July 12, 2010

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Two of Notre Dame’s 22 sports that compete in the BIG EAST Conference were honored with the 2009-10 BIG EAST Academic Team Excellence Awards recognizing the highest collective grade-point averages in each conference sport. The Fighting Irish baseball and men’s lacrosse teams were each recipients of the third annual awards.

Eleven BIG EAST schools had at least one team represented on the list with Providence pacing all schools with a conference-best five teams honored. DePaul and Syracuse each finished with four selections, while the Irish were joined by Cincinnati, Louisville and St. John’s with two. West Virginia, Rutgers, Georgetown and USF each saw one team named to the list.

The Irish men’s lacrosse team not only led the conference in the classroom but also represented the BIG EAST in the NCAA National Championship in ’09-10 for the first time in program history. The squad earned victories over No. 6 Princeton, No. 3 Maryland and No. 7 Cornell en route to the championship game, before dropping an overtime decision to fifth-ranked Duke, 6-5.

It marks the first time that either of the Irish teams has been presented with the award since its inception in ’07-08. The Irish baseball team concluded the year with a 3.117 grade-point average (GPA), while the men’s lacrosse team finished with a 3.065.

In total, 20 of Notre Dame’s 22 teams that compete in the BIG EAST conference earned better than a 3.00 GPA during the recently completed academic year, with the women’s tennis team pacing all Irish teams for the second straight year with a 3.494 mark.

2009-10 BIG EAST Team Excellence Award Winners:Sport            SchoolBaseball             Notre DameMen's Basketball        West VirginiaWomen's Basketball          DePaulMen's Cross Country         CincinnatiWomen's Cross Country       LouisvilleField Hockey            LouisvilleFootball            SyracuseMen's Golf              DePaulWomen's Golf            St. John'sMen's Lacrosse           Notre DameWomen's Lacrosse        CincinnatiWomen's Rowing          RutgersMen's Soccer            DePaulWomen's Soccer          St. John'sSoftball            DePaul and ProvidenceMen's Swimming & Diving     GeorgetownWomen's Swimming & Diving   SyracuseMen's Tennis            USFWomen's Tennis          SyracuseMen's Indoor Track & Field      ProvidenceWomen's Indoor Track & Field    ProvidenceMen's Outdoor Track & Field     ProvidenceWomen's Outdoor Track & Field   ProvidenceWomen's Volleyball          Syracuse