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This Week in Notre Dame Athletics: A Long Streak Ends, Hockey Tumbles, and Diving Sets Up Swimming for Victory

As the men's basketball team continued their modest winning streak over the weekend, their counterparts on the women's side finally took a tumble so close to a school record.

Elsewhere, hockey is officially slumping, the diving team performed well at the Big East Championships, and three football players continue their strong showing in track.

More after the jump.

Women's Basketball: 24-2 overall, 11-1 Big East

A week ago the Irish traveled to the Carrier Dome and beat Syracuse by 19 points, but the team returned home for a game against West Virginia on Sunday and were beat by the Mountaineers.

Despite a career high 32 points from Skylar Diggins, the Irish were beat for the first time in league play and had several streaks broken in the process. The 21-game win streak this season (2 short of tying the school record) was snapped, their 20-game home winning streak was snapped, and their 63-game winning streak against unranked opponents also came to an end.

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said her team had it coming to them.

"I thought we've been building up to this game now for a couple of weeks," she said. "We just haven't played well for a long time."

McGraw said her team's inside play was a factor in the loss.

"I thought Bussie was outstanding for them," she said. "She was really the difference in the game. We could not defend them in the post and we could not score in the post on our end. I'm just really disappointed for everybody.

"They were physical," McGraw continued, "but I don't know if that's what threw us off. We just did not execute like we can. Ten assists and 17 turnovers tells you that."

Notre Dame remains in first place in the Big East with an identical record with Connecticut, but owning the tie-breaker due to the Irish victory over the Huskies back on January 7th of this year.

The women will host Providence tonight and will travel to Louisville next Monday.

Men's Hockey: 16-13-3 overall, 11-10-3 CCHA

The Irish hockey team really needed a big weekend against first-place Ferris State after losing 5 of their last 8 games, but they struggled once again and lost both during the home and home series.

Notre Dame was shutout 3-0 at home on Friday and then traveled to Ferris State where the Bulldogs swept the Irish with another convincing 5-1 victory.

Only two more series remain in the regular season as the hockey team will travel for a pair of tilts this weekend against Miami of Ohio and then return to South Bend to host Michigan State on February 24th and 25th.

Sadly, this season has slipped away a little bit for the Irish and they will not to pick up a lot of momentum heading into the CCHA playoffs in a few weeks.

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

With the regular season over, the diving portion of the Big East championships began this past weekend with Notre Dame coming out with a lead over Pittsburgh and West Virginia.

Freshman Nick Nemetz won gold in the 3-meter and 1-meter diving events pacing the Irish to their 57 point lead over the Panthers and Mountaineers.

The women divers are currently in second place after the diving portion with junior Jenny Chiang becoming just the second Notre Dame diver to win three titles in one event. She took home gold in the 3-meter event.

The swimming portion for both teams will begin this Wednesday.

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

Both fencing teams were idle this weekend as they continue their month long break before competing in the Midwest Conference Championships.

Tennis: 8-4 (Men's) & 5-2 (Women's)

The men's tennis team has played three matches since we last checked in. The Irish defeated Wisconsin 7-0 this past Friday, and split a pair of matches on Sunday---losing 4-3 to Kentucky and beating IUPUI 7-0.

The loss to the Wildcats was razor thin, but it was encouraging nonetheless.

"It was disappointing to find ourselves on the wrong end of the scoreboard after that match, but I'm so proud of the way our team fought against an elite team," said head coach Bobby Bayliss. "I hope going forward it gives our team confidence that we can play with anyone."

Notre Dame will travel to Michigan for their only match this week.

The women's tennis team was off this week but will host North Carolina and Illinois this weekend at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Track and Field

A handful of track stars participated in the Grand Valley State Big Meet before the start of the Big East Indoor Championships next weekend.

Freshman football player George Atkinson III was the top Irish athlete finishing 4th in the 200 meter dash as well as 10th in the 60 meter dash. His brother Josh Atkinson placed 13th in the 60 meter dash while sophomore football player Bennett Jackson finished 6th in the 60 meter hurdles.

Important Note: The women's lacrosse team has played in two exhibitions so far and comes into the regular season ranked 20th in the nation. They will host Stanford Sunday for their first regular season game.

The men's golf team has been in Orlando competing in the Match Play event and will finish up today.

Student-Athlete of the Week: Shannon Mathews

  • Senior tennis star and co-captain from Birmingham, Michigan who just earned a Big East Scholar-Athlete Scholarship.
  • A three time All-Big East selection, Mathews owns a 82-29 singles mark (playing out of the No. 1 of No. 2 spot) and a 89-30 doubles record.
  • Mathews has been part of three straight Big East title teams and is currently earning her B.B.A. in finance from the Mendoza College of Business.