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Sports

Squads each defeat Spartans and Jackets, fall to Aggies

| Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The No.17 men’s team and the No. 25 women’s team claimed victories over Michigan State and Georgia Tech, but fell to the 15th-ranked men and the 5th-ranked women’s Texas A&M teams while competing over fall break.

Irish junior Tabahn Afrik competes in a freestyle event during Notre Dame's 153.5-146.5 win over Louisville on Oct. 7 at Rolfs Aquatic Center. Runjie Pan | The Observer

Irish junior Tabahn Afrik competes in a freestyle event during Notre Dame’s 153.5-146.5 win over Louisville on Oct. 7 at Rolfs Aquatic Center.

The Irish’s first meet over the break was a dual meet against Texas A&M and Michigan State. Both the men’s and women’s team beat the Spartans 136-30 and 139.5-27.5, respectively. While victorious over the Spartans, the Irish trailed the Aggies 65.5-101.5 on the men’s side and 46-121 on the women’s side after day one of the two-day, 38-event meet. In day two, the Irish managed a comeback by winning 10 of the remaining events, and the men’s team outscored the Aggies 94-92 during the final day. In the end, however, their comeback efforts fell short, as the Aggies outlasted the Irish men 193.5-159.5 and the Irish women 211-136. Irish head coach Mike Litzinger commented on the difference of the team’s performance between the two days.

“The biggest difference was that we settled down and started matching up,” Litzinger said. “On the women’s side we were competing with a team coming off a 3rd place finish at NCAA’s, so we over-swam some races and used our energy unwisely. On the men’s side, we lost a few touch outs early, but we recouped well.”

The Irish ended their five-meet home stretch with a victory over ACC rival Georgia Tech. The men’s team beat the Yellow Jackets 175-125, while the women’s team easily handled the Yellow Jackets 203-95. Litzinger attributed the victory to a well-rounded team effort.

“The women handled Georgia Tech with a fair amount of confidence,” Litzinger said. “We swam some of the athletes in secondary events, and they responded to that challenge. The men had their hands full with Tech’s top end. In a dual meet, four really strong athletes can control the scoring in their events, but ACC champion and senior Joe Coumos came online to win both diving events, and our depth showed to carry the day.”

Five meets into the season, freshmen Zach Yeadon and Lindsay Stone have proven to be a consistent force for the Irish. In five meets, Yeadon has won both the men’s 500 and the 1000 freestyle for the men’s team, and Stone is a five-time event winner for the women’s 500 freestyle. Last week, Yeadon was named the inaugural national swimmer of the week by the ACC and the Collegeswimming.com. Litzinger not only praised the efforts of Yeadon and Stone, but he also praised the entire distance group and the coaching staff.

“Both Zach and Lindsay are having terrific freshman outings. Coach Aaron Bell is doing a great job with the whole Distance Crew, and having Zach and Lindsay train at a high level has helped the whole group,” Litzinger said. “I would say that the distance athletes are really feeding off each other’s success. It is a team thing.”

In addition to Yeadon, sophomore Abbie Dolan was also named national swimmer of the week for her performance against No.9 Louisville. Dolan finished the meet with wins in the 50, 100 and 200 freestyle events, and she swam a leg in the winning 400 freestyle relay

Friday, the 17th-ranked men’s and the 25th-ranked women’s team will head to West Lafayette, Indiana to face in-state rival Purdue at 5 p.m.

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