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ND WOMEN’S SWIMMING: Team to face Louisville, Oakland this weekend

Greg Arbogast | Friday, January 27, 2006

Today and Saturday mark the final meet of the regular season for the Irish women before they can fully focus on the Big East Championships in Long Island, N.Y on Feb. 15.

The immediate matter on Notre Dame’s mind right now is this weekend’s meet against Oakland and fellow Big East competitor Louisville.

The Irish believe they have an excellent chance to extend their winning streak to seven consecutive meets when swimming begins today at 5 p.m. at the Rolfs Aquatic Center. Oakland lost its previous meet on Jan. 20, 147.5-97.5, to Michigan State – the same Spartans that Notre Dame defeated one day later, 156-147.

Louisville presents a tougher challenge. The Cardinals enter the meet with a 5-2 dual meet record. But Louisville must rebound from a 172-119 loss last weekend to in-state rival Kentucky.

Though Notre Dame intends to extend its current six-meet winning streak, the team is approaching this weekend’s meet with several other objectives.

“One main focus is helping our teammates qualify so we can take a full team,” junior swimmer Julia Quinn said.

Furthermore, the Irish are looking to use this weekend to send a message to their fellow Big East competitors. Notre Dame will see the Cardinals again at the conference championship in two weeks.

“The more we beat Louisville by, the more we reiterate that we’re the favorites going into the Big East Championships,” Quinn said.

With these goals in mind, Irish coach Carrie Nixon has put the team through one final week of intense practice.

But beginning next week, the team will begin to ‘taper,’ gradually reducing workouts to allow for rest before the Big East Championships.