Nov. 17, 2010
UND.com is debuting another of its new interactive features for the 2010-11 season, with its weekly Fighting Irish Fan Chats. Each Wednesday afternoon, 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.
This week's Fighting Irish Fan Chat featured hockey senior captain Ben Ryan, football freshman quarterback Tommy Rees and volleyball junior outside hitter Kristen Dealy.
Notre Dame hockey entered the week ranked 11th in the nation in both the USA Today/American Hockey Magazine and USCHO.com polls. Ryan and his Irish teammates are currently 7-3-1 overall and are 5-2-1-1 in the CCHA, good for 17 points and first place in the conference, one point ahead of second-place Michigan.
The Irish return to action this weekend when they play host to 17th-ranked Michigan State on Fri.-Sat., Nov. 19-20 at the Joyce Center. Friday's game has a 7:35 p.m. starting time while Saturday's contest has 5:05 p.m. starting time.
Notre Dame and Army - two staples of the national sports scene when they met 21 times between 1925 and 1946 at the original Yankee Stadium, the home of the New York Yankees - will renew that historic collegiate rivalry for the 50th time this weekend when the Fighting Irish and Cadets meet in the first football game to be played at the new Yankee Stadium in New York, N.Y.
Rees, who last Saturday became the ninth freshman quarterback to start for the Irish in the last 60 seasons (1951-present), became the first Irish freshman quarterback to knock off a top 20 opponent since Blair Kiel helped Notre Dame get past No. 13 Miami, Fla., 32-14. He threw for the most touchdown passes, three, by a freshman in his first career start in school history.
Rees has already thrown seven touchdown passes in his career, all of which have come in the last two games. He has thrown for the third-most touchdown passes over a two-game stretch in school history. Only former All-American Brady Quinn has ever thrown more touchdown passes in two consecutive games. Quinn had nine touchdown passes over back-to-back games in 2009 and twice had eight touchdown passes in consecutive games in 2006.
Rees was the first Irish freshman quarterback to ever throw four touchdown passes in a single game. The four touchdown passes against Tulsa was tied with numerous others for the sixth-most in single-game school history. He completed 33 of 54 passes for 334 yards - the most ever by a quarterback that did not start the game. His 300-yard game was the 35th in school history and second-ever by a Notre Dame freshman. The 33 completions were tied for the second-most in school history. The 54 attempts were the fifth-most in school history.
Dealy was named the BIG EAST Volleyball Player of the Week on Monday. The honor was the second of Dealy's career, as she was one of four Irish players to win the award during the 2009 campaign. She was named BIG EAST Freshman of the Week on Nov. 17, 2008, and has been named to the BIG EAST all-tournament team in each of the last two seasons.
Dealy steered the Irish to a pair of wins last week and led the conference with 5.17 kills/set while ranking ninth with 4.00 digs/set over that stretch. She notched 11 kills and nine digs in a 3-0 win over Rutgers (Nov. 13) and followed that with a 20-kill, 15-dig performance at Seton Hall (Nov. 14). It was Dealy's fourth career 20+ kill output and 28th double-double. She is one of just a handful of Irish players to knock down 20+ kills in a three-set match and the first since 2006.
With the regular season portion of the schedule in the books, the BIG EAST Volleyball Championship will take place Nov. 19-21 at Fitzgerald Field House in Pittsburgh, Pa. Fifth-seeded Notre Dame will take on fourth-seeded Villanova at 10:00 a.m. (ET) on Friday.