Irish host Cleveland State in last home meet of season
Benjamin Padanilam | Thursday, February 5, 2015
Notre Dame will dive into the pool Saturday at Rolfs Aquatic Center for the last time this season when it hosts Cleveland State.
The Irish (6-9) are coming off two victories in what was a strong showing for the team at the annual Shamrock Invitational. They beat Iowa 282.50-87.50 and defeated Incarnate Word 292-62 before wrapping up the weekend with senior day festivities. With this performance just two weeks ahead of the upcoming ACC championships, Irish coach Tim Welsh said he was pleased by what he saw from his team.
“I was so excited for them and pleased for them and proud of them,” Welsh said. “I thought the team swam very well over the weekend. I hope they took away a lot of confidence, a lot of trust and a lot of eagerness to see how much faster they can go at the conference championships.”
This weekend, the Irish take to the pool at home against Cleveland State for the last dual meet of the regular season. Facing the Vikings (4-7) provides the team with additional race experience to make improvements moving forward, Welsh said.
“It gives us one more chance to race,” Welsh said. “Racing is a skill, and the more you practice your skill, the better you get at it. And I think that for several people, the season has pretty much been same event, same event, same event. When we get to the ACC meet, they’re going to swim three events; they might only be swimming two at a regular meet. So we have some events people need racing experience in, and we all need a little more preparation and a little more polish on our skills. So I’m looking forward to that this weekend, and I hope that it shows up.”
After last weekend’s performance, Welsh said he hopes to see more of the same from his team this weekend. If the Irish can continue to compete at a high level, the Irish can put themselves in a position to succeed in the stretch run of their season, Welsh said.
“We’re definitely poised,” Welsh said. “And in a position to do well. [But] you know, always fingers crossed because the pool never, ever owes you a fast swim. You always have to be prepared, and you always have to go get it. But we appear to be in a very good place, and we’ll be even more ready, we hope, when we get to Georgia Tech for the ACC championships.”
This weekend’s competition will also be the last time the eight seniors on the team take the pool at home for a race.
“It actually feels really weird,” senior Bridget Casey said. “It’s very bittersweet. My class, we’ve been through so much together, and the fact that we’ve made it to this point and made it that far — it’s been an unbelievable journey.”
The Irish take on Cleveland State on Saturday at 12 p.m. at Rolfs Aquatic Center.