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Sunday, April 21, 2024
The Observer

Notre Dame sweeps Cincinnati, splits against host Indiana

The No. 13 men’s and the No. 18 women’s swimming and diving teams earned a victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats over the weekend. While the men’s team fell to No. 1 Indiana, the women’s team defeated the ninth-ranked Hoosiers.

Heading into their matchup with the No. 1 men’s and No. 9 women’s Indiana teams, the Irish knew that upending the No. 1 ranked team would be a tall order. Head coach Mike Litzinger said the team’s mindset was to compete at a high level, and if they did so a win would be possible.

Last Thursday down in Bloomington, Indiana, the Irish did partially accomplish that goal. The women’s team executed Litzinger’s plan to perfection to beat out the Bearcats 205-38, followed by the Hoosiers 123-120. The women’s team victory was highlighted by first place victories from sophomore Abbie Dolan in the 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle, sophomore Erin Sheehan in the 100-yard butterfly, freshman Lindsay Stone in the 1,000-yard freestyle and the women’s 200-yard relay. Dolan’s performance against the Hoosiers earned her a second ACC swimmer of the week citation this season.

Senior Joe Coumos prepares to dive during Notre Dame's 193.5-159.5 loss to Texas A&M on October 14th at Rolfs Aquatic Center.
Irish senior Joe Coumos prepares to dive during Notre Dame's 193.5-159.5 loss to Texas A&M on October 14th at Rolfs Aquatic Center.

Despite falling short to the Hoosiers 146-95, a team that featured senior Olympians in Blake Pieroni and Michael Hixon, the Irish men did earn a team victory against the Bearcats (182-61), in addition to individual team victories. Top performers for the men’s team included first-place victories from freshman Zachary Yeadon in the 500-yard and 1,000-yard freestyles, sophomore Jack Montesi in the 100-yard backstroke, junior Daniel Speers in the 50-yard freestyle and senior Joe Coumos, who recorded a season high 368.80 in the men’s 1-meter dive.

After Thursday’s sweep of the Bobcats and split against the Hoosiers, Litzinger is determined not to let the loss change the team’s approach heading into the Ohio State Invitational.

“It doesn't change our approach a whole lot,” Litzinger said. “What it does is allows us to get a look at the whole team, with multiple relays in a championship setting. It will help determine what direction we take people into the championship stretch next semester.”

As their fall season slowly winds down, Litzinger is impressed with his team’s showing throughout the fall season, which included the men’s team going 2-2 against ranked opponents and the women’s team 3-1 record. Litzinger believes that the tough fall season, schedule-wise, has proven that his team can compete against highly ranked opponents.

“I like the direction we are heading, and I like our competitive spirit,” he said. “We can stand toe to toe with some of the best in the NCAA.”

The Irish will conclude their fall season when they travel to Columbus, Ohio, this weekend, where they will compete at the Ohio State Invitational — a meet that will include multiple top-25 ranked teams in the nation. The Ohio State Invitational will be a three-day meet, running Friday through Sunday.