Irish ready for Badgers
Mike Ginocchio | Thursday, January 15, 2015
After coming up short against No. 6 Michigan and Northwestern last Saturday in its first meet action in more than a month, Notre Dame looks to move forward with this weekend’s matchup against No. 14 Wisconsin.
The Irish (2-4) will travel to Madison, Wisconsin, to take on the Badgers (5-2), for their third Big Ten matchup in a row.
Despite dropping two meets, Irish coach Matt Tallman said he was not too concerned with the end results.
“No, we weren’t worried,” Tallman said. “We’re actually pretty beat up and sick. It looks like we’re not gonna have two guys going to Wisconsin. We’ve had a lot of flu, with probably seven guys since the end of the Puerto Rico trip to now.”
The two swimmers Tallman is not expecting to swim this weekend are senior Jonathan Williamson, who provides depth for the Irish in the freestyle and butterfly events, and sophomore Tom Anderson, who swims the backstroke, freestyle and individual medley events.
As a result of the near-constant battles with sickness, Tallman said he has had to juggle around his lineup a bit.
“We made a [lineup],” Tallman said. “But now, we’ll see who gets on the bus and make the changes as needed.”
Adjusting to illnesses and lineup turmoil certainly makes things difficult, Tallman said, and it does not help matters when facing an opponent as stout as Wisconsin.
“They’re pretty similar to us,” Tallman said. “They’ve got a good quality guy or two in every event. Some events have depth, some events have holes, but they are very similar to us.”
Because of this, Tallman said he knows that there won’t be any “gimme” events in the meet.
“I don’t know that we have any real ‘safe’ spots as far as events go,” Tallman said. “I think we’re pretty evenly matched across the board. Our breaststroke events have been our depth for the past couple of years, but they’re pretty solid at the top there. So if we don’t win it, it just negates the advantage.”
In the end, Tallman said he still expects his team to swim strong as it has throughout the rest of the season, even with the illness floating around.
“[All they need is] to show signs of life and that the training they’re doing is paying off and that they’re ready to go,” Tallman said. “We just have to keep training until it’s time to rest, and then hit the ACCs and NCAAs.”
The Irish take on Wisconsin on Friday at the Natatorium and SERF in Madison, with the meet continuing through Saturday.