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Club Sports: Men’s volleyball gains national ranking

Special to The Observer | Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The men’s volleyball team climbed to its highest national ranking in several years with a No. 7 rank in this week’s poll. The Irish recently defeated the past two national champions, including last year’s champion and current No. 1, Ohio State. Led by senior Mark Iandolo, the club is preparing for a run at the national title next month.

Cycling

Ohio State hosted the MWCCA road races Saturday on a rolling 15-mile course. Sophomore Brian Hurley competed first for Notre Dame. In his debut weekend, Hurley rode well and finished mid-pack.

Freshman Josh Corcoran, graduate student Andrew O’Donnell, and sophomore Michael Tonzi represented ND in the Men’s ‘C’ field. Tonzi crossed the line first in his group and fifteenth overall. O’Donnell did not finish far behind while Corcoran also finished in the top half of the field of 60.

Graduate student Douglas Ansel and sophomore Joe Magro rode for the Irish in the Men’s ‘A’ category. Starting towards the rear, Magro passed much of the field on the ascent and crested the hill in the front group. As the temperature dropped into the thirties and driving rain turned to sleet and hail, riders strung out all over the course.

Magro settled into the second group of eight and scored more nationals qualification points with a finish of seventeeth overall. After two weekends he now leads the D-II conference standings by one point over Maxwell Anderson of Wisconsin Platteville.

Equestrian

The Notre Dame/Saint Mary’s equestrian team traveled to Chicago this past weekend to compete in its first show of the semester against UW-Madison, UW-Lacrosse, UW-Milwaukee,

Northwestern, Augustana and Iowa State. The team took third place on Saturday with 28 points while Northwestern took second with 33 points and Wisconsin- Lacrosse took the top spot with 38 points. On Sunday, however, Notre Dame/ Saint Mary’s was the high-point team with 38 points and Wisconsin- Madison came in second with 32 points.

Individually, the team excelled on both Saturday and Sunday. The show started with Open Fences. Sophomore Mia Genereux had an excellent performance, coming in second place. Freshman and first-time competitor Stephanie Nearhos took a solid second in Intermediate Fences. Despite the large number of competitors in Novice Fences, freshman Sarah Dalton trotted away in fourth place.

The Irish and Belles held their own in each of the flat classes. Mia Genereux swept the Open class with a first-place finish, also making her high point rider for the day. Junior Victoria Scheid took first place in Intermediate Flat. Whitney Preisser and Amanda Leon delivered a one-two punch by taking first and second respectively, in Novice flat. Senior Nicole Oberschmied got fourth place while also qualifying for regionals. Senior Laura Powell placed third in Advanced Walk-Trot-Canter. To finish up the day, senior Megan Daugherty received a strong second in her Walk-Trot class.

An even better day was to follow on Sunday, as Preisser and Walsh qualified for regionals — with Walsh qualifying in two events — and Nearhos finished first in two different classes of competition.

Women’s Ice Hockey

This weekend the Notre Dame women’s ice hockey team closed its season with a pair of games at the University of Illinois. In the first game, the Irish played well, but fell to the Ilini by a score of 3-0.

In the second game, the Irish fought back from Friday’s defeat and tied Illinois 1-1. The first period ended with no score as the Irish played strong defense, led by senior Amber Rosenberg.

In the second period, the Illini scored on a power play, putting them up by one goal. However, in the third period, the Irish came back with one minute and 41 seconds left on the clock. Junior Lauren Miller scored the goal that tied the game for good.

Ultimate

The Notre Dame women’s ultimate team ventured to St. Louis, Mo., for the Midwest Throwdown, a highly competitive tournament consisting of 32 women’s teams.

The women’s A team first saw action against Colorado College. The team fought hard but eventually fell, 9-2. In the second round of pool play against Washington, the A team traded points throughout the game, battling cold temperatures and heavy winds. The weather proved difficult to overcome, however, as the Irish lost, 9-6.

In their final game of the day, Notre Dame faced rival Ohio State. Both teams attempted to capitalize on strong zone offense, with sophomore Allie Hawkins finding gaps to catch the disk. Notre Dame fell to Ohio State 7-4, but endured through the entire game, trekking through heavy mud in adverse conditions.

Notre Dame entered bracket play on Sunday against Iowa State. The women came out strong, with long downfield throws from seniors Molly Thompson and Kim Ford and solid long cuts from sophomore Kelly Taylor in an 11-8 loss.

The A team finally claimed victory against the B team of Carleton College, winning 10-6. They advanced in the ninth place bracket to play Minnesota. The women rallied back with three points in a row to tie the game at seven, the final point determining the outcome as the Irish fell 8-7.

In their final match of the weekend, the women easily defeated Truman State with a score of 9-2, ending the tournament as the 11th place finishers. Both freshman Kelsey Fink and junior Vicke Hadlock played strong defense throughout the weekend.

The Notre Dame women’s B team came out in their first official tournament of the season. They started off the day with pool play games against St. Olaf and Wisconsin B, falling 10-1 and 12-2, respectively. Their third game pinned the women against the B team of Carleton College, where they struggled to find cutter flow and lost 10-1.

On Sunday, the women’s B team opened play against Kenyon. Sophomore Kat Wilson made great plays while freshman Taylor Roberts showcased her catching and throwing abilities. The Irish couldn’t quite seal the victory, losing 11-6 and moving on to play Hendrix. Although a close game, the women lost 7-4 and were highly determined to win their final match of the tournament. The B team did just that, defeating Kansas State 11-4, with strong cuts from sophomore Annie Flood and solid catches from newcomer and sophomore Betty Graham.

The Notre Dame men’s ultimate team competed in the Midwest Throwdown in St. Charles, Mo., this weekend. The A team finished in a somewhat disappointing tie for ninth place in the 25 team tournament, with a 4-3 record for the weekend. The tournament began with a loss to Harding University, but the team rebounded to beat Missouri the following game. A comfortable win over Missouri S&T was followed by a loss to Wisconsin-Whitewater to end Saturday play.

A loss to Grinnell in the pre-quarterfinal round ended Notre Dame’s championship hopes, but the Irish bounced back to beat Truman State in a come-from-behind 16-14 win. The team closed the weekend by defeating Nebraska to finish with an overall winning record.

Freshman Connor Hanney played exceptionally well on Sunday, making big plays on both sides of the disc. Seniors Patrick Kozak, Jon Holland and Justin Browne gave Notre Dane experience on the handler line, limiting turns while finding cutters downfield. On the defensive-Line, juniors Adam Barsella and Thom Kenealy and senior John Miller continuously shut down opposing cutters. Sophomores Colin Mackett, Dan Bolivar and Eric Bens all added contributions with accurate throws, timely cutting and shut down defense. The team will be back in action next weekend in Tennessee, and the following weekend at the College Southerns in Statesboro, Ga.