Club Sports: Synchronized swimming closes season
Special to The Observer | Tuesday, February 19, 2013
The Irish placed second over the weekend at their last competition of the season, the Tri-States Synchronized Skating Championships in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Smaller than most of the team’s competitions this year, the Notre Dame skaters competed against only two other teams in their division. Miami (Ohio) bested the Irish to take home first place, while Michigan State placed third.
It was an emotional performance for those graduating, especially for graduate student Amanda Rahie, who has been part of the team for all of her five years at Notre Dame.
Although the competitive season is over, the team will still prepare for several performances, and the skaters are excited to participate in these events.
On Feb. 2, Notre Dame made the long trip to compete at the Harris Kempner Regatta, hosted by Texas A&M University at Galveston. The team consisted of freshman Jack Schneider, sophomore Elisabeth O’Toole, sophomore Pat Power and freshman Christian Metzler, and was the only squad from outside the Lone Star State to sail. The all-day competition proved to be worth the trip. The team had plenty of fun and the conditions were nearly perfect. And at the end of the day, the Irish finished high enough to take second overall.
A week later, the Irish headed south again to compete, this time to New Orleans for the Nelson Rolsch Regatta. The Regatta, hosted by Tulane at the Southern Yacht Club on Lake Ponchartrain, took place on a cloudy, breezy day, but Notre Dame still found success. The team, made up of senior Kevin Condit, junior Peter Roehmholdt, sophomore Claire Lupo and sophomore Becky Jegier, finished the first day of sailing in fourth place out of a field of 11 teams. Sunday’s competition was cancelled due to inclement weather, however, so the team made the trip back to South Bend with a fourth place trophy.
This past weekend, Notre Dame competed in the USTA Midwest Tennis On-Campus Sectionals in Madison, Wis., at the Nielson Tennis Center. Teams were placed into eight pools for the start of the event. Notre Dame was placed in a pool with Lorrain County CC, IUPUI, and Northwestern. The team’s players that attended the event were sophomore Ed Broun, sophomore Casey Leary, senior Stefan Hogle, senior Ben Galloway, freshman Chris Frye, senior Anna Wanzek and freshman Janelle Wanzek.
In the first round of play Friday, Notre Dame took on Bowling Green. The Wanzek sisters took the women’s doubles, 6-2, and Hogle and Galloway took the men’s doubles 6-1. Leary won the men’s singles 6-1, and Anna Wanzek won the women’s singles 6-1. Finally, Janelle Wanzek and Ed Broun defeated Bowling Green 6-2 in mixed doubles to give Notre Dame a 30-8 victory over Bowling Green.
Friday afternoon, the Irish moved onto the second round against Wisconsin-Madison. In this round, Janelle and Anna Wanzek won the women’s doubles 6-3, but Leary and Broun dropped the men’s doubles in a tiebreaker, 5-6(4). Anna Wanzek lost the women’s singles in another tight match 5-6(3). Frye had a tough 2-6 loss in the men’s singles. To finish the round off, Janelle Wanzek and Galloway came out fighting but dropped the mixed doubles 4-6. The team worked hard in some great matches, but had a frustrating 27-22 game loss to the No. 1 seed.
Later that night, Notre Dame faced Michigan Tech. Frye and Broun took the doubles match to earn a win at 6-0. The Wanzeks also had a great match and took the women’s doubles 6-4. Janelle Wanzek had a tight singles match and managed to come out with a 6-4 win. Galloway had an interesting lefty versus lefty match and won 6-1. The mixed doubles was the final match of the night, and Hogle and Anna Wanzek played to earn a 6-2 win. This ended the night with a 30-11 game win over Michigan Tech.
Notre Dame fought to second place in its pool to conclude the first day of play. The team was excited after a great first day and began to plan for the initial rounds of the Gold Bracket play that would start Saturday. The Gold Bracket was where the top two seeds from each pool were placed to have a chance at attending the USTA On-Campus Nationals.
Saturday morning, Gold Bracket play began and Notre Dame went into a match against Northwestern after the Wildcats had upset Ohio State the previous day. In doubles, Team Wanzek lost a close match in a tiebreaker 6-5(2) and Broun and Leary also had a difficult loss 6-5(4). Galloway and Anna Wanzek played the singles and they both dropped their sets in frustrating 6-2 losses. The team was in a tight situation as the mixed doubles went on because at this point Notre Dame was down by 10 games. Hogle and Janelle Wanzek went out ready for a challenge in an attempt to win the set and go into overtime to even the game score. The mixed doubles had some great points but eventually dropped the set 6-2. The 30-16 game loss to Northwestern was unfortunate for the team because it meant that Notre Dame was in the back draw of the bracket with no opportunity to play for a chance at nationals.
Despite the disappointing defeat, the Irish rose up and went on to play the University of Michigan B team. Notre Dame went into the match ready to play hard, but things didn’t end well. In the women’s doubles, the Fighting Wanzeks dropped the set 6-0. In the men’s doubles, Broun and Leary grabbed a close set to win 6-5(2). Notre Dame also lost both the singles sets, 6-4, despite Anna Wanzek and Hogle’s efforts to hold on in the no-ad deuce format. To end the round, Janelle Wanzek and Frye were defeated 6-0 in the mixed doubles. Michigan defeated Notre Dame 29-14 to move on to the next round of play, but the Irish stayed strong.
Overall, the team played well and fought through all the weekend’s matches, but was unable to qualify for nationals after their 2-3 weekend. Sunday morning, the team packed up and made their way back to South Bend with even more motivation to practice and work on their games in preparation for upcoming meets and tournaments. The trip was a success as a first time event for Notre Dame Club tennis. The team felt it was a great experience and appreciated the chance to become part of the USTA Midwest Section’s On-Campus League.