats this fall, collected 13 hits by 10 different players. Senior OF Matt Grosso went 3-for-3 with two singles and a solo home run. Norton went 2-for-3 with a run scored in addition to his pitching effort. Sophomore C Joe Hudson went 1-for-2 with a pair of RBI. Freshman John Rodgers added an RBI single. The Blue Jays are based in Ontario, Canada, and are a high-level summer baseball program that competes in the Premier Baseball League of Ontario (PBLO). The Blue Jays will play 29 games against collegiate teams this fall, including contests against the likes of Arkansas, Michigan, Virginia, East Carolina, Evansville, Southern Illinois, Kent State, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Oakland. Notre Dame returns to action at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 15, with game one of the 2010 Blue-Gold Fall World Series. The series will continue at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16, before concluding at 10:00 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 17.

    5. The Friday night pep rally for the Notre Dame-Pittsburgh football game will be held at Irish Green.

    6. The latest evaluation of non-senior potential NFL draftees by ESPN Insider Mel Kiper Jr. lists Notre Dame's Kyle Rudolph number one among tight ends and Irish junior Michael Floyd fifth among receivers.

    7. The Notre Dame men's lacrosse team will face Johns Hopkins Oct. 16 in the second annual San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic. The exhibition contest is slated to begin at 3:00 p.m. (PT) at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. All proceeds from the game will benefit the BAYS Foundation. Prior to the game, free youth clinics will be held for boys first through eighth grades, featuring coaches and student-athletes from the participating teams. A free coaches' clinic will be held for local youth and high school coaches with the coaching staffs from Johns Hopkins and Notre Dame. Both clinics are being presented by Easton Lacrosse. Lacrosse has been one of the nation's fastest growing high school and college sports over the past 10 years. There are more than 10,000 youth lacrosse players in California, an increase of more than 200% since 2001. Home to over 300 boys and girls high school teams, in addition to hundreds of youth teams, the Bay Area and California are ready to welcome back a great world-class lacrosse event that will help showcase the excitement of the game to both seasoned fans, as well as those experiencing lacrosse for the first time. North Carolina faced Brown last year in the inaugural San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic. All of the proceeds from the San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic will go directly to the BAYS Foundation to support programs and organizations that provide opportunities and increase access for low-income youth in the Bay Area to participate in organized sports programs. Last year, BAYS made $50,000 in grants to five outstanding organizations as a direct result of the success of the 2009 San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic. Additional information about the BAYS Foundation and the programs they support may be found at www.sfbays.org. Go to www.sflacrosse.com. for more information on the San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic. The Fighting Irish posted a 10-7 record last season, which was their first in the BIG EAST Conference, and fell in overtime to Duke, 6-5, in the NCAA title game. That was the first NCAA championship game appearance in program history. Johns Hopkins went 7-8 in 2010 and fell to Duke, 18-5, in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

    8. Notre Dame women's soccer junior forward Melissa Henderson and freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker both added more honors to their ever-growing trophy cases today, earning accolades on the BIG EAST Conference and national level for their play last week. Henderson was a double award recipient, coupling her selection as the Top Drawer Soccer National Player of the Week with her second consecutive citation as the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week. Meanwhile, Tucker joined Henderson in garnering recognition from the conference office, as she was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Week for the second time this season (with both citations coming in the past three weeks). This past weekend, Henderson turned in a strong offensive performance by scoring four goals and adding an assist in Notre Dame's BIG EAST wins over Syracuse (3-0) and St. John's (4-1) at Alumni Stadium. Henderson netted two goals in each match, and set up Tucker's game-winning score in the first half against St. John's while becoming the first Fighting Irish player with three consecutive multi-goal matches (she previously had two goals on Sept. 26 at No. 24/18 Louisville) since Monica Gerardo pulled off that feat from Oct. 4-11, 1998, in wins over Georgetown, Boston College and Providence. Tucker tallied five points last weekend, scoring both game-winning goals in the victories over Syracuse and St. John's, while assisting on Henderson's second goal in the latter match. For the season, Tucker now has four game-winning goals, tying Henderson for the team lead and putting her just three away from the Notre Dame freshman record set by Jenny Streiffer in 1996.

    9. For the third time this season, Notre Dame volleyball outside hitter Andrea McHugh was named the BIG EAST Conference Freshman of the Week, as announced by the league this afternoon. McHugh is now tied with senior Kellie Sciacca for the most Freshman of the Week honors earned by an Irish player, as Sciacca also notched three during her 2007 rookie campaign. Sciacca was named to the league's latest Honor Roll. McHugh set a career high with 19 kills -- the most by an Irish player in a three-set match since 2006 -- at Georgetown (Oct. 3) on a .562 clip, which was her best hitting pct. on the season. The effort came on the heels of posting 13 kills and five aces at USF (Oct. 1), making her the first Irish player with five aces in a contest since 2007. On the weekend, she hit .475 with 5.33 kills/set and 0.83 aces/set while leading the Irish to a pair of wins.

    10. The Notre Dame men's tennis team has three student-athletes competing this week in the 2010 ITA All-American Championships at the Case Tennis Center in Tulsa, Okla. Senior Daniel Stahl and sophomore Blas Moros will compete in the qualifying round, while junior Casey Watt begins main draw competition on Thursday. All three will play in the singles draw. Advancement into the ITA All-American Championships, one of only three grand slam events in collegiate tennis, was determined by the ITA preseason rankings. The preseason rankings, which consist of 125 players, are based upon the 2009-10 season results. The top 54 players compete in the main draw, while the remaining ranked athletes begin in the qualifying round. Watt is ranked 39th, Stahl sits at No. 69 and Blas is at No. 112. The qualifying round begins today and runs through Wednesday. Stahl and Moros will each have the opportunity to compete in one match a day to advance to the main draw that begins on Thursday and continues through Sunday.

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    1. The Notre Dame men's tennis team concluded its final day at the Beren Tennis Center in Cambridge, Mass., compiling an impressive 32-7 record on the weekend and earning all three-tournament awards at the Chowder Fest hosted on the Harvard campus. Senior Stephen Havens was named the Dale Junta '58 Player of the Tournament and the doubles champion along with teammate Tyler Davis . The duo was 3-0, while Havens had a perfect weekend combining a 3-0 record in singles play. Freshman Greg Andrews won the Corey Winn Freshman Player to Watch award after finishing 2-1 in singles and doubles action. The Irish totaled a 23-4 record in singles wins over the weekend, battling Harvard, South Carolina and Minnesota. Five members concluded the tournament with an intact singles record. Billy Pecor, David Anderson, Tyler Davis, Niall Fitzgerald, Michael Moore and Havens concluded the three-day tournament 3-0. The Irish totaled six of nine doubles victories. In addition to Havens and Davis, Sam Keeton and Moore remained unbeaten in doubles play.

    2. Notre Dame picked up a 3-0 (25-13, 25-22, 25-19) BIG EAST Conference road volleyball win Sunday at Georgetown to improve to 11-5 overall and 4-0 in league play. The Irish were paced by freshman Andrea McHugh's 19 kills while senior Kellie Sciacca added 11. The win at McDonough Gym was the fourth straight for Notre Dame, as each came in the form of 3-0 league sweeps. Notre Dame's regular-season conference winning streak also bumped ahead to 19, the eighth-best in the nation. Notre Dame stays on the road for two more conference matches this week Saturday at Louisville and Sunday at Cincinnati. The start time for the Louisville match has been moved to 10:00 a.m. (ET) while the bout with the Bearcats will be televised live on ESPNU at 5:00 p.m. Freshman Sammie Brown dished out 36 of Notre Dame's 40 assists as the team hit .383, including a .565 mark in the first set. McHugh hit .562 and Sciacca recorded a .450 average. Freshman Sam Brown had four kills on seven swings (.429) and Hillary Eppink had five kills on a .300 clip. Juniors Frenchy Silva (13) and Kristen Dealy (12) led Notre Dame in digs, while Sam Brown and Eppink each had three blocks.

    3. The Notre Dame women's tennis team secured two singles flight titles on the third and final day of the Eck Tennis Classic Sunday at the Courtney Tennis Center. Senior Kristen Rafael defeated teammate Britney Sanders in the blue division title match, 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 to claim first place. Sanders got off to a quick start, jumping ahead 5-0 in the first before closing the set out at 6-3. She was unable to stick with Rafael in the final two sets however, as the senior jumped ahead 4-0 in each set before closing both out at 6-1. For Sanders, it marked her first defeat on the weekend, as she won the blue doubles draw with Jennifer Kellner on Saturday. Sophomore Chrissie McGaffigan claimed third in the blue draw, knocking off Ohio State's Gabby Steele in three sets, 2-6, 7-6, 6-0. In the gold flight, Kellner earned the top spot after defeating Anastasia Erofeeva of Tulsa, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (9-7). Julie Sabacinski finished fourth in the gold flight after falling to Tulsa's Ewa Szatkowska in the third-place match, 1-6, 6-2, 6-1. Freshman JoHanna Manningham wrapped up the day's action for the Irish in the green singles consolation bracket, defeating Ohio State's Kelsey Becker in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1.

    4. The Notre Dame women's golf team shot a final round 302 (+16) Sunday to win the William K. Warren Irish Invitational at the Warren Golf Course, as the Irish finished with a 54-hole total of 905 (+41). Freshman Nicole Zhang tied for second with a 218 (+2) 54-hole total. The Irish finished five strokes ahead of Kent State (910/+46) and also outlasted Ohio State who finished third at 921 (+57). Sunday's victory marked the second straight tournament win for the Irish. Last weekend Notre Dame captured the Mary Fossum Invitational in East Lansing, Mich., by holding off the same Kent State squad. The last time the Irish won back-to-back tournaments was during the 2007-08 season when the team opened the season winning the Cougar Classic, Cardinal Cup and Wolverine Invite. That same year, the team went on to win a program-best five tournaments. Zhang compiled seven birdies in the final round to post a 70 (-2). Senior So-Hyun Park concluded the tournament posting a 77 (+5) to finish 12th overall, totaling 229 (+13). Junior Becca Huffer was the next Irish finisher posting a 79 (+7) in the final round for a 231 (+14) at the tournament. Katie Allare improved her final round by five strokes, shooting a 76 (+4) for a combined score of (+20) Freshman Kristina Nhim rounded out the team score with three birdies for a 79 (+7). Katie Conway competed individually for the Irish. The senior ended the tournament 21st overall, compiling a 79 (+7), 75 (+3) and 79 (+7) in the three rounds. Notre Dame continues competition Friday and Saturday at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship at the Fox Den Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn. The tournament is hosted by Tennessee.

    5. A goal from senior forward Steven Perry in the 84th minute proved to be the game winner as the Notre Dame men's soccer team topped Providence 2-1 in BIG EAST play on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Stadium. The goal was Perry's team-best fifth of the season. Notre Dame (4-2-3, 2-0-0) struck first in the 12th minute as senior forward Jeb Brovsky deposited his first goal of the season with the assist going to sophomore midfielder Dillon Powers. Powers headed the ball to Brovsky, who headed it into the left side of the netting. Powers has a team-high three assists this season. Providence (5-3-1, 0-2-0) evened the contest on an own goal in the 16th minute. The sequence began with a Friar free kick just outside the left side of the18-yard box. After the initial kick was blocked, the Irish could not clear the ball and it was knocked into the goal.

    6. Junior forward Melissa Henderson continued her recent offensive explosion with two goals and an assist, while freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker chalked up her second game-winning goal of the weekend and added an assist as No. 5/7 Notre Dame charged past St. John's, 4-1 in a nationally-televised BIG EAST Conference match on Sunday afternoon before a crowd of 1,331 fans at Alumni Stadium. Senior forward/midfielder Rose Augustin chipped in with her sixth goal of the season for the Fighting Irish midway through the second half before the Red Storm averted the shutout on a late own-goal, the first allowed by Notre Dame in nearly six years. The win extended the Fighting Irish NCAA Division I-record unbeaten streak against conference opponents to 71 consecutive matches (68-0-3), tying Division II record holder Metro State (Colo.) for fifth place on the NCAA all-division conference unbeaten streak chart (MSC had a 71-match run from 1994-2000). Division III member Hardin-Simmons (Texas) has an active 105-match unbeaten streak against American Southwest Conference opponents since Sept. 20, 2003, maintaining the longest run in NCAA history. Sunday's victory also stretched Notre Dame's winning streak at Alumni Stadium to 21 consecutive matches following a loss to North Carolina on the facility's opening night (Sept. 4, 2009). Henderson, who also became the 18th player in school history with at least 100 career points, posted her third consecutive two-goal outing in the win over St. John's, while tallying her second consecutive five-point Sunday (she had a similar two-goal, one-assist afternoon at No. 24/18 Louisville last weekend). In her last three matches, Henderson has registered 14 points (6G-2A), and she is the first Notre Dame player with three consecutive multi-goal matches since Monica Gerardo pulled off a similar feat from Oct. 4-11, 1998. The Fighting Irish (11-1, 5-0 BIG EAST) dominated the statistical totals once again, outshooting St. John's by a 20-5 margin, including a 10-3 edge in shots on goal. Notre Dame also had a wide 12-1 spread in corner kicks, as well as a 6-4 difference in fouls. Senior goalkeeper Nikki Weiss worked the first 62:27 in the Fighting Irish net, making two saves. Sophomore Maddie Fox came on in relief for the final 27-plus minutes to complete the Notre Dame victory. St. John's netminder Kristin Russell turned aside five shots in more than 79 minutes of action before giving way to her understudy, Lauren Ferris, who made one save in a little more than 10 minutes of mop-up duty.

    7. Brian Kelly hopes his Notre Dame defense will regularly be as stingy against opposing running games as it was in limiting Boston College to five net rushing yards (and one total yard in the third period) -- and holding leading Eagle rusher Montel Harris (he had been averaging 102 yards per game in 2010, ranked as the leading career rusher in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and had run for 120 yards against the Irish in their most recent previous visit to Chestnut Hill in 2008) to 28 yards on 15 carries.

    8. Irish linebacker Manti Te'o a week ago ranked number one in the nation (at 13.5 tackles per game) in tackles after making 21 stops against Stanford and comes in this week tied for second nationally at 12.8 per contest.

    9. Irish football coach Brian Kelly and the assistant coaches who came with him from Cincinnati hope this week to bring a little bit of the karma from their last meeting with Pittsburgh – a come-from-21-points-behind 45-44 win last December in Pittsburgh that cemented the Bearcats' second straight BIG EAST title and jettisoned them into a Bowl Championship Series game for the second season in a row.

    10. The Irish punt return crew will be facing a Pittsburgh team that ranks number one in the nation in net punting at 44.75 each. Meanwhile, the Notre Dame defense will go up against a budding star in Panther sophomore Ray Graham, who ranks number one in the nation in all-purpose running (236.33 yards per game) and third in the country in individual rushing (164.0 per game).

    11. The Irish hope to see continued dividends from playing one of the more difficult football schedules in the country to date (Notre Dame's past opposition is rated ninth nationally in NCAA statistics in degree of difficulty with a combined 10-3 record for a .769 percentage). The three teams that have beaten Notre Dame to date are a combined 14-1 – with #18 Michigan and #17 Michigan State both 5-0 heading to their showdown this week, and #16 Stanford's only loss coming on the road against an unbeaten and third-ranked Oregon team.

    12. Veteran Irish football players with long enough memories should recall that Pittsburgh has won in each of its last two trips to Notre Dame Stadium (41-38 in 2004 and 36-33 in four overtimes in 2008).

    Saturday, October 2, 2010

    1. The Notre Dame men's cross country team claimed seventh place among the competitive 21-team field, scoring 208 points Friday in the Notre Dame Invitational at the Notre Dame Golf Course. The top Irish finisher was senior Dan Jackson who crossed the line in 24:13. The women's team finished 18th and was led by Meg Ryan. The freshman stopped the clocks in 17:37. Oregon (#3 ranked according to USTFCCA 9.28 rankings) claimed the crown in the men's race with a score of 69, followed by #16 New Mexico (78 points) and Florida State (#21) in third tallying a score of 99 points. The Irish completed the race in seventh place, scoring 208 points. Sophomore Jeremy Rae finished the five-mile race for the Irish in 24:30, followed by junior Jordan Carlson in 24:41. Freshman Martin Grady and Mat Abernethy rounded out the Irish line-up in 24:44 and 25:19, in that order. On the women's side, Villanova (#1) won the meet scoring a total of 64 points. Oregon claimed second (#5) with 118 points and Florida State took third (#2) with 129 points. Notre Dame finished 18th with 402 points. Senior Erica Watson trailed Ryan, finishing the five-kilometer race in 17:41. Sophomore Rebecca Tracy and juniors Rachel Velarde and Susanna Sullivan rounded out the team in 17:57, 18:02 and 18:03, respectively. The Irish will travel to Terre Haute, Ind., for the Pre-National NCAA meet on Oct. 16.

    2. Junior forward Melissa Henderson scored two goals for the second consecutive match, and freshman midfielder Elizabeth Tucker netted the third game-winning goal of her rookie season as #5/7 Notre Dame rolled to a 3-0 BIG EAST Conference victory over Syracuse Friday night at Alumni Stadium. The win extends Notre Dame's NCAA Division I-record unbeaten streak against conference opponents to 70 consecutive matches (67-0-3), with the Fighting Irish also stretching their home winning streak to 20 in a row. Notre Dame (10-1, 4-0 BIG EAST) rang up a season-high 27-1 shot advantage over Syracuse, including a 13-1 edge in shots on goal. The Fighting Irish also took all 10 corner kicks in the match (also a season best), while the Orange were whistled for 14 of the 22 combined fouls and added to their conference-leading yellow card total with three more bookings on Friday. In addition to the massive shot discrepancy, Notre Dame spread around the offensive wealth, with a season-high four players recorded assists in the match. Junior defender/co-captain Jessica Schuveiller set up Tucker's decisive score, with a trio of seniors -- forward Rose Augustin, defender Julie Scheidler and forward Erica Iantorno -- combining to create Henderson's two goals.

    3. Freshman Andrea McHugh had 13 kills and a career-high five aces as Notre Dame picked up a 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-20) BIG EAST Conference volleyball win over USF at The Corral Friday evening in Tampa, Fla. The Irish were playing in the program's 1,000th match and improved to 10-5 overall and 3-0 against league opponents, running their streak of regular-season conference victories to 18 (dating back to the 2008 season). McHugh hit .379 and was flanked by senior Kellie Sciacca's nine kills on a .412 clip. Junior Kristen Dealy had six kills, two aces and nine digs. Junior Frenchy Silva led the Irish with 11 digs.

    4. The Notre Dame men's tennis team concluded the first day of the Chowder Fest Tournament at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. by claiming six of nine victories against Minnesota. Seniors Stephen Havens and Tyler Davis each earned a win, defeating Sebastian Gallego, 6-4, 6-2 and Julian Dehn, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, respectively. Sophomore Spencer Talmadge defeated John Thornton, 6-1, 6-2 and Michael Moore defeated Eddie Svenda, 6-4, 6-2. Rounding out the wins for Notre Dame was junior Niall Fitzgerald and freshman Billy Pecor. Fitzgerald earned a win against Derek Peterson, 6-4, 6-2, and Pecor defeated Michael Sicora, 7-6, 7-5. The three-day tournament continues Sunday at the Beren Tennis Center in Cambridge, Mass.

    5. The Notre Dame women's tennis team posted an 11-1 record in singles and 3-0 mark in doubles during opening-day action in the Eck Tennis Classic at the Courtney Tennis Center on Friday. Eight of the team's singles victories came in straight sets. Three Irish players advanced into the semifinals of the blue singles draw after day one. Freshman Britney Sanders advanced with a pair of straight-sets victories, knocking off Paulina Los of Kansas in the opening round, 6-0, 6-0, before eliminating Zara Harutyunan of Akron in the quarterfinals, 6-1, 6-2. She will square off against teammate Chrissie McGaffigan, who advanced with wins over Stephanie Danesis of Miami (6-1, 6-2) and Jo-Anne Karaitiana of Tulsa (6-7, 6-3, 1-0). Senior Kristen Rafael sits in the bottom half of the semifinal draw after two convincing victories over Kara Cecil of Ohio State (6-0, 6-0) and Angelika Jogasuria of Akron (6-1, 6-2). A pair of freshmen advanced into the semifinals of the gold singles draw, with Julie Sabacinski notching wins over Claire McNulty of Dayton (6-0, 6-2) and Noelle Malley of Ohio State (6-4, 6-7, 1-0) while Jennifer Kellner advanced with victories over Tiffany Dittmer of Ohio State (6-0, 6-0) and Riekie Honiball of Miami (6-0, 6-1). Freshman JoHanna Manningham advanced to the quarterfinals of the green singles draw with a win over Jessica Parr of Miami (6-7, 6-4, 1-0) before being knocked off by Natasha Kuvakina of Akron (6-3, 6-3). In doubles action, Kellner and Sanders advanced in the blue draw with an 8-5 win over Danesis and Honiball of Miami. McGaffigan and Sabacinski also advanced in the blue draw, notching a win over Julie Kirkland and Maureen Stevens of Dayton, 8-5. The team of Manningham and Rafael moved on in the gold doubles draw with a victory over Sydnee Bridger and Cara Wild of Miami.

    6. The Notre Dame hockey team will appear on television four times during the 2010-11 season with two telecasts scheduled for Comcast, one national appearances on CBS College Sports and one appearance on Fox Sports Detroit. Notre Dame will appear on television twice before the Christmas break and twice in the second half of the season. The schedule opens on Sat., Nov. 13 when the Irish travel to Yost Arena to face the Michigan Wolverines in a 7:35 p.m. game that will be televised by Comcast. The second time the Irish will appear on Comcast comes on Sunday, Dec. 12 when Notre Dame plays host to Northern Michigan at the Joyce Center in a 4:05 p.m. game. Comcast is offered on Comcast's digital tier 900 to 800,00 homes in Michigan. In the past, the local Comcast outlet in South Bend has provided the games on a local access station. Notre Dame's final two televised games will come during the same weekend - Jan. 28-29, 2011 - when the Irish play host to the Miami RedHawks at the Joyce Center. The Friday night game (Jan. 28) will appear nationally on CBS College Sports at 7:35 p.m. Matt Shepard and Dave Starman will handle the play-by-play and color duties and the game can be seen on Dish Network (Channel 152) or DirecTv (Channel 613). The following night - Jan. 29, at 5:05 p.m. - the Irish and Miami will face off on Fox Sports Detroit. This game is part of a doubleheader as FSD celebrates "Hockey Day in Michigan," with Michigan State playing Michigan at Joe Louis Arena at 7:35 p.m. Fox Sports Detroit's coverage of the CCHA goes to over 3.2 million cable and satellite households throughout Michigan, Northwest Ohio and Northern Indiana.

    7. The Notre Dame women's basketball team will have a minimum of 20 games on television during the 2010-11 regular season, according to the full BIG EAST Conference television package and other arrangements announced Thursday. This year's Fighting Irish TV slate, which includes seven national or regionally-televised contests and all 17 home games, is one of the most extensive in the program's 34-year history and continues to put Notre Dame among the nation's elite in terms of television coverage. It also will mark the 10th consecutive season that the Fighting Irish will have at least seven games on broadcast television. Notre Dame has made a total of 167 televised appearances in the past 10 seasons (2000-01 through 2009-10), and additional games this season could be selected to air on either a regional or local basis, with further announcements pending. The premier game on this year's Fighting Irish television docket is the Jan. 8 matchup with defending national champion (and BIG EAST rival) Connecticut inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center, a game that will air live nationally on CBS at 2 p.m. (ET). Notre Dame will be seen on the Tiffany Network for the fourth time in program history, following a 1997 road game at Ohio State and two other home contests (2003 vs. Purdue, 2008 vs. Tennessee), with all three also coming in the month of January. What's more, this year's game with Connecticut is likely to be a sellout, which would mark the fourth time overall, and the third in four years that the Fighting Irish and Huskies would play inside a packed Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame also has a pair of regular-season home games scheduled for the ESPN family of networks. The Fighting Irish will play host to in-state rival Purdue on Dec. 5, with the 2 p.m. (ET) contest to air live on ESPN2. Then, on Jan. 23, Notre Dame welcomes St. John's to Purcell Pavilion for a 2 p.m. (ET) Sunday matinee that will be broadcast live on ESPNU. In addition, the Fighting Irish are in line to make three national appearances on the BIG EAST-CBS College Sports Game of the Week package -- Jan. 18 at home against Georgetown, Feb. 22 at West Virginia and Feb. 28 at DePaul. The Georgetown and West Virginia games will tip off at 7 p.m. (ET), while the DePaul contest will start at 9 p.m. ET (8 p.m. CT). CBS College Sports is available on most cable systems around the country, including Comcast Cable in South Bend and on the Notre Dame campus (CableCard and digital tiers Channel 418), and also can be seen on satellite via DirecTV (Channel 610) or Dish Network (Channel 152). The Fighting Irish also will play at least one regionally-televised game during the upcoming season, as Notre Dame's Feb. 19 visit to Connecticut (2 p.m. ET) has been selected for the BIG EAST Network Syndicated Game of the Week broadcast. It will air on various regional sports networks around the country (check local listings; also attainable through DirecTV or Dish Network), including live coverage on the network's flagship carrier, SportsNet New York (SNY), which reaches nearly 12 million homes in the nation's No. 1 media market. For the past several years, the BIG EAST Network Game of the Week has been carried in the South Bend market on WHME-TV (Channel 46), with clearances for this season still pending. Outside of commercial television agreements, Notre Dame tentatively is slated to show its remaining 13 home games (as well as its Nov. 3 exhibition against Michigan Tech) live free of charge on its official athletics web site, www.UND.com. This will mark the fifth consecutive season that selected Fighting Irish women's basketball games have been webcast live on the Internet through the free All-Access package on UND.com, which consistently has been ranked as one of the top CBSSports.com College Network web sites in the country throughout the past decade.

    8. The Irish football squad and traveling party came directly to Alumni Stadium Friday after arriving in Boston, but wind and rain prompted Brian Kelly to scratch plans for a late afternoon walk-thru. Kelly brought his team back to the Boston College stadium this morning for a brief workout, leaving the team hotel about 10 a.m.

    9. Irish head football coach Brian Kelly, a Boston area product, was the subject of major feature stories in both the Boston Herald and Boston Globe Friday based on the return to his hometown.

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    1. Notre Dame and Northwestern played to a 1-1 draw in men's soccer action Wednesday night at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. Senior forward Steven Perry netted the equalizer for the Irish in the 79th minute. Notre Dame (3-2-3) produced several good looks on frame throughout the match. The Fighting Irish outshot the Wildcats 30-16, which included a 12-5 edge in shots on goal. Northwestern (3-4-1) had six corner kicks, compared to five for the Irish. The Irish opened the match with pressure as senior forward Jeb Brovsky placed a shot just wide of the post 44 seconds into the contest. Brovsky had a game-high three shots on goal. Brovsky threatened again in the seventh minute as his 30-yard shot was saved by Wildcat goalkeeper Drew Kotler, who made 11 saves on the night. Notre Dame senior goalkeeper Philip Tuttle saw his first action of the season after suffering a knee injury over the summer. Tuttle played all 110 minutes and made four saves. The best look for Northwestern in the first half came in the 29th minute as an Oliver Kupe shot was blocked and the follow-up by Lepe Seetane was sent wide right from 15 yards out. Following a scoreless first half, the action picked up in the second stanza. Notre Dame outshot Northwestern 15-7 in the second half. The Wildcats got on the board in the 48th minute as Matt Eliason followed up his own blocked shot and scored from seven yards out.

    2. The coaches and media in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) couldn't agree on who they thought would be the top team in the conference this season, but both groups did agree to rank Notre Dame fifth in their preseason polls announced Wednesday. For the third time in the last four years, the two groups disagreed on the top spot with the 11 coaches selecting Michigan as their top team while the media covering the CCHA selected Miami. The coaches gave Michigan eight first-place votes on the way to 108 points. Miami was second in their poll, getting the remaining three first-place votes and 103 points overall. Third place in the coaches' poll went to Alaska (81 points) with Michigan State taking fourth with 75 points. The Irish were one point behind the Spartans in fifth place with 75 points in the coaches voting. Northern Michigan, Ferris State, Ohio State, Lake Superior State, Western Michigan and Bowling Green rounded out the voting done by the league's coaches. The media saw things a bit differently as 75 members from around the league were involved in the voting. The writers, radio and TV announcers and electronic media gave Miami 57 of the 75 votes for a total of 877 points. Michigan was second in their poll with 17 first-place votes and 825 points. Michigan State got the final first-place vote and had 651 points. Alaska was fourth with 618 and Notre Dame rounded out the top five with 567 points. After that, Ferris State was sixth, just 21 points behind the Irish and the Bulldogs were followed by Northern Michigan, Ohio State, Lake Superior State, Western Michigan and Bowling Green to round out the media voting.

    3. Alan Turner, an assistant track and field coach the last five years at Southern Illinois and regarded as one of the top sprint coaches in the Missouri Valley Conference, has been named assistant track and field coach at the University of Notre Dame. Turner replaces John Millar on Irish head coach Joe Piane's staff after Millar in August was named director of track and field and cross country at Wake Forest University. Turner's recent coaching accomplishments at Southern Illinois are quite evident through the achievements of student-athletes which he has mentored: 17 Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Champions, 25 MVC runner-ups, 65 all-MVC performances, 25 NCAA Regional qualifiers, one USATF Junior National Champion and 11 USATF Junior National qualifiers. Turner, regarded by many as the top sprint coach in the Missouri Valley Conference throughout his last five seasons at Southern Illinois, steered the sprint and hurdle corps to three school records and five Missouri Valley individual titles in 2009-10. In 2009, Turner mentored sprinter Meredith Hayes who captured both the 60-meter hurdles (indoor) and 100-meter hurdles (outdoor) titles at the respective MVC league meets. His athletes yielded 19 all-MVC accolades in 2008 along with six MVC titles and eight NCAA Mid-East Regional invitations. Before arriving at Southern Illinois, Turner spent two years at Proviso East High School (Maywood, Ill.) as an assistant coach in the sprints and horizontal jumps. While at Proviso East he coached one Junior National Champion, three Junior National qualifiers, two Illinois High School Association (IHSA) state champions, three all-state honorees and six sectional champions. A 1992 graduate of Indiana, Turner was a three-time All-American for the Hoosiers. He won five Big Ten titles (two long jump, two 400-meters and one 4x400-meter relay) and was a three-time team captain while leading Indiana to five straight Big Ten Conference team titles. In 1991, he won the NCAA indoor long jump title and was runner-up at the NCAA outdoor championships. He also qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 400-meters and 4x100-meter relay. Turner is a native of North Chicago, Ill.

    4. The latest Sporting News mock NFL draft issued this week lists Notre Dame junior wide receiver Michael Floyd 22nd and Irish junior tight end Kyle Rudolph 29th. Those two are the eighth and 11th-highest-rated underclassmen on the list.

    5. The Notre Dame volleyball team will play the 1,000th match in program history when it takes the court tonight against USF -- now in their 31st season of varsity competition, the Irish have an all-time record of 638-361 (.639).

    6. The Notre Dame men's tennis team is playing in the Harvard Invitational today, tomorrow and Sunday in Cambridge, Mass. In between matches, Bobby Bayliss' squad will take in the Notre Dame-Boston College football game Saturday night.

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