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This Week in Notre Dame Athletics: A National Title Comes to South Bend

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Both basketball teams are coming off disappointing losses as they head into the NCAA tournament.

Hockey's season is over after being dropped by Michigan in the CCHA tournament.

But a national title was brought home to South Bend over the weekend.

Keep reading after the jump for more on track's successful season.

Women's Basketball: 30-3 overall, 15-1 Big East

The Irish breezed by West Virginia in the Big East tournament semifinals winning that game 73-45 and avenging a regular season loss to the Mountaineers.

However in the Big East title game, Notre Dame fell to rival UConn 72-59---making their record against the Huskies 2-1 on the season.

"This team's not a team that hangs their head," said Diggins, who led the Irish with 16 points. "The biggest goal of them all is ahead of us. We're only guaranteed one game. This a great game going into the (NCAA) tournament. We'll learn from this game."

"It's tough to beat a team three times," Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. "I don't think we have to do anything different. I don't think there was more pressure on us. I just think they outplayed us."

The loss was only the third on the season for the Irish as they turn their attention towards the NCAA tournament next weekend. Notre Dame will host their first round game on March 18th at Purcell Pavilion.

Men's Hockey: 19-18-3 overall, 12-13-3 CCHA

Notre Dame was on the road at Michigan for the second round of the CCHA playoffs and fell in overtime 2-1 on Friday night. That devastating loss was followed up by a 3-1 loss on Saturday, bringing the season to and for the Irish.

This was a disappointing season for Notre Dame as they started the season ranked inside the top 5 nationally and finish just one game over .500 overall.

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

Notre Dame's men team sent a few divers to the NCAA Zone C Championships with freshman Nick Nemetz leading the Irish finishing 19th in the 3-meter board.

Michael Kreft finished 23rd, Ryan Koter 32nd, and Ted Wagner 44th. None of the swimmers advanced to the finals with Nemetz just missing them by one spot.

The next day for the 1-meter board competition Nemetz finished 12th overall, while Kreft finished in 30th, Koter 31st, and Wagner 38th.

On the women's side Jenny Chiang placed second overall in the 1-meter NCAA zone diving event and will be making the trip to Auburn for the NCAA championships.

Irish teammate Allison Casareto finished 18th overall.

In the 3-meter even Chiang finished 24th and Casareto finished 54th.

Fencing: 40-7 (Men's) & 34-9 (Women's)

The women's fencing team had a successful outing at the NCAA regional qualifier in Cleveland, Ohio.

Lian Osier finished second in the sabre, and Madison Zeiss finished second as well in the foil. Elsewhere, Grace Hartman finished third in the foil, as did Ashley Severson in the epee.

The men weren't quite as successful but had some solid finishes.

4 Irish players took the 6th through 9th spot in epee, while Keith Feldman finished 3rd in the sabre, Reggie Bentley finished 2nd in the foil, and Enzo Castellani finished 3rd in the foil.

The fencing will learn on Tuesday if it has qualified for the NCAA championships.

Tennis: 12-6 (Men's) & 9-4 (Women's)

Men's tennis was off this week and starts up again this weekend at South Florida.

The women started their games in Hawaii and will finish up on Thursday.

Track and Field

Notre Dame sent 6 student-athletes to the NCAA championships over the weekend and a national title was brought back to South Bend in the process.

First, Kevin Schipper took fourth-place with a personal-best in the pole vault, while Maddie Buttinger finished third in women's pentathlon.

The men's DMR (Distance Medley Relay) team consisting of Johnathan Shawel, Chris Giesting, Randall Babb and Jeremy Rae brought home a national title with a first place finish.

"The race worked perfectly for them," said head coach Joe Piane. "We knew beforehand if John Shawel had a great race we would be in a good position. He came out and the race played right into his hands. He gave us the lead after his leg and then the rest followed. Chris (Giesting) kept the lead, and Randy (Babb) probably ran his best race of the year on the third leg. When the baton got to Jeremy, he ran a brilliant race. He just ran away from the field over the last couple hundred meters."

"Their title means a great deal for Notre Dame. It shows we are a national program and can compete with anyone in the country. It will help our program in all aspects."

All six Notre Dame student-athletes will be named All-Americans, so congratulations!

Golf: Men's & Women's

There is still no update on the men's golf trip to Hilton Head. They are scheduled to play in the Schenkel Invitational in Georgia this weekend.

The women's golf team opened up their season with a 10th place finish out of 14 teams in a tournament hosted by LSU.

Freshman Ashley Armstrong led the Fighting Irish with a three-day total of +9 over par.

Baseball: 7-5

Notre Dame baseball was still down in LSU country yesterday finishing up a 4-game series with the Tigers.

As of Sunday night the Irish had gone 2-1 in the series with victories of 2-0 and 7-1, but dropping the middle contest 6-5.

When Notre Dame finishes up the series at LSU their next games will be starting mid-week in San Antonio against a few different schools.

Softball: 8-8

Softball has fallen to .500 on the season by losing two games and winning one so far in California.

The Irish beat Oregon State 8-1, but have since dropped games to Charleston Southern (5-2) and UNLV (3-2). Notre Dame has a tilt against Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles today before heading to Cal-State Fullerton for another 5 games.

Lacrosse: 3-1 (Men's) & 4-0 (Women's)

Men's lacrosse picked up a huge road win in overtime defeating Hofstra 6-5, led by senior Kevin Rogers' hat trick and game-winning goal.

They will play Denver on March 18th for their fifth game of the season.

Women's lacrosse remains undefeated after a 14-11 win at Boston University on Saturday.

The Irish will play Yale today down in Florida and Cornell this Saturday down in the Sunshine State.

Go Irish.