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The Week in Notre Dame Athletics: Back to School

When we last covered the week in ND athletics, Irish athletes were counting their conference championships (9, plus 2 trips to conference title games), coaches of the year (3), and trips to NCAA finals & tournaments (18 of 21 teams). Now we start it all over again.

So many teams. So much Fighting Irish.
So many teams. So much Fighting Irish.

We're headed full speed into the fall season. Soccer and volleyball have gotten underway (as has football, of course). We'll have updates on Irish cross country, golf, rowing, and tennis within the next few weeks, followed by hockey and swimming later in the season.

For now, the news revolves around volleyball and soccer, with looks ahead at the fall season sports beginning next week.


Soccer: The no. 7/4 women's team (3-1-0) went 3-1 in the last week to open their season. They kicked things off with strong home victories over #RV/25 Illinois, 4-1, Northwestern, 4-1, and Oakland, 4-0.

Sunday at the Notre Dame Adidas Invitational they fell to no. 4/2 UCLA, 1-0, with a Bruin shot getting past Notre Dame's freshman goalie with just 10:53 remaining on the clock. The Irish won their two August exhibition matches against Xavier, 5-1, and no. 13 Baylor, 2-0, suggesting good things ahead for the team.

They next face Detroit at home on Sunday evening. Last season, the Irish competed in the NCAA tournament quarterfinals and the Big East tournament semifinals.

The no. 7 men's team (1-0-1) claimed a 2-1 win over SMU and earned a 0-0 draw against no. 9 UCLA to open the season this past weekend in Bloomington, IN. Both of the Irish goals in the victory over SMU came from senior forward Leon Brown. The 1-0-1 weekend record won Notre Dame the Adidas/IU Credit Union Classic title. The team split its exhibition matches, 2-1, with victories over Drake, 2-0, and Ohio State, 1-0, and a 1-0 loss to no. 6 Creighton.

This Sunday, the Irish face North Carolina at home. Last season, they claimed the Big East conference title, held the no. 1 national ranking from the end of conference tournament play through NCAA tournament play, and competed into the 3rd round of the NCAA tournament.


Volleyball: The Irish (1-2) got off to a bit of a rough start this past weekend in Tennessee. Facing their first ACC opponents, Notre Dame was swept by North Carolina, 0-3, and fell to Middle Tennessee State, 1-3, before fighting to a five-set win over the University of San Francisco. Improved offense and a reduction in unforced errors helped the Irish turn things around.

The Irish face Bowling Green at home this Friday, Purdue on Saturday, and Dabrowa (out of Poland!) on Sunday. Last season, the Irish tied for 2nd for the Big East regular season crown and competed in the NCAA tournament and the Big East tournament quarterfinals.


Irish cross country will hit the ground running at the Crusader Open at Valparaiso this Friday. Last season, the women finished 5th and the men, 3rd, at the Big East championships. They finished 15th and 28th at the NCAA championships.

The men's golf team begins their fall season with the Gopher Invitational in Minnesota on Sunday and Monday. Last year, they finished 3rd at the Big East championship.

The women's golf team participates in the IU Fall Kickoff (at - seriously - the "Purgatory Golf Club") on Sunday. Last season, they claimed 5th at the Big East championship and finished 15th at the NCAA East Regional.


We'll bring you updates again next week on the Notre Dame Olympic sports and help you to root for the Irish beyond those long-awaited and well-loved fall Saturdays. For now, go Irish. Beat Michigan and everybody else.