Jan. 27, 2011
UND.com is debuting another of its new interactive features for the 2010-11 season, with its weekly Fighting Irish Fan Chats. UND.com will sit down for a live chat session with student-athletes, coaches and administrators making news in the world of Fighting Irish athletics. Fans are invited to join in and offer questions or comments for our guests, and if you can't join us live, each chat will be archived so you can return to UND.com at your convenience and read what your favorite Notre Dame athletic personalities have to say on a variety of topics.
The Jan. 28 Fighting Irish Fan Chat featured a pair of Notre Dame head coaches, including women's tennis coach Jay Louderback (1 p.m) and first-year baseball coach Mik Aoki (1:15 p.m.).
Louderback and the No. 4 women's tennis squad opened the season last weekend with a 5-2 victory over No. 25 Illinois. The Irish return to action this weekend when they play host to qualifying for the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. Notre Dame squares off with No. 47 Yale in first round play at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, while No. 23 Arkansas takes on No. 41 Utah at 9 a.m. ET in the other match. Both matches will take place at the Eck Tennis Pavilion with the consolation and championship matches taking place at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET on Sunday, respectively.
Aoki and the Irish baseball squad begin preparation for the 2011 season with their first official team practice at 5:30 p.m. ET on Friday in the Loftus Center. Notre Dame returns five position starters, 11 pitchers, including seven that started game last season, and 16 total monogram winners. The Irish will also benefit from the influx of 10 newcomers.
Aoki, the 20th baseball coach in Notre Dame history, embarks on his first season this spring. The Irish open the year in the Dunedin/St. Petersburg area for the third annual BIG EAST-Big Ten Baseball Challenge on Feb. 18-20. Notre Dame plays at 4 p.m. ET on Friday against Michigan State at Dunedin Stadium, 4 p.m. ET on Saturday against Purdue at Al Lang/Progressive Energy Park and 10 a.m. ET on Sunday against Penn State at the Walter Fuller Baseball Complex.