For the first time in 14 years, Notre Dame baseball owns a 3-0 record. Not even the 2021 and 2022 teams, which went a combined 10-5 in the NCAA tournament, swept their opening weekends.
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Two weeks into the 2024 season, Notre Dame lacrosse appears to have hit a golden age. The men’s team, coming off its first national championship, remains the top-ranked squad in America. In the meantime, the Irish women soared from No. 8 to No. 2 in the rankings after downing seemingly untouchable Northwestern. At this point, Notre Dame shines as the only school with two lacrosse teams ranked within the nation’s top four.
The season's second weekend took Notre Dame softball to Jacksonville where the team won all three of their games at the Jacksonville/University of North Florida Invitational. After topping Samford twice and Jacksonville once, Notre Dame headed home early, canceling its Sunday morning matchup with North Florida. With the 3-0 showing, the Irish extended their win streak to five and improved to 6-2 on the year.
Despite a disappointing dismount, Notre Dame hockey accomplished exactly what it needed to this weekend. With an at-large NCAA tournament bid likely impossible, the Irish have focused on setting themselves up for Big Ten postseason success. Taking four points at home from No. 8 Minnesota represents a good start.
Last year, Notre Dame baseball experienced an important transition. With much of the 2022 College World Series team’s core still intact, the Irish took the field under a first-year head coach in Shawn Stiffler. While that group missed out on postseason glory, it set a new precedent for baseball in South Bend – one marked by blue-collar work ethic and day-to-day growth.
MADISON, Wis. — Notre Dame’s task should have been challenging enough this weekend. Visiting No. 4 Wisconsin, the highest-ranked team in the Big Ten, already required poised, crisp hockey from the Irish. Add about a full game’s worth of Irish penalty minutes, and a successful weekend in Madison ultimately demanded near-perfect play from Notre Dame.
About a month ago, Notre Dame hockey played perhaps its most frustrating series of the season. Wisconsin had entered South Bend and became the first team to cleanly sweep the Irish at a full-capacity Compton Family Ice Arena in four years. The weekend, which ended with a 7-4 loss, left the Irish on a five-game Big Ten losing skid.
Of the eight February matches for Notre Dame women’s tennis, all but one are at home. The lone road trip falls this weekend, as the 5-1 Irish meet No. 25 Wisconsin on Sunday. Overall, Notre Dame leads the all-time series against the Badgers 19-8. Most recently, Wisconsin picked up a 5-2 victory in South Bend on Feb. 19 of last year.
In recent years, Notre Dame hockey has developed a knack for performing well after extended periods of rest. Excluding season openers, the Irish are 14-4-3 in regular season games following 10 or more days of rest since 2016-17.
The Notre Dame tennis teams traveled southeast over the weekend, competing in the ITA Kickoff Weekend. In Columbus, Ohio, the women’s squad fell to Ohio State before skimming past Kansas. Meanwhile, the men’s crew dropped both of its tussles against Kentucky and Nebraska in Lexington, Kentucky.
On Friday and Saturday, the Notre Dame track and field team competed in Ann Arbor at the Michigan Invitational. The weekend brought in several top teams from throughout the Great Lakes region, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana State.
Notre Dame women’s basketball is closing in on a challenging 51 hours of hoops. Ahead of Saturday’s primetime showdown at No. 8 UConn, the No. 15 Irish will battle No. 22 Syracuse on Thursday night. Among six ACC games Thursday, the game at Purcell Pavilion will be the only ranked matchup.
Few players on the gridiron process more information than the center. The offensive line’s anchor studies and calls out aspects of the defense, identifies protection schemes and, on a basic level, uses everything seen and heard on the field to decide when to start the play. Not to mention that, once the play begins, the center deals with blocking only the largest defensive players.