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This Week in Notre Dame Athletics: McGraw's Troops March On, Fencing Sweeps, and Football Players Debut in Track

The men's basketball team is trying to grab all the attention of late, but the other Irish sports teams are doing a good job of making it hard on them.

In this week's recap of Notre Dame Athletics, the women's basketball team keeps their winning streak alive, hockey continues their roller coaster season, fencing gets back to its truly dominant ways, some football players run track for the first time, and more.

Women's Basketball: 21-1 overall, 8-0 Big East

Women's basketball (No. 2 in the nation) continues to roll on this season. After handing Tennessee one of the worse losses in Volunteer history last Monday, the Irish traveled to Jamaica Queens this past Saturday and defeated St. John's 71-56.

They remain perfect in Big East play and push their winning streak to 18 games---the third longest in school history.

Notre Dame was led by Devereaux Peters, who finished with 18 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks and four steals. Peters credits staying out of foul trouble with her resurgence and excellent play as of late:

"I think the biggest difference is I've been in the game," Peters said. "You have more opportunities to score and rebound. I do what they need me to do."

"Dev is great," said Skylar Diggins, who led Notre Dame with 24 points. "She's long, athletic. She's relentless on the boards. We need Dev in the game."

This was a big win for the Irish, as St. John's has been on fire lately (winning 6 of 7 before Saturday) and had defeated Notre Dame in their past three trips to Queens.

Notre Dame travels back to the tri-state area tonight to battle No. 11 Rutgers, and will host DePaul on Sunday.

Men's Hockey: 15-10-3 overall, 10-7-3 CCHA

The No. 8 ranked Irish hockey team continued their inconsistent season with a split over the weekend on the road against Alaska. Notre Dame dropped the series opener on Friday 6-3, but bounced back with a 4-2 win on Saturday.

Four different players notched tallies in the second game, as Irish goaltender Mike Johnson snapped a 5-game personal losing streak.

Notre Dame outshot Alaska in both games, but gave up 6 goals on just 23 shots in the series opener on Friday. Sophomore Steven Summerhays was pulled from the next in favor of Johnson in the loss.

T.J. Tynan finished the weekend with 2 goals and an assist, while Anders Lee picked up four assists.

The Irish will host Bowling Green this weekend for a crucial CCHA conference matchup. Notre Dame remains highly ranked but is still in 6th place in the conference log-jam.

Swimming: 6-4 (Men's) & 5-6 (Women's)

The men's swimming and diving team faced off against Iowa at home for the Shamrock Invitational, ultimately losing 216-154 in the championship format.

On a more positive note, freshman Zachary Stephens broke the Rolfs Aquatic Center pool record in the 200 breast with a time of 2:00:59, besting Dan Szilier's 2:01:01 mark from 1998.

Also, Frank Dyer won in the 100 and 200 free, Christopher Johnson won the 100 breast, and Wesley Mullins won the 200 fly.

"The Shamrock Invitational has been a great stepping stone for our program heading into the next few weeks," Irish head coach Tim Welsh said. "Our goal was to get better each session, and judging by tonight's results, we proved that we did just that."

"I'm very proud of all of our seniors and their efforts not only throughout this meet but the entire regular season."

The regular season is now over for the men as they prepare for the Big East championships in early February.

The women's swimming and diving team knocked off Iowa 201-169, but fell to Ohio State 214-147 at the Shamrock Invitational.

Emma Reaney won the 200 breast by over three seconds, and Bridget Casey took home gold in the 200 fly. Notre Dame also finished second in 7 other events.

The Irish women swimming and diving finish up their regular season on the road this Saturday against Ball State.

Fencing: 24-5 (Men's) & 18-5 (Women's)

The women's fencing team was perfect on the weekend at home during the Notre Dame Duals, earning a 12-0 record.

They defeated Purdue, Case Western, Lawrence, Florida, Wayne State, Indiana, Detroit, Michigan, Cleveland State, Michigan State, Chicago---with a 17-10 victory over No. 4 Northwestern in the finals.

The women's sabre squad led Notre Dame on the day, as the unit finished with a record of 99-9 over the 12 matches. Individually, Danielle Guilfoyle led the way for sabre, finishing with a 22-2 mark.Channing Foster and Nicole Ameli paced the epee squad, finishing with records of 20-3 and 15-1, respectively, while Adriana Camacho finished the day unblemished for women's foil with a record of 15-0.

Like the women, the men's side also finished the Notre Dame Duals with a perfect 12-0 record, defeating the same schools as above.

Much like the women's team, the men's sabre paced Notre Dame on the day with an overall record of 100-8. Individually, William Meckling led the charge for sabre, putting together a 30-2 bout record. Epee saw Dale Purdy lead the squad with a record of 15-1, while Alan Markow headed the foil effort with a record of 18-2.

Both fencing teams will travel to Evanston, Illinois for the Northwestern Duals this weekend.

Tennis: 4-2 (Men's) & 4-1 (Women's)

The women's tennis team split their weekend series at Michigan, losing to Yale 4-3 but rebounding for a nice 7-0 defeat of Maryland.

They will travel to Tennessee on Friday and Vanderbilt on Sunday for matches.

The men also split their weekend series at Ohio State, losing to Indiana 6-1, but beating Cornell 4-2.

While the women travel to the Volunteer State this weekend, the men will hit the road for the Tar Heel State and face Wake Forest and Duke.

Track and Field

Track & Field were at the Indiana Relays in Bloomington and found some success.

Both the men and women won the 4x800m races, while the men also took home 1st place in the 4x400m race. Sophomore Patrick Feeney also took home 1st place in the 400m dash.

Senior Kevin Schipper was the runner-up in men's pole vault.

Freshman Chris Giesting finished 2nd behind Feeney in the 400m dash.

The women's 4x400m team finished in 3rd place.

Freshman football player George Atkinson III finished 7th in the 60m dash, while his brother Josh Atkinson finished in 12th place.

Both teams come home this weekend to host the Meyo Invitational.

Student-Athlete of the Week: Frank Dyer

Dyer is a sophomore from Loudonville, New York and was a three-time captain at Shaker High School before coming to Notre Dame.

He had the highest finish (26th) at the NCAA championships in school history last season in the 200 free, becoming only the second Irish swimmer and first freshman to even make the NCAA championships.

Dyer has qualified for the Olympic trials in the 100, 200, and 400 meter free events.

He continues to break school records this year as a sophomore and has been named the Big East swimmer of the week twice already this season.