ND hosts Purdue after rough stretch
Mike Everett | Thursday, October 25, 2018
On Friday, Notre Dame will host Purdue for a dual meet at Rolf’s Aquatic Center. It is the first home meet of the season for the Irish and marks their return to South Bend from the Shamrock Invitational last January. The meet comes after a couple of action-packed weeks for Notre Dame head coach Mike Litzinger’s team, including a tough visit to Georgia Tech last weekend in Atlanta.
“Our team has had a tough few weeks; we are coming off of a midterm break at Georgia Tech,” Litzinger, describing the tone of practice this week, said. “So we’ve been working extremely hard, we’re at the peak of intensity in terms of our practices right now … the difficulty of practice has definitely been elevated to the highest it’s going to be all season with the ACC/Big 10 Challenge around the corner.
“The [Purdue] meet is actually going to be a reprieve for us, the way practices have been going.”
The hard work of the Irish has been paying off so far. The men’s team, initially ranked No. 23 in the nation at the start has now been elevated to No. 18. The women’s team improved their ranking as well, traveling from 18th to No. 13 in the latest poll. Last meet, the women’s team defeated both Georgia Tech 200-60 and Miami 200-59, while the men outperformed Georgia Tech 132-130.
However, despite their recent success and high expectations set for the season, the Irish are not underestimating their foe in the Boilermakers.
“On the men’s side, Purdue always has very good stroke swimmers; backstroke, breaststroke, so it’ll be good to go up against them. … For the women they have a bunch of very good freestyle swimmers,” Litzinger said.
The Purdue men are currently ranked No. 20 and look to add to this highly-competitive schedule the Irish have faced this season, with three of their four opponents so far being ranked in the top 20.
Litzinger also credited the impressive Boilermakers coaching staff to ensure their team entered Notre Dame well prepared.
“The coaches at Purdue … have experience and are really great and highly esteemed. … Their diving coach was the Olympic coach, so we are expecting a really great diving showdown and competition for us,” he said.
Adam Soldati, the Boilermakers diving coach, served as the U.S. diving coach at the 2016 Olympics, and the Purdue diving team has been a consistent powerhouse in recent years producing many Olympic athletes.
The event will feature 18 events, 14 swimming and four diving. The meet is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. with the 200-yard medley relay, and finishes with the 400-yard freestyle relay.