Notre Dame seeks to remain undefeated with visits from ACC, Big 10 schools
Alex Bender | Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Notre Dame will have the chance to continue its early season success this weekend with the No. 12 men’s team taking on Purdue, while the No. 10 women’s team will be facing Purdue, Miami and Rutgers.
The team has remained undefeated on both the men’s and women’s sides, including a big win in the meet against Georgia Tech last weekend. On the women’s side, the Irish were in control the whole weekend and won by a wide margin. On the men’s side, competition was much tighter, coming down to the last event of day two of the meet before the Irish snagged the win over the No. 17 Yellow Jackets. Notre Dame head coach Mike Litzinger said he was happy with his team’s performance throughout the weekend.
“I think the women came out and dominated from the start, and while Georgia Tech is a well-coached team, we were too much for them and it showed,” Litzinger said. “As great a meet as it was for the women, we will be tested more in the future. For the men, we knew it would be competitive. Georgia Tech had this meet circled on their calendar since the schedule came out, and they swam well, but we handled the pressure after being down after the first day of competition. We were able to get the win with one event left, so it was great to pick up the meet victory.
“I’m happy with where we are right now. We haven’t been in this type of position since I have been here, to be nationally ranked like this, so it’s great for the athletes to get recognition. But it’s a long season and we will enjoy it until we swim against Purdue, Miami and Rutgers.”
The team will be facing strong competition this weekend, and it will be coming in a rather unusual style as the meets will take place in a one-day format.
“It’s a little different preparation for this type of meet when it’s a one day format,” Litzinger said. “Competition becomes a little more intensified in this two-hour session as opposed to the two one-hour sessions. Purdue is a great team and a good representative of the Big 10 that we will get a look at on the men’s side. It’s the same for the women, but with the addition of a couple other schools in Miami and Rutgers, so it’s kind of an ACC/Big 10 challenge. It’s nice to swim a quad meet and get some different looks from the other teams, and we’re looking forward to it being competitive and fun.”
Even beyond this week, the team will have one more meet next week when it takes on Pittsburgh and No. 18 Virginia Tech before heading to North Carolina for the Greensboro Invitational. Litzinger said the Greensboro Invitational is a good chance to show where his team is at.
“I think we want to use each meet leading up to the invitational as a dress rehearsal,” Litzinger said. “We want to practice race strategy and make sure we’re doing the technical things right. We’re training these athletes to practice their craft which is racing, and we put them in competitive situations in practice to get them ready for that.”
The team kicks off action on Friday when Purdue, Miami and Rutgers visit for the all-day event.