Women’s Swimming: Notre Dame falls to Purdue in close competition
Alex Wilcox | Sunday, November 3, 2013
Notre Dame lost in heartbreaking fashion for the second-straight meet, this time suffering a 155.5-144.5 loss to Purdue.
In the team’s last meet on Oct. 12, the Irish (0-3) lost to Indiana at home by just 10 points. Coupled with their season-opening loss to Auburn and this latest defeat to Purdue (2-0), Notre Dame finds itself still looking for the first win of the young season.
Despite the winless start to the year, Irish junior swimmer Emma Reaney said the team’s slow start is not cause for panic yet.
“[I’m] not very concerned,” Reaney said. “Yes, it isn’t fun to lose, but we have to keep our eyes on the end of the season and conference. That’s when winning and losing really matters.”
Although she said these early season meets are not as important as the later ones, Reaney admitted that the loss is still frustrating.
“The past couple years have come down to the last relay (the 200-yard freestyle relay) and we didn’t want that to happen again,” Reaney said. “I thought we had for sure done better going into that relay than years past, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.”
The Boilermakers have won the event in three out of the last four years by 11 points or less. Even though the Irish lost, Reaney said she was still was pleased with several elements of the meet.
“I feel the first half of the meet went very well,” Reaney said. “We focused a lot on not only winning events, but touching Purdue out for second, third, and fourth. I was really proud of our backstrokers getting one, two, and three in the [200-yard backstroke]. Toward the end of the meet we let a couple crucial races get away from us.”
Reaney said she agreed with Irish coach Brian Barnes’ assessment that the team has trouble closing out meets, and added that winning these close meets is all in the little things.
“We have to keep working on the small details that put races together,” Reaney said. “We also have to keep the energy up that we have at the beginning of the meets throughout the whole thing. Meets are long and tiring and we have to find a way to keep pushing ourselves and each other all the way to the very end.”
Reaney herself had another impressive meet, claiming three of the eight Irish victories in the 200-yard freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke, and 200-yard breaststroke. Even though she led her team in individual victories, Reaney said she was still not completely happy with her performance.
“I definitely think my sprint breaststroke could be a little better,” Reaney said. “I am working on my long stroke and when I’m tired it’s much easier to stay long and strong and hard to get up and sprint. But for where we are in the season and how hard we’ve been working, I’m satisfied with my races.”
In addition to Reaney’s three individual victories, four other Irish swimmers claimed individual victories. Senior Kelly Ryan won the 200-yard backstroke, freshman Catherine Mulquin won the 100-yard backstroke, freshman Katie Miller won the 200-yard individual medley and junior diver Allison Casareto took the 1-meter diving event. Notre Dame also won the 200-yard medley relay with the foursome of Mulquin, Reaney, Ryan, and sophomore Catherine Galletti finishing with a time of 1:42.43.
Reaney said she was pleased with her teammates’ performance given how drained the team was entering the meet.
“I know we are really tired, so keeping that in mind, I think we swam well,” Reaney said. “We had really good energy going into the meet and I definitely think that helped us in the first half.”
In order to get that elusive first win of the season, Reaney said it all comes down to attention to detail and doing the little things right.
“We have to work on the little things,” Reaney said. “We have the grit and the strength, but we lost a couple races due to finishes and turns. And those small things really add up when meets get close like this one was.”
Contact Alex Wilcox at firstname.lastname@example.org