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Sunday, June 16, 2024
The Observer

Irish fall to ranked Cardinals squad, secure wins in Indianapolis over weekend

Notre Dame fell to Louisville on Friday when the women were narrowly topped, 160-140, and the men were defeated, 179-121. It would bounce back, however, with wins over IUPUI and Indiana State.

The women’s team was able to come back and tie the score late in the meet following sophomore Sofia Revilak’s and freshman Erin Sheehan’s first- and second-place finishes, respectively, in the 100-yard butterfly.

The 10th-ranked Cardinals came back with high scores in diving and the top-three spots in the 200-yard individual medley in their home pool at Ralph Wright Natatorium. Notre Dame continued to push and stole the win in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:31.33. However, Louisville still pulled out the overall win on the women’s side, while the seventh-ranked Louisville men won easily against the Irish men.

Irish head coach Mike Litzinger spoke highly of his team’s efforts in the loss.

“There are a lot of emotions that go into these types of meets,” he said. “It was the first ACC dual meet that has really tested our team. One of the greatest things about that meet was that it was highly competitive. Both the men’s and the women’s teams were really up to the challenge and fought hard. We really got the meet down to the last couple of events and fought our way against one of the top teams — not only in the ACC, but in the country. We almost had it in our hands, but the points didn’t work out in our favor.”

The Irish had a successful Saturday in Indianapolis with the men besting IUPUI and the women defeating both IUPUI and Indiana State. On the day, the men swept five events and the women swept eight.

Litzinger said Saturday’s meet in Indianapolis had a different feel from Friday, and he added that it was a refreshing day after the tough loss the night before.

“Saturday’s competition was not the same level of intensity or emotion compared to Friday, but it was a good team win,” Litzinger said. “The competition gave us the opportunity to swim our secondary events, which is really good for us. We were able to spread our team responsibilities around a little bit. It didn’t all fall on the same five or six kids — it was more of a team opportunity for us.”

Notre Dame hosts the Shamrock Invitational at Rolfs Aquatic Center this Friday and Saturday. It is the seniors’ last meet on campus.

And heading into that meet and beyond, Litzinger said he thought this weekend revealed an important lesson to his team and showed positivity for future meets against difficult competitors.

“We can hang with the very best teams in the ACC,” Litzinger said. “That is really crucial for us as we approach championship time, where we are going to see Louisville again as well as NC State and Virginia. To be able to go blow-for-blow with one of the best teams in the league really gives us a lot of confidence going into that championship weekend three weeks from now.”