Irish make podium at ACCs, look to expand on success
Brennan Lee | Friday, May 19, 2017
Notre Dame has followed an upward trending trajectory all year on the water. After a decent fall season, the Irish turned it up a notch, putting together stronger performances in the spring.
Facing nationally ranked boats all year, including representatives from top schools such as No. 2 California, No. 3 Texas and No. 8 Stanford, the Irish were able to hold their own.
“On the water, we raced a great schedule and represented Notre Dame very well,” Irish head coach Martin Stone said.
In fact, Notre Dame just capped off a fruitful regular season with a second place finish overall by the First Varsity Eight at the Dale England Cup on April 29, edged out only by No. 16 Indiana. The Irish even outperformed No. 17 Duke, a positive sign as they entered the postseason in the coming weeks.
At the ACCs in Clemson, South Carolina, Notre Dame capped its season with a third place finish. The Varsity Eight team of freshman Emily Stinebaugh, senior Gretchen Bruggeman, senior Erin Boxberger, junior Treasa O’Tighearnaigh, sophomore Laura Migliore, senior Catherine Wagner, junior Elizabeth Gilbert, junior Lauren Saunee and junior coxswain Reilly Kearney finished second overall, coming in just behind No. 11 Virginia and placing higher than No. 13 Syracuse.
In overall standings, the Irish finished behind Virginia and Syracuse, but edged out Duke for the second straight tournament. After a stellar season, Stinebaugh was named ACC freshman of the year. Boxberger and O’Tighearnaigh also earned All-ACC honors.
The team hopes to translate this outstanding showing into championship caliber success at the impending NCAAs, where the team will be hoping to earn an at-large bid.
“We became a much better team as the year progressed and continue to grow as we enter the championship segment of the season,” Stone said.
Some of the team’s greatest feats came outside of the water as well. A seminal year for the program, they put in place some critical pieces for future success as well.
“The dedication of the McConnell Family Boathouse was a tremendous event for the Notre Dame Rowing Family,” said Stone.
The McConnell Family Boathouse, which was finished just last year, has the potential to revolutionize the program. With easy access to the St. Joseph River, the Irish now have the resources in place to bring the team to the next level.