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This Week in Notre Dame Athletics: Two Big East Titles Come to South Bend

Welcome to another edition of This Week in Notre Dame Athletics.

It's a busy time of the season as some winter sports are winding down and the spring sports are starting their regular seasons. For today's post, men's golf, softball, baseball, and both lacrosse teams make their first appearance on TWINDA.

The Irish also brought home a couple championships over the week as well, so there's plenty to celebrate.

Women's Basketball: 26-2 overall, 13-1 Big East

When we last checked in with McGraw's troops, they had just lost their second game of the season at home to West Virginia. Since then they added a 19-point victory over Providence and yesterday afternoon's 68-52 road win over Louisville.

"I think we're finally getting back to playing with our swag, playing our style of basketball. And it feels good. We're having fun out there again," said Diggins, who added seven assists. "We're smiling, we're laughing, you know what I mean? With that tough schedule, we took it too serious, kind of lost the fun in it."

Diggins led the Irish with 21 points against the Cardinals.

The women hoops team finishes up the regular season with a tilt against USF on Saturday and on the road against UConn next Monday.

Men's Hockey: 16-15-3 overall, 11-12-3 CCHA

The hockey team if officially in the dumps.

After needing some points two weekends ago against CCHA-leading Ferris State, the Irish were swept in convincing fashion and followed that up this weekend with the same as Miami of Ohio swept Notre Dame 3-0 and 4-1.

The hockey team has now lost 5 in a row and 9 of their last 12 games. However, they still remain ranked at No. 18, falling 5 spots from last week.

They will host Michigan State---who just swept Alaska---to close out the 2011-12 regular season.

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

The Notre Dame men's diving team gave the program the lead at the Big East championship, and on Friday the swimmers brought home the conference title.

This is the fifth Big East title for the men's swimming and diving team, as they defeated the two-time defending champion in Louisville by 27.5 points.

Junior Bill Bass was named Most Outstanding Swimmer, while head coach Tim Welsh won Coach of the Year. Nick Nemetz also won Diver of the Year from last week as well.

The women's side came out of the diving portion in second, but ultimately couldn't overcome Louisville's lead for the Big East title after the swimming portion.

The team did enjoy some success during the competition however with the Irish winning the 400 free relay and 400 medley relay. Emma Reaney won the 200 IM and 100 breast, and Kelly Ryan won the 100 free.

Both swimming and diving teams are preparing for the NCAA meets coming up in March.

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

The fencing teams continue to rest and train for their conference championships coming up in two weekends.

Tennis: 9-4 (Men's) & 6-3 (Women's)

Men's tennis played just one match since last week, and it was a big 4-3 defeat of Michigan---which always feels good.

The Irish lost the doubles match, but took 4 of the 6 singles matches for the victory.

The women tennis stars hosted two teams this weekend and split their matches. Notre Dame lost to North Carolina 4-3, but rebounded for a 4-3 win over Illinois on Sunday.

The women also lost their doubles match in their win, but came back to take the singles portion. They will host Georgia Tech and Indiana this weekend while the men host Michigan State and Marquette on a Sunday double-header this weekend.

Track and Field

The women track and field stars placed 5th at the Big East championship---their highest finish in nearly half a decade.

The men's side had much more success bringing home its 5th Big East indoor title.

"We knew we were in pretty good shape after day one when we qualified a lot of guys," said head coach Joe Piane. "However, UConn is a very good team and they put a little bit of pressure on us when they had some good performances in the heptathlon and shot put. But the guys performed exceptionally well.

We had gone through a little bit of a dry spell, but this title shows we are doing the right things to get ready for the NCAA Indoor Championships and the outdoor season."

1st place finishers over the weekend included:

Patrick Feeney in the 400 meter dash.

Jeremy Rae in the mile.

Jordan Carlson in the 3,000 meter.

Football players Josh and George Atkinson had a strong showing as well. Josh finished 5th in the 60 meter dash and 6th in the 200 meter, while George finished 3rd in the 200 meter.

USF football player and sophomore Lindsey Lamar took the 60 meter dash with a time of 6.78 seconds.

Golf: Men's

The men's golf team was down in Orlando, Florida for the Match Play event and took home the championship in the process. Tom Usher, Chris Walker, and Niall Platt all went a perfect 4-0 over the 2-day event.

For his efforts, Platt was named the Big East Golfer of the Week.

The team will rest for 2 weeks before heading to Hilton Head for the Alumni Match Weekend on March 3rd and 4th.

Baseball: 2-1

The Irish baseball team was down in St. Petersburg, Florida for the Big East/Big Ten Challenge, ending the weekend with a 2-1 record to start the season.

Notre Dame defeated Illinois 13-12 and Iowa 5-2, but then got hammered by Purdue on Sunday 15-8.

Notre Dame led the Boilers 4-1 after 5 innings, but surrendered 9 runs in the top of the 6th inning as Purdue ultimately took advantage of NINE errors from the Irish.

The team will travel to the USA Baseball Complex in Carey, North Carolina for three games against Hofstra this weekend.

Softball: 1-4

The girls softball team got off to a rocky start this season, dropping games to San Diego State (8-3), San Diego (4-2), and Oregon State (3-2) in Campbell/Cartier Classic played in San Diego.

They rebounded with a 6-4 win over UC Santa Barbara, but lost the last game of the weekend to Boise State 3-1.

The Irish travel to Chapel Hill for the North Carolina Invite to face Penn State, UNC, and Minnesota this weekend.

Lacrosse: 1-0 (Men's) & 1-0 (Women's)

The No. 9 ranked men's lacrosse team opened their season with a resounding 7-3 win over No. 2 Duke.

Notre Dame fell behind 2-0, but went on to score 7 unanswered goals in the win.

"I thought we competed like crazy today," said Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan. "I don't know if it's as pretty of a win as we would have liked because I thought we had a chance to make a lot more plays. Defensively, we did a great job. One of the themes for us this year is to have good awareness of ourselves, our opponents and what's going on during the course of the game and I thought we did that really well today."

The men will host Penn State this Sunday at 1PM.

The women also won their home opener, defeating Stanford 17-14.

"It always feels good when your team takes what it worked on in practice and applies it to the game and you get a win," said first year head coach Christine Halfpenny. "It definitely feels good to be 1-0 at Notre Dame."

"Overall we are really excited in our performance in the first half," stated Halfpenny. "We came out strong and we accomplished our goal of winning the first 10 minutes of the game. The win definitely builds confidence. Stanford made adjustments in the second half and we stayed poised and composed."

The women will host Duquesne this Saturday at noon.

Student-Athlete of the Week: Maggie Tamasitis (women's lacrosse)

  • Senior attack from Boyertown, Pennsylvania coming off an All-Big East and 3rd Team All-American junior campaign. Maggie was also a two-time U.S. lacrosse high school All-American.
  • Led Notre Dame in scoring last year with 67 points on 21 goals. Opened the season this year with 1 goal and 6 assists against Stanford.
  • Tamasitis is majoring in Film, Television, and Theater in the College of Arts & Letters.