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Women’s Crew: Irish to face three opponents in Indianapolis

Fran Tolan | Friday, April 7, 2006

After an impressive showing at the San Diego Classic last weekend, the Irish will travel to Indianapolis for the Indiana Classic in Indianapolis this Saturday and Sunday.

The event, which is sponsored by Indiana University, pits the Irish against one of three tough opponents on Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning. Notre Dame will row against Indiana, California and Wisconsin, respectively.

Notre Dame head coach Martin Stone called the Hoosiers an “up-and-coming program.” He specifically cited the strength of the Hoosiers’ novice boats.

The Irish also have the opportunity to take on the Golden Bears, the defending national champions, for the second straight week. Last week, No. 2 Cal’s varsity eight boat defeated Notre Dame’s Julie Sobolewski, Amanda Polk, Mary Quinn, Laura Pearson, Allison Marsh, Melissa Felker, Meg Boyle and Sarah Palandech by fewer than seven seconds.

“[Cal] is one of the best teams in the country and we are really looking forward to racing them again,” Stone said.

The Irish will conclude their weekend by taking on the Badgers.

Stone said the level of competition will present a challenge to Notre Dame.

“The expectation is to pick up even more speed than the previous day,” he said. “Each of these teams is going to be a great test for us.”

He also said the Irish have to be extremely prepared for each opponent.

“In college athletics, anything can happen on any given day,” Stone said, pointing out his own team’s performance last weekend in San Diego, where the Irish finished fourth in the varsity eight, second in the open eight and first in the second varsity eight and novice eight.

“Some of the teams there took us lightly and we really performed well. We definitely exceeded expectations,” Stone said. “I know we can race really well if we just concentrate on doing our own thing.”