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Men’s Swimming: Michigan State next for Irish

Matthew Robison | Friday, January 21, 2011

Notre Dame looks to return the favor to the Spartans in East Lansing, Mich., on Friday after Michigan State handed the squad a loss in a head-to-head match up last season.

The Irish fell to the Spartans 121-179 a year ago. In the all-time series, however, the Irish lead 5-3.

Irish coach Tim Welsh described this year’s Spartan squad as “one of their best in recent years.”

In addition to the daunting task of beating a strong Michigan State team, the team will have to deal with the extra stress of competing on a day of classes.

“An away meet on a school day is especially challenging,” Welsh said. “Diving is especially challenging. Expect diving to be a significant factor in the outcome of the meet.”

But Welsh said he was confident in his group of diver’s ability to handle the competition.

“Our divers are a strong group led by three experienced seniors,” Welsh said.

The Spartans field a strong slew of opponents for the Irish on the swimming side of the meet as well.

“In every event, the fastest Michigan State swimmer is very strong,” Welsh said. “We expect a very tough meet.”

Welsh also added that the team’s preparation has been a “normal week of practice for swimming and lifting” for the potentially grueling meet.

Friday’s match is the second-to-last meet before the Big East schedule kicks off.

“We are always looking for signs of improvement,” Welsh said. “That will be our primary focus this week also.”

Last week, the Irish took down Northwestern and Cleveland State. Welsh was pleased with his team’s performance.

“Our team raced very well,” Welsh said. “We are eager to build on that high level of performance.”

The meet begins at 5 p.m. in East Lansing, Mich.