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ND Women’s Swimming: Irish to close season against Ball State

Brian Hartnett | Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Irish will look to close out the regular season with a strong showing when they travel to Muncie, Ind., to face in-state opponent Ball State on Saturday.

Notre Dame (5-6) comes off a solid second-place performance at last weekend’s Shamrock Invitational. On their way to four victories, the Irish defeated Iowa 201-169, but could not get past Ohio State, falling to the Buckeyes by a score of 214-147.

The Irish will face tough competition in Ball State (9-3), a team that began its season with victories in its first nine events, including victories in the IUPUI House of Champions Invitational and the Doug Coers Invitational. The Cardinals have struggled recently though, dropping their last three dual-meets and faltering against in-conference competition.

A core of strong young swimmers leads Ball State, including sophomore Haley Richter, sophomore Bridgette Ruehl, sophomore Emily Wisolek and freshman Carlena Magley. Richter and Ruehl have already made impacts this season, as Richter holds the fourth fastest time in the 100-meter fly in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) this year and Ruehl currently has the third-fastest time in the conference for the 100-meter breaststroke. The Cardinals also feature senior divers Whitney Adams and Christina Riordan, who should challenge the Irish diving squad.

Notre Dame will continue to look for the productivity shown by the team in its last two meets, which included last week’s second-place finish and the team’s Jan. 21 thrashing of Michigan State.

Instrumental to Notre Dame’s success in the last few meets has been sophomore Kelly Ryan, who won four events against Michigan State and picked up second-place finishes in the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle events last weekend. The Irish have also picked up top-notch performances from freshman Emma Reaney, who won both the 200-meter breaststroke and 200 IM last weekend and swam NCAA B-Cut times in two races.

In addition, the Irish diving team will look for another victorious effort from junior diver Jenny Chiang, who won the 3-meter dive and was the runner-up in the 1-meter dive last weekend.

This meet marks the final competition of the regular season for Notre Dame. The Irish will follow up the meet with the Big East Diving championships, held from Feb. 10 to Feb. 12, and the Big East Swimming championships, held from Feb. 15 to Feb. 18.