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ND Women’s Swimming: ND faces Purdue

Katie Heit | Friday, November 1, 2013

Three weeks after their first competition, the Irish dive into their ACC season tonight with a dual meet against Purdue at 5 p.m.
Irish coach Brian Barnes said the competition with Purdue is only the first step in the team’s overall goals for the season.
“Purdue is not the focus of the year,” Barnes said. “It’s the NCAA and the ACC championships. The challenge this weekend is to stay within the seasonal plan and to go down there and be competitive and try to win a meet.”
To prepare for their season and their ultimate goal, Barnes said the Irish have been focusing on the small details, not just general training.
“Starts and turns,” Barnes said. “I think we’re going to finish better. We’ve been working on relay exchanges and starts and turns … We’ve been talking about details and what it comes down to is details.”
Barnes said he believes the focus on details will allow the Irish to finish every race strong and ultimately get them the win.
The Irish have a lot of experience leading them in their quest for the ACC championships. Junior breaststroke Emma Reaney and junior freestyle Bridget Casey serve as team captains. Reaney is a two-time monogram winner and was an All-American in two events last season. After the first weekend of competition on Oct. 11-12, Reaney was named ACC Swimmer of the Week, the first ACC honor for the Irish. Casey is also a two-time monogram winner and was named to the all-Big East squad last season.
“We have strong captains with Emma Reaney and Bridget Casey,” Barnes said. “[Senior backstroke] Kelly Ryan has so much experience and she’s competitive and great to have around. I think we’ll definitely see some leadership there.”
Barnes said he’s not just relying on his captains and his senior leaders to take charge against the Boilermakers.
“I’m expecting everybody to lead,” Barnes said. “That’s what it comes down to.”
The Irish begin action tonight at 5 p.m. against Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind.

Contact Katie Heit at kheit@nd.edu