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Club Sports: Men’s rowing scrimmages in Tennessee over break

Special to The Observer | Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Irish rowers traveled to Oak Ridge, Tenn. for spring break to gain valuable time on the water leading up to the beginning of the spring season. The team practiced 18 times over the course of the week, culminating in a Saturday morning scrimmage against Skidmore College, the University of New Hampshire and Army.

The top three Notre Dame varsity eights handily beat Skidmore’s top boat. The first novice eight won both pieces of the novice event, beating the top New Hampshire boat by open water, closely followed by the second Notre Dame novice eight, Army, and Skidmore. The Irish will travel to Indianapolis Sunday to race Purdue.

Men’s Rugby

Men’s rugby traveled to Baton Rouge, La. over the weekend and posted a 15-11 upset of nationally ranked LSU. The Irish trailed 11-0 before mounting a comeback and registering the first upset of an elite team in the country.

Women’s Water Polo

The Irish water polo team traveled to southern California this past week for a spring break training trip.

The Irish started the week off strong with a 7-6 victory over their host, the University of California Santa Barbara. The Irish led for most of the game, but the fourth quarter ended with a tied score of 6-6. The Irish battled UCSB in two quarters of sudden death overtime before coming up with the winning goal on an exclusion play.

After a day off, the Irish traveled to the University of California San Bernardino for a scrimmage against the Coyotes. UC-San Bernardino won the scrimmage by a score of 10-5.

Thursday the team scrimmaged the Huntington Beach club team at Huntington Beach High School, competing with a group of experienced players.

The Irish rounded out the week Friday with an excellent scrimmage against San Diego State. The scrimmage provided the Irish with an opportunity to work closely on their offense.

The Irish will travel to the University of Miami (Ohio) this weekend for one of the biggest tournaments of the year.

Ultimate men’s squad

Both the Notre Dame men’s ultimate A and B teams traveled to Cookeville, Tenn., over the first weekend of spring break to compete in the Matthew Hopper Memorial. The A team finished a disappointing second-place in the tournament.

The Irish were undefeated in pool play, defeating Illinois B, Kent State and Carson Newman handily before facing Wheaton in a crossover game to end the day.

Earning a bye into the semifinals, Notre Dame knocked off Wisconsin B 13-8 to reach the finals. Senior John Miller and junior James Denue patrolled the field against the taller Wisconsin team, while juniors Will Cernanec and Adam Barsella constantly made themselves open for throws from senior handlers Patrick Kozak, Jon Holland and Justine Browne. The men’s B team finished 13th.

The A and B teams spent the second weekend of spring break competing at Southerns in Statesboro, Ga. against some of the top competition in the country. The A team finished sixth with their only loss coming against eventual tournament champion Tufts while the B team finished tied for 29th in the 40-team tournament.

The A team had comfortable wins in their first three games of pool play. The return of sophomore cutter Zack Woodruff and freshman cutter Conor Hanney from injuries helped the team. Notre Dame was without sophomore Jonathon Koch.

Notre Dame first faced Chicago in knockout play. The Irish were able to secure a few early breaks and comfortably defeated their rival before falling in the quarterfinals to Tufts.

The B team defeated Mary Washington in their first game Sunday before losing to George Mason in the second round. Captains Charlie Landis, a senior, and Sean Jackson, a junior, turned in strong performances. The B team will compete in their fourth tournament in four weeks next weekend at the Chicago Invite.

Ultimate women’s squad

The Notre Dame women’s ultimate frisbee team traveled to Wilmington, N.C. March 12-13 for Women’s College Easterns, a highly competitive tournament. In pool play, Notre Dame squared off against Wisconsin, Virginia and Yale. The Irish fell to Wisconsin, who finished second in the tournament. After the 13-3 loss, the women lost 12-8 to Virginia but began to improve their cutter flow. In the final game of pool play, the Irish defeated Yale 10-8 in a close battle. Sophomore Kelsey Taylor made smart cuts while senior Amy Bilek helped break apart Yale’s zone defense.

The women moved on to knockout play, but a 13-7 loss to Texas dropped the Irish to the consolation bracket, where they lost two out of three games Sunday to finish 12th overall at Easterns.

The women’s B team competed at Easterns in a pool with SUNY-Buffalo, Liberty, American and Towson. The team opened play with a 9-8 win over SUNY-Buffalo before falling 8-5 to Liberty and 11-2 to American. Sophomore captain Courtney Iversen organized smart lines while sophomore Devlin Lynch caught nearly every disk within her vicinity. The team closed play on the first day with an 11-3 loss to Towson. The women fell to Harvard 13-1 in their final match of the tournament Sunday.

Playing in their third straight weekend tournament, the Irish women’s ultimate team traveled to Statesboro, Ga. to battle tough heat and tough competition at College Southerns. The women finished the weekend 4-3, their most promising finish so far this season.

The B team played Ohio State, Wellesley and South Florida in pool play. They suffered a tough loss to Ohio State, which eventually finished second in the tournament. The women rallied against Wellesley but couldn’t quite find their rhythm, losing 13-1. Sophomore Betty Graham’s strong throwing was a highlight for the Irish in the first two games of the day. The team closed play with a 9-7 loss to South Florida.