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ND Swimming: Squads to take on Purdue

Joe Meixell | Friday, November 7, 2008

After a week off since its previous meet against Pittsburgh, both the men’s and women’s squads are gearing up to face off against in-state rival Purdue.

“We’re very excited to swim against Purdue,” Men’s coach Tim Welsh said. “They’re a wonderful program, a great in-state rival with two South Bend boys on their team. We’re glad to have them”

Welsh’s Men’s team comes off a thrilling victory against Pittsburgh that went down to the final event of the meet.

“We swam well at Pitt and raced tough, and it gave us the confidence that we can be tough when we need to be,” Welsh said. “We’re very enthusiastic and optimistic headed into the meet.”

However, the Irish face one of their toughest challenges of the season against the Boilermakers. Purdue, ranked No. 16 nationally, is the first ranked team to travel to the Rolfs Aquatic Center this season.

One of the intriguing matchups in the meet comes on the diving board, as both teams bring in tremendously talented divers. Purdue first diver, freshman and Indiana native David Boudia, competed in the Olympics this summer in Beijing, and Purdue’s second diver, sophomore David Colturi, was an NCAA Finalist. Meanwhile, Notre Dame senior Michael Bulfin was an All-American at the NCAA Championships last year.

Welsh thinks it may be Notre Dame’s most exciting diving competition of the year.

In the women’s matchup, the teams enter with the roles nearly reversed compared to their male counterparts. Notre Dame, ranked No. 24 nationally, looks to remain unbeaten in its home pool. The Irish have won all 28 events in which they have competed at the Rolfs Aquatic Center.

Notre Dame hopes that its sophomores can maintain their fast start. Of the 14 individual events that the Irish won against Purdue, sophomores won 13 of them.

While the Irish are well rested after a weeklong layoff, Purdue will travel to Notre Dame on Friday night after taking on Northwestern in Evanston. The Boilermakers’ travel schedule could have an impact on the meet.

The meet is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Rolfs Aquatic Center.