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Women’s Swimming: Squad downs Big East rival Panthers 138-106

Greg Arbogast | Monday, November 7, 2005

The women’s swimming and diving team bounced back from a disappointing weekend against Cal and Purdue with a convincing win over Pittsburgh 138-105 Friday.

The Irish won seven out of 13 events, the most important of which were undoubtedly the first two events of the meet.

In both of the meets against Cal and Purdue, Notre Dame got off to slow starts, and the Irish spent the entire meet attempting to catch up. The relay team of Caroline Johnson, Julia Quinn, Katie Carroll and Rebecca Grove made sure that didn’t happen again as they won the first event of the night, the 400-yard medley relay.

Freshman Claire Hutchinson lengthened the early lead with a victory in the 1,000-yard freestyle.

“We had a good week in practice, and we were able to use that to start out well and build off that for the rest of the meet,” junior Jessica Stephens said.

The Panthers began to make a run during the middle of the meet, but the Irish put the meet out of reach during the 200-meter breast stroke. Notre Dame posted a 1, 2, 3 finish as Stephens won the event in 2:20.06 followed closely by teammates Quinn and Katie Hopkins.

Notre Dame was again aided by a strong performance from its freshmen, who accounted for three of the seven first-place finishes for the Irish.

“Even though they’re few in number, they’re fresh attitude and strong swimming has really inspired everybody else on the team,” sophomore Caroline Johnson said.

The win gives the swimming and diving team its first victory of the season, boosting Notre Dame’s record to 1-2. The team, which remained upbeat after its losses last weekend, is extremely confident as it heads into the main stretch of their season.

“Our training is going really well right now, and we’re just focused on getting ready for our invitational which is in two weeks,” Stephens said. “I think we’re right where we need to be for the rest of the season.”

The team’s next meet is Friday at 5 p.m. in the Rolf’s Aquatic Center.