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ND Women’s Swimming and Diving: Spartans head to Notre Dame after consecutive losses

Matthew Unger | Thursday, January 19, 2012

Having fallen short in three straight meets dating back to November, the Irish welcome an opportunity to reverse that trend Saturday when they host a struggling Michigan State squad. The Spartans last won a meet against St. Bonaventure in November and recently lost to Ball State and Indiana.

The Michigan State swimmers are familiar foes for the Irish, as the two schools competed in the Ohio State Invitational in early December. The Irish (3-5) and Spartans ( placed fourth and fifth respectively in the five-team event.

Junior Jenny Rusch is one of the Spartans’ top swimmers, as she has excelled in the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle events, winning the 100-yard event in the Purdue meet and the 50-yard freestyle against Ball State. Junior swimmer Alexandra Pierce has also been a consistent performer for Michigan State in the individual medley and butterfly events.

However, no Michigan State swimmer has earned the accolades of Irish freshman Emma Reaney. She earned her third Big East Swimmer of the Week award of the season with three first-place finishes in last Saturday’s double-dual meet against Michigan and Northwestern. Reaney will attempt to follow up the award with a strong performance on Saturday.

One matchup of particular interest will be the 1-meter and 3-meter diving events between Irish junior Jenny Chiang and Spartan senior Sarah Clay.

Chiang recently took first in the 1-meter event during Notre Dame’s double-dual meet against Michigan and Northwestern and placed second in the 3-meter event. Meanwhile, Clay swept the diving events in the Spartans’ meet against Purdue and earned the Big Ten Diver of the Week award in November.

This will be the final home dual meet of the season for the Irish at Rolfs Aquatic Center.

Following its meet with the Spartans, Notre Dame will host the two-day Shamrock Invitational from Jan. 27 through Jan. 28.