This Week in Notre Dame Athletics: Basketball Nears a School Record, Fencing Goes 12-2, and Track & Field Hosts the Meyo Invitational

Once again the men's basketball team stole all the headlines with a tremendous victory over No. 15 Marquette this past weekend. On this trajectory, Mike Brey & Co. are going to make some serious noise in the Big East tournament and beyond.

Elsewhere, the women's hoops team is approaching a school record for consecutive wins, hockey split another series, track hosted a major even over the weekend, and more.

Find out how the Irish athletic teams are doing after the jump.

Women's Basketball: 23-1 overall, 10-0 Big East

Since we last checked in with the women's hoopsters, they had just taken out St. John's on the road. Their success continued as they toppled Rutgers by 30 on January 31st, and are coming off a 90-70 victory over DePaul at home on Sunday.

The Irish had five players score in double figures, while Natalie Novosel led the way with 21 points. However, head coach Muffet McGraw was not too pleased with the team's defense against DePaul:

"I was really disappointed with our defense," she said. "I thought we had some really good spurts (on offense), had a nice spurt to start the second half, and then I subbed too early and we went flat. That was disappointing. But the posts were not ready to play and that was the most disappointing."

"We love to win," she said. "But there is always places for improvement. We gave up 70 points and that's not what we are most proud of. We are looking to get better."

The Irish have now won 20 in a row (2nd longest streak in school history) and are just three games away from tying the all-time Notre Dame mark set in 2000-01.


They will travel to Syracuse tonight, and host West Virginia on Sunday.

Men's Hockey: 16-11-3 overall, 11-8-3 CCHA

For the third weekend in a row, the Irish hockey team split their series---this time against Bowling Green.

Nick Larson scored a third period goal on Friday to give Notre Dame the 2-1 win, but the Fighting Irish blew a 2-1 lead in the third on Saturday, falling 3-2.

"It was very frustrating, but we had plenty of chances to score goals and we didn't," said Irish Jeff Jackson following the game.

"We lacked the ability to finish tonight. It's happened to us a lot this year. We have the guys who have the ability to finish but we just aren't putting the puck in."

Notre Dame is still stuck in the log-jam in the CCHA, but will face first place Ferris State in a home and home series this weekend. With six regular season games left the Irish will need all the points they can get to move up in league play. They trail Ferris State by five points.

Swimming: 6-4 (Men's) & 6-6 (Women's)

The men's swimming and diving team's regular season is over so they were off this weekend. They are currently preparing for the Big East Championships.

The women's team concluded their regular season this past weekend with a win over Ball State on the road, 143-100.

A balanced attack followed the Irish to Muncie, as only senior Amy Prestinario (50 and 100 free) won multiple individual events. Also picking up wins on the day were Erin Foley (1,000 free), Bridget Casey(200 free), Emma Reaney (200 IM), Jenny Chiang (1-meter dive), Kelly Ryan (100 back), Jaime Malandra (500 free) and the 200 free relay squad composed of Ryan, Prestinario, Courtney Whyte andKim Holden.

Like the men's side, the women will now prepare for the Big East Championships.

Fencing: 29-6 (Men's) & 25-6 (Women's)

Both the men's and women's sides had very successful runs at the Northwestern Duals this past weekend. The men finished 5-1 with wins over Duke, UC San Diego, North Carolina, Cal Tech, and Stanford---the only loss coming to Princeton.

The women dropped a match to Duke but took care of business against North Carolina, Stanford, UC San Diego, Temple, Cal Tech, Princeton, and Stevens Tech.

The fencing team will now rest for a month with the regular season over in preparation of the Midwest Fencing Conference Championships which will be held at Notre Dame on March 3-4.

Tennis: 5-3 (Men's) & 5-2 (Women's)

The men's tennis team defeated Wake Forest 6-1 on Friday, but were beat by the same score at the hands of Duke on Sunday afternoon.

Senior Sam Keeton was the only player to earn a victory over the Blue Devils.

The men travel to Northwestern for matches tonight and will host Wisconsin on Friday and Kentucky and IUPUI on Sunday.

The women also split their last two matches, falling 6-1 to Tennessee on Friday, but rebounding for a 5-2 win over Vanderbilt on Sunday.

The win over the Commodores is the first this season over a top-25 team for Notre Dame.

The women tennis stars are off from competition until they host North Carolina and Illinois next weekend.

Track and Field

Notre Dame hosted the 25th Annual Meyo Invitational and had numerous athletes find success and achieve record breaking times.

Junior Jeremy Rae broke the 4-minute mark in the mile (winning the meet with a time of 3:59.31) for the second straight year, earning a victory for the Irish.

Kaila Barber won the 60m hurdles, Aijah Urssery won the 60m dash, Patrick Feeney won the 400m dash, and the men's 4x400m relay team took home first place. Feeney's time in the 400m of 46.73 is a new Notre Dame record.

Three football players participated in the festivities this weekend. Freshman George Atkinson III finished 6th in the 60m dash, while his brother and fellow freshman Josh Atkinson finished 8th overall. Sophomore Bennett Jackson finished 10th in the 60m hurdle finals.

^Note: The men's golf team begins their season next Monday and Tuesday as they travel to Orlando, Florida for The Match Play.

Student-Athlete of the Week: Sam Calabrese

Junior defenseman from Park Ridge, Illinois---Calabrese came to Notre Dame after playing for the United States National Development Program for two years.

Played in three games as a freshman, but missed most of the season with a broken leg. Came back last year and played in 42 of the team's 44 games---leading the defensemen in scoring with 18 points.

A strong skater and decision-maker, Calabrese currently leads the Irish defense in scoring yet again with 15 points in 30 games.

He is currently a double major in finance from the Mendoza College of Business and sociology in the College of Arts and Letters.

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