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The Week in Notre Dame Athletics: Back at It

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After breaking for the holidays, several Notre Dame teams were back in action this past week. The Fighting Irish earned wins this past week in hockey, men’s & women’s swimming & diving, men’s & women’s tennis, track & field, and men’s & women’s basketball.

The #7 Irish women's basketball team wrestled a big win from #6 Tennessee Monday night.
The #7 Irish women's basketball team wrestled a big win from #6 Tennessee Monday night.
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Without further ado, we bring you the results of the last week's Irish match-ups.

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Since we last checked in at TWINDA, Irish hockey (10-11-3, 5-2-3) has gone 2-3-1, besting Miami, OH, and UConn, tying UConn, and dropping matches to Lake Superior State and Western Michigan (2). In case you missed it, here's our breakdown of the sweep by WMU. Be sure to also catch up with our mid-season review of the team's performance up to the break.

In this past weekend's home-and-home, the Irish earned a draw (3-3) and a win (6-1) over the Huskies - head coach Jeff Jackson's 400th in his 16-year career (10 with the Irish). According to UND.com, Jackson's .663 career winning percentage tops all active Division I coaches. In the series-opening draw, the Irish outshot the Huskies, 44-20, but had to earn their point on a 3rd-period power play goal.

Robbie Russo earned a hat trick for the Irish in the win over UConn on Sunday and was named Hockey East player of the week. The Irish and UConn matched goals in the opening stanza, then ND added another 2 to pull away in the 2nd; 3 more came in the final period while Cal Peterson stopped 28 of 29 shots in net for the Irish.

ND next travels to face Northeastern in Boston on Friday (7:00 p.m. ET, WatchND). The teams play again on Saturday (7:00 p.m. ET, WatchND).

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Over the past few weeks, Irish fencing saw a few victories among its traveling members. Lee Kiefer and Madison Zeiss earned silver medals with the women's foil team of Team USA at the Gdansk Foil World Cup (who knew that there was such a thing?). ND alum Gerek Meinhardt earned gold with Team USA on the senior men's foil team at the Paris World Cup, as well. At the US Fencing Salt Lake City NAC, Jonah Shainberg earned silver in the junior men's sabre competition. Amanda Sirico claimed gold in the junior women's epee at the same event.

The team gets back to it at St. John's this Saturday, then meets NYU on the road in Jersey City, NJ, on Sunday.

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After a holiday training trip to Puerto Rico, men's swimming and diving (3-5) travelled to Ann Arbor for a double dual meet with Michigan and Northwestern a little over a week ago. The Irish fell in overall scoring, 177-117 and 173-127, respectively. The squad claimed event victories in the 3-meter and 1-meter dives and a smattering of 3rd-place finishes.

In a second dual meet of the new year, the Irish fell to Wisconsin in Madison, 257-96, while missing several swimmers due to illness. The Irish earned 4 3rd-place finishes.

The women's squad (4-7) had some success in an early January double dual meet vs. Northwestern and Michigan in Ann Arbor, notching 5 1st-place finishes, including 3 from Emma Reaney (100 and 200 breast and 200 IM, plus the 100 fly and 3-meter dive). Unfortunately, the Irish lost in overall scoring to both teams (154-146 and 182-118, respectively).

This past weekend, the Irish travelled to Madison for another double dual meet, this time against no. 24 Wisconsin and no. 14 Indiana. The team lost again in overall scoring (244-109 and 255-98, respectively), but they earned individual event victories in 4 events (100 and 200 breast and 200 IM, again from Reaney, and 1-meter dive), plus 2 2nd-place finishes.

The Irish next host the Shamrock Invitational at the end of the month.

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No. 14 men's tennis notched an impressive, close win over no. 18 Kentucky this past weekend (4-3) as they began spring competition.

The Irish next welcome Oklahoma State this Saturday (2:00 p.m. ET). They face either Columbia or Tennessee on Sunday (TBA), depending on how play goes between those two teams.

The no. 20 women's squad was back in action this past weekend, posting clear wins over Western Michigan (6-1) and Detroit (7-0) as they get into spring play. They next face Michigan at the start of February.

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Track & field reconvened for the Simmons-Harvey Invitational in Ann Arbor, MI, this past weekend. The women earned 4 top finishes (600m, 400m, long jump, 4x400m relay) and 2 runner-up finishes (200m, 3000m), as well as a pair of 3rd-place finishes (60m, weight throw). The men earned 1st in the mile, 2nd in the long jump, and 3rd in the 200m and the weight throw.

This Saturday, the Irish host the Notre Dame Invitational.

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No. 7 women's basketball (17-2, 4-1 ACC) have gone 6-1 since we last checked in at TWINDA, with the young team's surprising second loss (the first was to UConn) coming against Miami, 78-63, on the road. Miami dominated early, earning a 20-point lead, then allowed the Irish to come within 6; they pulled away in the closing minutes to beat the Irish and end their 30-game road win streak.

Over the past week, the Irish decimated Boston College, 104-58, then won over no. 12 North Carolina, 89-79. Monday night, they hosted no. 6 Tennessee and won out, 88-77.

Highlights from the win over BC:

And from the win over North Carolina:

This Thursday, the Irish host Georgia Tech (7:00 p.m. ET, WatchND, ESPN3). They travel to meet Clemson on Saturday (5:00 p.m. ET, WatchND).

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Just in case you haven't noticed by now (for shame!), no. 12 men's basketball (17-2, 5-1 ACC) is having quite the season so far. Since we last checked in at TWINDA, the Irish moved up 9 spots in the rankings and went 7-1, with the sole loss coming to a talented Virginia team (62-56) a little over a week ago. This past Saturday, the Irish bested a surging Miami team, 75-70, and last Wednesday, beat Georgia Tech, 62-59.

It just so happens that our basketball coverage is excellent. Check out our analysis of the Miami win here and of the win over Georgia Tech here. Our breakdown of their fall to Virginia is right here.

The team next plays Virginia Tech in Blacksburg this Thursday (7:00 p.m. ET, WatchND, RSN), then visits North Carolina State on Sunday (6:30 p.m. ET, WatchND, ESPNU).

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Men's lacrosse begins play at home this Sunday with an exhibition match vs. Bellarmine (12:00 p.m. ET). Be sure to study Paul Rigney's preseason primer for the reigning ACC champion and national runner-up Irish, who have a no. 2 preseason ranking.

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After a very poor season and the dismissal of long-time head coach Debbie Brown, Irish volleyball has a new leader: Jim McLaughlin, a one-time Irish assistant coach who comes to Notre Dame from a long stint at the University of Washington. McLaughlin is the only head coach to lead both men's and women's collegiate teams to national championships. He led Washington's women's team to the national semifinals 4 times, most recently in 2013, and is known for turning around several programs.

In other words, this is a very serious and savvy hire. You can read the full release at UND.com right here.

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We'll bring you updates again next week on how Notre Dame's Olympic sports are faring. For now, go Irish. Beat everybody.