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Club Sports: Squash splits matches at Navy

Special to The Observer | Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Notre Dame traveled to Annapolis, Md., to participate in the US Naval Academy Invitational. 

The team split four matches, dropping contests with Virginia and Navy B, and then rebounding to defeat both Duke and North Carolina. The Irish lineup consisted of freshmen Reilly Bench, Mike O’Neill and Riley McGraw, sophomores TJ Sarda, Joseph Whalen and Paul Mickan, junior Ryan Gisriel and seniors Dennis Grabowski and Ryan Jenks.

Men’s Rowing

This weekend, the Irish traveled to Chattanooga, Tenn., to participate in the Head of the Hooch regatta, wrapping up the fall season. After a long overnight bus ride, fog delayed the beginning of the regatta for nearly two hours.

Racing opened with the Varsity 4+ boats in the club four event taking home fifth place in a field of more than 30 boats. Racing continued in the morning when Notre Dame entered a Novice Four and four Novice Eights. The novice put on a strong showing, with the first novice boat taking home silver medals.

In the afternoon, the two Varsity Eights had their turn down the course in the Championship 8+ event. The first eight took home fourth place behind the Atlanta Rowing Club. The second eight finished in 10th, ahead of every other second boat and a number of first boats as well.

The Irish now turn their full attention to the spring sprint season, shifting practices inside to the ergometers in Loftus Sports Center to build up strength and fitness for championship season.

The team’s next race is the San Diego Crew Classic on March 31 and April 1 on Mission Bay, San Diego.


The Notre Dame/Saint Mary’s Equestrian Team hosted a one-day horse show at Culver Academy this weekend.

The day started off with sophomore Katie Walsh taking first and junior Mia Genereux taking second in Open Fences. Junior Maureen McQuillan also had a strong ride, taking first in Intermediate Fences, while senior Victoria Scheid placed fifth in the fences class and sophomore Steph Nearhos took sixth. 

Senior Catherine Mikklesen had an incredible ride in her Alumni Fences class taking a respective second in her fences class and fifth in her flat class.  Despite having a large Open Flat class, the Irish faired well for themselves with Walsh taking another first and Genereux taking another second.

McQuillan was another repeat offender in Intermediate Flat, gathering another first and setting herself and Walsh up to compete for high point and reserve high point rider. Nearhos came in a close second behind McQuillan in that particular class. Seniors Christine Martin and Sarah Lusher took fourth and fifth in their Novice Flat class, respectively.

The day came to a close with freshman Rebecca Bullis grabbing second place in her Walk-Trot-Canter class and freshman De’Lana Northbird taking fourth in her Walk-Trot class. 

Walsh became High Point Rider for the day and McQuillan became Reserve High Point Rider.  Overall, the Irish came in second as a team, losing to Wisconsin-Madison by 10 points.


Notre Dame traveled to Cleveland, Ohio to compete in the eighth edition of North Coast, the last tournament of the fall season. 

Split into two relatively equal teams, the ND X squad led by seniors Will Cernanec and Adam Barsella finished 16th while the Y team led by seniors Michael DellaPenna, James Denue and Thomas Kenealy finished seventh.

ND-Y started hot in Saturday morning pool play with easy wins over Bowling Green and Wright State 13-7 and 13-6, respectively. The Irish were tested against SUNY-Buffalo Y, but were able to secure a place in the championship bracket with a 13-9 win. In their final game of the day, the Y-squad fell to Toledo.

ND-X didn’t fare as well during their pool play games, suffering losses to Akron, Allegheny and Pittsburgh, but won a blowout over Ohio.

With the chance to avenge ND-X’s loss, ND-Y began Sunday in pre-quarters against Allegheny. Notre Dame was down 8-4 at half, but after switching to a zone defense in the second half was able to fight back to tie the game at 10. Like the day before, the game came down to the last few points, but this time the Irish pulled out the win 15-13. Juniors Charlie Bowen and Eric Bens made plays on both sides of the disc with timely catches and precise throws.

Senior Sean Jackson added experience handling and senior Alex Clark controlled the skies.

After the win, the Irish advanced to take on SUNY-Buffalo X. Much like the game before, Notre Dame fell behind early, but mounted another comeback. This time, however, it fell short with Buffalo taking the game 14-13. Falling to the fifth place bracket, ND-Y lost to Akron before beating SUNY Buffalo Y again for seventh. ND-X went 1-1 on Sunday with a win over Case Western and a loss to John Carroll. Standout performances for both teams included juniors Dan Bolivar and Connor Sea, sophomores Conor Hanney and Jordan Lange, and freshmen Keith Podgorski, Kevin Song, Kyle Hill, Jason Wassel and Erich and Danny Kerekes. The men’s team will now begin to move indoors for the winter and begin preparing for the spring season with an eye on a Nationals bid in May.

The women’s team also traveled to North Coast hosted by Case Western Reserve.  The Notre Dame X, led by senior captain Vicke Hadlock, finished the weekend in 10th place out of 20 teams with a 3-3 record.  The Irish opened the weekend with back-to-back wins against Ohio Wesleyan and Denison.The team then lost a hard fought game to Edinboro. The Irish ended pool play with a tough 13-5 loss against Pittsburgh, who finished in the top four in the tournament. 

On Sunday, Notre Dame X started slow against Ohio, but after a time out, the team rallied in the end of the first half. However they could not keep the momentum, losing this first game in the first round of the championship bracket.  In spite of this early loss, the team started strong in its next game, getting a 6-0 lead against North Park and holding on to win. Juniors Andrea Palazzolo and Coutrney Iverson led the team handling with beautiful throws, and junior Devlin Lynch had great cuts, both in and deep. Sophomore Molly Partusch and freshman McKenna Schuster played hard defense all weekend.

The Notre Dame Y squad, captained by senior Ashley Satterlee, demonstrated significant improvement over the weekend and ended in 13th place with a 3-3 record.  As the only split squad in the tournament and as the No. 2-seed in the toughest bracket, the women had a disadvantage from the start.  They lost to experienced teams from Carnegie Mellon, Ohio and Case Western on Saturday, but went up 3-0 against Ohio Northern before winning by forfeit, giving the Notre Dame women their first victory of the day.

Although the scoreboard did not reflect it, the team improved throughout the day and carried that momentum into Sunday’s bracket play, where they performed much better. After falling behind 4-0 to Allegheny on Sunday morning, Notre Dame came back to win the game by three points. Fresh off the victory, they went on to beat Miami (Ohio) 12-8 in a windy game that put them in 13th place.


Women’s Rugby

The Irish women’s rugby team traveled to Minneapolis this weekend to play the Minnesota in the first round of Midwest playoffs.  The Irish fought hard throughout the game and struggled to turn the back and forth score into an Irish win.  However, in the end Notre Dame’s hopes were crushed by a close 17-15 loss, bringing an end to its playoff run.

The game started with the Irish receiving the ball from the Gophers. The game was fast-paced with both teams playing very physically and rucking well.  Halfway through the first half, the gophers used penalty kicks for touch to move the ball down into Irish territory and broke through the Irish defense for their first try. 

However, the Irish returned to score a try of their own by graduate student and inside center Kayla Bishop, tying the score 5-5. Junior outside center Ashley Okonta then scored a second try to put the Irish in the lead 10-5.  The Irish hoped to continue scoring to cement their lead, but a break by Minnesota gave the Gophers a second try and a conversion.  The half ended with the Irish down two points.

In the second half, the Irish fought to recover their lead. With 17 minutes left in the half, the Irish forced their way through the defense for a try by freshman fullback Natalie Branch. The Irish were up 15-12, but the Gophers brought the ball around the Irish defense for another try. The Irish ran out of time and the Minnesota won 17-15. 

Women’s Water Polo

Over the weekend, the Irish competed against some of the best teams on the east coast at the Virginia’s Wahoo Classic.  The Irish opened preseason play with a win against Pittsburgh 15-5, and went on to host Virginia and won 10-4.

In its third game of the day, the team faced Duke. Though they fought back from an early 4-0 deficit, the Irish could not overcome their slow start and lost 11-10.  The last game of the weekend, a 15-2 win against Virginia Tech, saw goals scored by nine different team members. 

Senior captain Erin Gibson was a leading scorer and senior goalkeeper Kelly Gibson and senior hole set defender Kasia Ahern anchored the defense.  The Irish now look forward to their annual intrasquad Blue-Gold game in December. 


Notre Dame headed to Cleveland this weekend for the second and third American Heartland Tournaments of the year. 

With good coaching by Dan Dews, freshmen Chris Henneman and Kevin Schneider are improving at a rapid pace. Sophomore Mike Murray turned his season around with an admirable 160 after injuring his thumb and one finger on his bowling hand. The Irish are next in action Nov. 12 and 13, when they travel to Dayton for the Raider Classic.


Notre Dame’s fishing club traveled to Manistee, Mich., for the Steelhead Run tournament.  This was strictly a catch and release event, so no fish returned to campus. 

The club will take part in several events, including Bass or Steelhead tournaments, throughout the year and is open to both men and women.