Irish look to finish season on high note at ACCs, NCAAs
Alex Bender | Friday, May 13, 2016
For Notre Dame, the mindset has been constant the entire season — focus on getting better and continue to put in effort.
All season Irish head coach Martin Stone has told his team to not worry about how other teams performed because he wanted his team to focus on what it could control, he said. Sticking with this motto is paying off at the right time, Stone said, because the team is beginning to hit its stride as it heads into the biggest stretch of the season with ACC and NCAA championships coming up.
The Irish have faced tough competition all year and they have performed well, climbing to No. 15 nationally. Stone said he is not surprised by his team’s performance, however, noting his team’s drive towards constant improvement.
“I expected we were going to be in a good place coming into the season,” Stone said. “The fall indicated to me that we had some speed on the water and we put in tremendous effort all year long. We continued throughout the season to continue to push ourselves to get better, so I feel upbeat and positive about the team as we head into this stretch.”
The team is coming off a strong finish in the Dale England Cup in Bloomington, Indiana, where the Irish came from behind in the afternoon session to claim first by tiebreaker over Duke and No. 14 Indiana. For many members of the team, this served as a real standout performance and has them confident heading into the back end of the season.
Senior Ellen Gleadow said she was proud of her team for coming back despite a rocky start to the day.
“The race that stands out to me is the second race on Saturday at the Dale England Regatta in Bloomington,” Gleadow said. “My boat had lost to Indiana in the morning session by 0.3 seconds. Indiana was ranked a few places above us going into the race and they clearly thought that they had proved themselves. We had another chance to beat them in the afternoon, and we were pretty mad about losing by such a small margin.
“The boat really rallied together and we ended up beating them by about two seconds. At the end of the day, the teams were tied for points for the overall trophy and the [first varsity 8-boat] margin was the tie breaker. Being able to bring home the cup just added to the satisfaction of beating [Indiana] after they had beat us.”
As the team moves forward, they will look to build of the success of the Dale England Cup and turn it into strong performance at both the ACC championships as well as the NCAA championships. The ACC championships will be held this weekend in Clemson, South Carolina, while the NCAA championships will take place at the end of May in Sacramento, California.