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This Week in Notre Dame Athletics: Outdoor Big East Champs & More News

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TWINDA won't stop because it can't stop.

There was some disappointment with both lacrosse teams over the weekend, but in another sport another conference title was brought back to South Bend and multiple teams are gaining berths into the NCAA Tournament.

This Fighting Irish athletic department has a lot to smile about lately.

More sports coverage after the jump.

Tennis: 20-8 (Men's) & 20-7 (Women's)

The men's tennis squad found out last week that they were granted an at-large bid to the 64-team field of the NCAA Tournament in Columbus on the campus of Ohio State. The Irish will face Vanderbilt on either May 11th or May 12th.

This is the 9th straight season the men's team has made the NCAA Tournament and the 21st out of the past 22nd seasons. Also, sophomore Greg Andrews was selected to play in the NCAA Singles Tournament and seniors Niall Fitzgerald and Casey Watt will participate in the NCAA Doubles Tournament. Both get under way after the team portion of the NCAA competition.

The Big East Champion women's tennis team from Notre Dame will be heading to Northwestern for the NCAA Tournament facing off against Hawaii in the first round. Their match will begin on May 11th.

The Irish are currently ranked 18th in the nation and will be making their 17th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

Senior Shannon Matthews will play in the NCAA Singles Championship and she will also pair with senior Kristy Frilling to compete in the NCAA Doubles Championship. These matches will take place at Georgia in a couple weeks.

Track and Field

Notre Dame found a ton of success at USF for the Outdoor Big East Championships, with the men winning a conference title and the women coming in a close second.

Earning victories on the men's side were Kevin Schipper (Pole Vault), Jeremy Rae (1,500m), Chris Giesting (200m and 400m), Logan Renwick (Triple Jump), Andrew Hills (Hammer Throw) and the men's 4x800m relay team of Randall Babb, Jack Favorite, Johnathan Shawel and Rae.

Picking up victories on the women's side were Rebecca Tracy (1,500m) and the 4x100m relay team of Kaila Barber, Jade Barber, Michelle Brown andAijah Urssery.

Josh Atkinson finished 5th in the 200m dash (21.52) and 4th in the 100m dash (10.39). Twin brother George finished 5th in the 100m with a time of 10.46.

Notre Dame now turns its attention to qualifying for the NCAA East Regionals that are in three weeks as the Irish head to the Grand Valley Last Chance meet next weekend in Allendale, Mich.

Golf: Men's & Women's

The men's golf team was in the middle of the Big East Championships when we posted last week's article. You'll be happy to know that Notre Dame obliterated the field and took home the conference title. The Irish team finished -12 under par while the second place Louisville Cardinals finished +4 over par.

The men have earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.

The women's golf team placed 2nd in the Big East Tournament last week, and after winning the singles conference title in a playoff, Irish golfer Ashley Armstrong was named Big East Freshman of the Year.

Baseball: 25-22

The baseball team went 3-2 since we last checked in. They defeated Butler 6-5 last Tuesday, but lost to Valparaiso 7-4 on Wednesday---both games being at home.

Over the weekend, Notre Dame took two out of three from Villanova on the road winning the rubber match 5-4 on Sunday.

The Irish will host Rutgers this weekend for a three-game series.

Softball: 36-13

Notre Dame's game last Tuesday against Northern Illinois was cancelled, but that's about the only way to prevent this time from not winning.

The Irish destroyed Eastern Michigan 10-0 in five innings on Wednesday and then swept Pittsburgh on the road by a cumulative 3-game series score of 18-1. Notre Dame has now won 15-straight games heading into postseason play.

Notre Dame will now host the Big East Tournament in South Bend and the Irish open up against Rutgers this Thursday.

Lacrosse: 11-2 (Men's) & 13-3 (Women's)

The men's lacrosse team had their 10-game winning streak snapped as they fell 8-7 to St. John's in the semi-finals of the Big East Tournament. The Irish fell behind 8-3, and scored 4 goals in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to avoid the big upset.

"We didn't clear the ball well; we didn't get ground balls and didn't cash in on our opportunities in the first half. We spent a lot of time on defense," said Notre Dame head coach Kevin Corrigan. "Our team has a no-quit attitude. They have proven that all year long. We didn't represent ourselves well in the first half and that is not who we are."

The good news is that the Irish gained a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament and will faceoff against unranked Yale this Sunday in the first round.

The women's team also fell in the Big East semi's, losing to Loyola 11-9 inside the Carrier Dome.

Like the men, the women lax team earned a bid into the NCAA Tournament and will be facing off against Northwestern at Evanston this weekend in the first round.

Rowing

The rowing team is still preparing for the Big East Championship coming up soon.

The Notre Dame Department of Athletics held their annual O.S.C.A.R.S (Outstanding Student-Athletes Celebrating Achievements and Recognition Showcase) this past Wednesday. Check out this link to look at the dozens of awards the university handed out.