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Women’s Swimming: Notre Dame looks to claim first win

By Alex Wilcox | Friday, November 8, 2013


Notre Dame will look to secure its first win of the season when it travels to Pittsburgh to face Pitt and Virginia Tech on Saturday.

The Irish remained winless in dual meets after a 155.5-144.5 loss to Purdue last weekend. 

“What’s concerning me more, what bothers a coach more, is losing meets that you could have won,” Irish coach Brian Barnes said. “That bothers me more than the actual record itself. 0-3 certainly doesn’t look good, but our sport doesn’t work that way. At the end of the year, it’s how you finish at the [NCAA Championships]. 

While Barnes may not be overly concerned with his team’s slow start, he knows it has been draining on his team.

“They’re absolutely frustrated, but what do you do?” Barnes said. “We have to learn from losing and to really try to stay emotionally stable in the process of losing.”

Barnes said the team has had trouble closing out races, an issue they are addressing.

“We have been working on that,” Barnes said. “You have to get your hand to the wall before your opponent and really have the understanding that each and every race matter.”

After the loss to Purdue, junior Emma Reaney said part of the team’s problem is that swimmers are going into meets tired. Barnes said he is trying to prepare his team for the big postseason meets.

“If I wanted to swim extraordinarily fast this weekend, we would take a couple mornings off and rest up, and the workload throughout the week wouldn’t be as hard as it’s going to be,” he said. “However, we’re focusing on the end of the season. We’re focusing on February and March, so we’re investing right now.”

Barnes said the most difficult thing right now is trying to strike that balance of being competitive now and preparing for March.

“We’re rolling up our sleeves and working as a team,” Barnes said. “[We’re] trying to approach these meets and get our hands on the wall first with the understanding that each and every person matters and at the same time be focused on the end of the year..”

This weekend will prove to be a good test for the Irish, Barnes said. Notre Dame and Pitt are familiar with each other from their Big East days, but the Irish know little about the Hokies.

“It’s a meet on the road, it’s a Saturday morning meet, and you never know what you’re going to walk into on the road, especially when you’re a team that’s focused further down the road,” Barnes said. “They’re both well-coached teams. Of the two, Virginia Tech is probably a bit better, probably provide a little more depth, but both [are] well-coached teams, and [the Hokies are] on the road as well.”

The Irish travel to Pittsburgh to face Pitt and Virginia Tech on Saturday at Trees Pool at 11 a.m.

Contact Alex Wilcox at awilcox1@nd.edu