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ND Women’s Swimming: Swimmers excited for rematch with No. 13 Michigan

Tennant, Mike | Friday, January 28, 2005

The No. 21 Irish find themselves in familiar waters today as they travel to Ann Arbor for a late-season showdown with No. 13 Michigan.

This weekend will be the third time the Irish will see the Wolverines in the month of January. Both teams also traveled to the Caribbean for their winter training trips.

The Wolverines beat out the Irish at the St. Lucia Invitational on Jan. 2, outscoring Notre Dame 209-170 en rout to a first place finish. Two weeks ago, the Wolverines were in South Bend as part of a triple dual involving Illinois. Notre Dame only scored against Illinois.

However, head coach Bailey Weathers does not see the two teams’ familiarity making a difference this weekend.

“I don’t think it’s an advantage or disadvantage,” Weathers said. “Our girls know we worked just as hard as they did on the training trip.”

The Irish have had the last week off after an exciting final relay gave Notre Dame a 175-172 victory over the Illini two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Michigan is coming off a tough loss to No. 23 Northwestern, its first Big Ten dual meet loss since 2002.

“I think they’re going to be ready for us,” Weathers said.

Leading the Irish into Ann Arbor will be record-breaking diver Meghan Perry-Eaton. The All-American fifth-year senior was named 2003 and 2004 Big East Championships Most Outstanding Diver. Against Illinois, Perry-Eaton set records on back-to-back days, giving her all four records at Notre Dame’s Rolfs Aquatic Center. She has won 14 of the 15 events she entered this season.

Sophomore Ellen Johnson took first place in the 100-meter backstroke at St. Lucia, beating out Michigan’s NCAA qualifier Kaitlyn Brady.

The 400-meter freestyle relay team of Carroll, Grove, Ellen Johnson, and Bouvron won their event in the Caribbean over their Wolverine counterparts by more than a full second.

In South Bend, the 400-yard freestyle team of Carroll, both Johnson’s, and Grove beat the Illinois team by .06 seconds to win the dual for the Irish.

“We have got a lot of kids who are going to swim well,” Weathers said. “We’re all very ready to swim.”

After this weekend, the Irish have one final meet against Oakland in Rochester, Mich, before the Big East Championships.

“They’re looking at the Michigan meet as a stepping stone for the Big East [Championships]. They understand the dual meet is part of the process of preparing for the Big East [Championships], just like the Big East is part of the process for the NCAA [Championships],” Weathers said.

The swimming will start tonight at 6 p.m.