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ND Swimming: Notre Dame hosts ranked Boilers

Chris Hine | Friday, November 3, 2006

No. 17 Notre Dame (1-0) will face its first tough test of the season as No. 18 Purdue (1-0) rolls into South Bend today for a 5 p.m. meet at Rolfs Aquatic Center. The Irish are looking to avenge last year’s 182-118 loss to the Boilermakers.Notre Dame enters the meet on the heels of its first win of the season against Texas A&M 169-129, while Purdue beat Arizona State 181-118. The No. 17 Irish ranking in the CSCAA poll is the highest ranking in the history of the program.”Can we win both [men’s and women’s meets] this weekend? Yes,” Purdue coach Dan Ross said. “But will we? That’s what we’re going to find out.”Ross expects a close meet that could go either way. “They have a big roster that gives them lots of options while we’re limited to the guys we have on out travel squad,” Ross said. “This is their first big home meet of the year, so we’re expecting a hostile environment.”Irish assistant coach Matt Tallman said six out of the 16 events will turn the tide in favor of one team or another.”The first key to the meet is the diving,” he said. “Purdue has a strong diving team, but so do we. It’ll be a matter of where they fall when the diving is over.”Sophomore NCAA national qualifier Michael Bulfin, junior Sam Stoner, senior Scott Coyle and juniors Chris Kane and Steven Crowe will participate in the two diving events – the one-meter and three-meter – for the Irish. Against Texas A&M, Stoner placed second in the one-meter dive, while Bulfin finished second in the three-meter.”[Purdue senior co-captain Steven Lobue] is really, really good. He [advanced to the finals] at the NCAA championships on both boards,” Stoner said. “It will be a very competitive meet.”The other four events Tallman highlighted include the 400-yard medley, 100-yard fly, 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard breaststroke.”To have that many events so close on paper is unusual,” Tallman said. “It’s all going to come down to the touch.”In the match against Texas A&M, the Irish won 9 of the 16 events, including wins in the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke by sophomore Sam Pendergast, the 100-yard fly by senior Tim Kegelman and the 200-yard freestyle by senior Ted Brown.”We want to win as may races as possible versus Purdue,” Brown said. “If we do that, we put ourselves in a position to win the meet. That’s all we want – a shot at winning, and we have the team to do it this year.”Tallman said that while winning the dual meets is nice, the team’s training does not focus on the immediate results of this early part of the season.”Our goals right now are geared toward February or March,” he said. “Most of what we’re working on now is geared toward the Big East meet and the NCAAs.”