The Week in Notre Dame Athletics: 3 New National Champions

Notre Dame's new national champion foilist Gerek Meinhardt (pictured at the London Olympics, 2012).

That’s how you do the week in ND athletics: three Notre Dame athletes claimed national championships this week at their respective NCAA tournaments. The Fighting Irish earned wins this past week in fencing, women’s swimming, women’s lacrosse, baseball, men’s tennis, and women’s basketball.

Without further ado, we bring you the results of the last week's Irish match-ups.

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After claiming their series against Boston College in the Hockey East tournament quarterfinals, no. 8/10 Irish hockey (23-14-2, 12-11-2) had a rough outing against UMass-Lowell in the semifinals, falling to the River Hawks, 4-0. UMass-Lowell goaltender Connor Hellebucyk had a heck of a night, stopping 35 Irish shots and making a series of impressive stops. A strong River Hawk offense slid 4 of 22 shots past Summerhays and a struggling Irish defense.

UMass-Lowell scored 2 of its goals on power plays in the 2nd period after pulling ahead by 2 in the 1st. The Irish had just 1 power play opportunity all night.


The Irish will face St. Cloud State in the NCAA regional semifinals this Saturday evening in St. Paul (9:00 p.m. ET, ESPN2). The winner of that match will play in the regional final on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPNU).

Here is the full NCAA tournament bracket. SB Nation's college hockey site has a full preview of the tournament's west regional (in which ND is competing) right here. You can see a full list of television listings for the tournament (with ND's Summerhays in the cover photo) right here.

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Notre Dame fencing competed in the NCAA Championships this past weekend in Columbus, OH. Two Irish fencers claimed national championships: Lee Keifer in women's foil and Gerek Meinhardt in men's foil (real-life sweethearts, incidentally - the "first couple" of U.S. fencing, as the ESPN commentators deemed them). Both won last year, as well.

Here are highlights from Meinhardt's championship bout:


Here are higlights from Keifer's championship bout:


Garrett McGrath finished 2nd in men's epee (15-13) and Madison Zeiss finished 2nd in women's foil (13-10), as well. Congratulations to the Irish on an impressive season.

Here's a closer look at national champion Lee Keifer, talking about her first and next trip to the Olympics, her medical school plans, and her love of cookies in NDFIDM's series "Student, Athlete, Irish":


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The no. 24 women's swim team (8-5) sent 8 participants to the NCAA Championships this past weekend in Minneapolis. The ever-impressive Emma Reaney re-set her own American record with a dominant 1st-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:04.06 - her previous time was 2:04.34). She arrived a second-and-a-half before the 2nd-place finishers and her 1st-place finish in the national tournament is the 1st in Notre Dame program history.


Overall, the women's team came in 16th at the tournament, very much on Reaney's back. The Irish earned top-25 finishes in the prelims or finals in the 200 IM (3), 400 IM, 100 breast, 200 breast, 200 back, 200 medley relay, 400 medley relay, and 800 free relay.

The no. 20 men's squad (7-5-1) was idle this past week and will travel to Austin this Thursday as the men's NCAA Championships commence.

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No. 6 women's lacrosse (7-2) bested Marquette over the weekend, 12-5, before downing Villanova, 17-8.

Here are highlights from the win over Marquette:


This Saturday, the Irish welcome Stanford (12:00 p.m. ET, WatchND).

No. 7 men's lacrosse (3-2) was idle this past week. This Tuesday, they face Ohio State in Columbus (4:00 p.m. ET, Fox College Sports). Paul Rigney previews the match here. Saturday, they face Syracuse on the road (12:00 p.m. ET, ESPNU).

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Baseball (8-14) split their last week's games, 2-2. After shutting out Robert Morris, 3-0, the Irish beat Virginia Tech, 2-1, for their 1st ACC win.


They then fell to the Hokies, 8-3, and dropped the rubber match, 5-4, in 12 innings.

The Irish were scheduled to face Illinois-Chicago this Tuesday evening in South Bend (5:35 p.m. ET, WatchND), but that game was postponed Monday night. Friday, Wake Forest comes to town (8:05 p.m. ET, WatchND). The Irish will play the Demon Deacons again on Saturday and Sunday in Gary, IN (2:05 and 1:05 p.m. ET, WatchND).

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No. 24/25 Irish softball (19-9, 3-5) had their weekend matches with Pittsburgh postponed due to the cold in South Bend. This Wednesday, weather permitting, the Irish will welcome Eastern Michigan (4:00 p.m. ET, WatchND), then Northwestern on Thursday. Saturday, the Irish play a doubleheader against Syracuse on the road, then a series-closing game on Sunday.

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After a rough outing against no. 4 USC the previous week, the no. 11 men's tennis squad (13-5) earned 2 wins over the past week, first downing no. 20 Clemson on the road, 5-2, then beating Georgia Tech, 6-1.

Next up for the Irish is a visit from Duke this Friday, then a match with North Carolina on Sunday.

No. 22 women's tennis (8-8) dropped their weekend matches on the road to no. 6 Virginia, 6-1, and to North Carolina, 6-1.

The Irish will face welcome Marquette this Wednesday afternoon, then Wake Forest on Sunday.

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The women's golf team earned an 11th-place finish in a field of 15 at the LSU Tiger Golf Classic. Kristina Nhim came in 13th overall, leading the Irish, who next compete in the Rebel Intercollegiate in early April.

The men's team was idle this past week and is currently competing at the Lone Star Invitational in San Antonio.

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No. 2 women's basketball (34-0) overwhelmed Robert Morris in Toledo on Saturday, 93-42, in the 1st round of the NCAA tournament. Alstein recapped the match for us here.


Monday night, after fighting through the 1st half, Notre Dame ran over Arizona State, beating the Sun Devils, 84-67, behind the efforts of Natalie Achonwa.

The Irish now advance to the sweet 16. They'll face Oklahoma State in South Bend next Monday evening (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

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Notre Dame's track & field team was idle this past week after competing at the NCAA indoor tournament. They begin the outdoor season this week in Austin at the Texas Relays and in Houston at the Victor Lopez Invitational.

Irish rowing was also idle this past week and returns to competition at the Lake Natoma Invitational in Folsom, CA in mid-April.

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We'll bring you updates next week on Notre Dame's Olympic sports. For now, go Irish. Beat everybody.

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