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Sports

Irish earn highest-ever rankings, prepare to face Purdue

| Thursday, October 26, 2017

The newly ranked No. 14 men’s and the No. 10 women’s swimming teams will head to West Lafayette, Indiana to face in state rival the 23rd ranked men and the 16th ranked women team for the Purdue Boilermakers on Friday at 5:00 p.m.

Friday’s meet against the Boilermakers will mark the first stop of a five-meet away stretch for the Irish over the next three weeks. For the Irish and head coach Mike Litzinger, the Boilermakers will be a good opening test on the road.

“Competing away from home will be a welcome change,” Litzinger said. “There is something about being together when you travel that intensifies the focus, and makes that particular competition special.”

Sophomore Abbie Dolan races to the finish of the 200-yard freestyle during Notre Dame’s 153.5-146.5 victory over Louisville on Oct. 7 at Rolfs Aquatic Center. Dolan owns the team record in the 200 free.Runjie Pan | The Observer

Sophomore Abbie Dolan races to the finish of the 200-yard freestyle during Notre Dame’s 153.5-146.5 victory over Louisville on Oct. 7 at Rolfs Aquatic Center. Dolan owns the team record in the 200 free.

The men’s and women’s team for the Irish are starting the season off strong. After beating a then top-10 ranked Louisville team to open the season, and most recently against ACC foe Georgia Tech, the women’s team jumped from 25th to 10th in the newest CSCAA poll, and the men’s team jumped 17th to 14th. The newest ranking for both teams are the highest rankings in program history. The fast start has been spearheaded by swimmers freshman Zach Yeadon and sophomore Abbie Dolan, as well as senior diver Joe Coumos, all of have weekly ACC honors at some point so far this season.

But the Boilermakers are also off to a hot start. After starting the season ranked 30th for men and 31st for women the Boilermakers recently jumped into the CSCAA Top 25 rankings for the first time this season. The Boilermakers boast a number of talented athletes, particularly the divers, who are led by three-time NCAA Diving Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist Steele Johnson.

Coach Litzinger praised the coaching of the Boilermakers and looks forward to the competitive matchup between the two teams.

“The Purdue men’s and women’s teams are extremely well coached,” he said. “The men’s coach Dan Ross has been one of the Big Ten’s most successful coaches for years, and always has his men ready to perform. [Women’s coach] John Klinge consistently has his women at a high level nationally. I anticipate it will be a very competitive meet on both sides.

“… As far as it being an in-state rivalry, I don’t really look at it like that. I prefer to look at it as another challenging competition against a Big Ten institution that we have scheduled. I have tremendous respect for the Purdue Swimming and Diving Program.”

 

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