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Monday, Feb. 26, 2024
The Observer

Athlete of the Week: Coleman dominates, Shoaf claims award for third time

Two new honorees on the women’s side and some Notre Dame records on the men’s side highlighted the sixth week of voting for Observer Athlete and Team of the Week awards. 

Women’s Athlete of the Week: Meghan Coleman, Notre Dame Tennis

In a heated week of voting, sophomore Meghan Coleman earned the tri-campus Women’s Athlete of the Week by a razor-thin margin. Coleman played a pivotal role in Notre Dame’s upset of No. 16 Washington. Coleman teamed up with classmate Yashna Yellayi at No. 2 doubles and claimed a 6-3 victory. That allowed Notre Dame an early advantage and helped the Irish claim the doubles point. 

In singles, Coleman played on the No. 5 court, and she dominated her counterpart with the Huskies. The Indianapolis native cruised to a 6-0 victory in the first set. In the second set, she had little issue, recording a 6-3 victory to claim another point for the Irish. Notre Dame ultimately won 5-2, with Coleman grabbing two of those points and dropping just six games over three undefeated sets. 

Honorable Mention: Katie Haas, Saint Mary’s Lacrosse

Saint Mary’s senior Kate Haas became the first Belle to claim a spot in the weekly awards, delivering a six-goal performance in the season opener. Haas started hot, assisting on the Belles’ first goal ten seconds into the clash. Haas went on to score four times in Saint Mary’s ten-goal first quarter. She finished with six goals and an assist, tying a career-high in goals. 

Men’s Athlete of the Week: Michael Shoaf, Notre Dame Track & Field 

A weekend of career-bests for Notre Dame sophomore Michael Shoaf put the Irish thrower back in a familiar spot: atop the voting for the tri-campus Men’s Athlete of the Week. For the third time in six weeks, Shoaf claimed the award after another fantastic effort this past weekend. 

Competing at home in the Alex Wilson Invitational, Shoaf placed in both the weight throw and the shotput. In the weight throw, the sophomore launched his best effort 20.08 meters. It was a career-best throw that earned him third in a deep and talented field of throwers. However, it was in his primary event, the shotput, that Shoaf shone even brighter. In his six throws, Shoaf broke his previous school record of 18.91 meters on three different occasions. His high-water mark was 19.48 meters, which was enough to claim victory by nearly half a meter. 

The double career-best effort and Notre Dame record earned Shoaf his third Men’s Athlete of the Week award. 

Honorable Mention: Chris Giuliano, Notre Dame Swimming

Freshman Chris Giuliano etched his name into the Notre Dame record books with Irish records in the 50 and 100 Freestyle. The efforts earned him an 11th-place finish in both events at the ACC Championships. 

Team of the Week: Notre Dame Women’s Tennis

Notre Dame Women’s Tennis claimed team of the week with their victory over No. 16 Washington this week. The Irish welcomed the Huskies to Eck Tennis Pavilion and walked away with a 5-2 victory. It represented Notre Dame’s first ranked win and saw the Irish improve to 7-3. Notre Dame claimed the doubles point to stake themselves to an early advantage. In singles, the Irish dominated when needed. Junior Page Freeman cruised to a 6-3, 6-2 victory at the No. 2 singles, and the Irish’s depth won out on the lower court. Coleman won at No. 5, sandwiched by victories from sophomore Yashna Yellayi and freshman Maria Olivia Castedo at No. 4 and No. 6, respectively. The dominant showing in pulling off the top-20 upset was enough to earn team of the week. 

Notre Dame opens ACC play against UNC and Duke this coming weekend. 


Men’s Athlete of the Week: Shoaf (ND Track, 4th nomination), Chris Guiliano (ND Swimming, 1st), Blake Wesley (ND MBB, 1st), Mick Sullivan (HCC MBB, 1st), John Michael Bertrand (ND Baseball, 1st)

Women’s Athlete of the Week: Coleman (ND Tennis, 1st), Haas (SMC Lacrosse, 1st), Olivia Miles (ND WBB, 4th), Jayda Miller (HCC WBB, 1st)