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Irish place third in final tuneup before ACCs

| Monday, April 27, 2015

Despite an unexpected change of schedule, Notre Dame battled to a third place finish this weekend at the Dale England Cup.

Due to the possibility of inclement weather, the event schedule at the Cup was adjusted to allow for a more rapid race schedule, moving from a split-session format Saturday to a single-morning regatta that involved four active race lanes in each heat.

The Irish adapted to the change of schedule, encountering the likes of No. 13 Indiana and No. 14 Texas throughout the day and remaining competitive in each heat. Standout performances on Saturday morning included the second varsity eight, where the Irish finished just four seconds behind Texas for second place in the heat and the second varsity four final, where the Irish finished second once more to Texas.

Junior Katie Skorcz saluted her teammates’ efforts but admitted that the competition performed to a high standard this past Saturday.

“I think that our team raced well this weekend but that other teams just raced better,” Skorcz said. “However, we still have time to practice before [the ACC championship] and to pick up more speed with more training.”

Junior Joanna Mulvey also praised the quality of the competition at Saturday’s regatta.

“We were lucky to see some very competitive teams at the Dale England Cup because it gave us an opportunity to see where we will stack up against various other teams throughout the country,” Mulvey said.

The Irish finished third overall in their final regatta of the regular season. Now they set their sites on May 15 and 16, when they travel to Clemson, South Carolina, for this year’s ACC championship meet. The winner of the ACC championship earns an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

Scorcz described a shift in focus in the team’s training leading up to the postseason, emphasizing a renewed focus on competition and drive.

“As we prepare for the ACC championship, we are preparing to become excellent racers,” she said. “We have already built our fitness through training, and we have been working all spring long on perfecting our stroke. At this point, it is about channeling a competitive attitude and pushing each other to become mentally and physically tough.”

Mulvey echoed her teammate’s sentiments, claiming that the Irish had not yet peaked and expected their best performances of the season in South Carolina.

“After this weekend, the team knows that we have some work to do over the next three weeks in preparation for ACCs,” she said. “But I think we are really prepared to make the necessary improvements to have our best performance of the year there.”

The Irish have three weeks to improve on their goals prior to the ACC championship May 15 and 16 in Clemson.

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