NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The Fighting Irish will travel to take on ACC foe Pittsburgh in Notre Dame’s first two-day meet of the season on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 8-9. The Irish, coming off promising individual performances at Louisville, will look to combine wins to improve team finishes against a rising Panther squad.
Senior Abbie Dolan and freshman Coleen Gillilan each posted three individual victories, while the squads combined for 10 total NCAA B-Cut times. Dolan received ACC Swimmer of the Week honors for her performance.
Several young swimmers stepped up for the Irish, as freshman Jack Hoagland thundered to a big win in the men’s 1650 Free with a 14:56.54 B-Cut time, vaulting him into the Notre Dame record books as the second-best performer in that event in program history. He currently trails only junior Zach Yeadon in those records. In the same event, freshmen Will Barao (15:13.55) and Luke Thornbrue (15:17.41) earned B-Cut times as well, placing third and fourth, respectively.
Gillilan earned her first win of the night in the women’s 100 Breast, clocking in with an NCAA B-Cut time of 1:00.60, a new personal record, adding wins in the 100 Fly and the 200 IM. Both victories came with B-Cut times. Dolan posted wins in the 1650 Free (B-Cut), 100 Free and 500 Free.
Both the men (132-168) and women (138-162) fell to Louisville. Irish head coach Mike Litzinger noted that entering this week’s meet at Pittsburgh, attention to detail can help Notre Dame reach the next level.
“At the end of the day, I thought we moved closer to that last week,” he noted. “Again, it was a great meet against a great opponent, and two teams that finished in the top 10 at NCAAs last year, and we took them both right to the very, very end. I think we’re starting to grasp those concepts, and hopefully we can continue to work on them for Pittsburgh.”
The Meet Deets
Notre Dame at Pittsburgh
Dates: Nov. 8-9, 2019
Time: Diving begins at 1:30 p.m. Friday, followed by swimming at 4 p.m. On Saturday, diving begins at 9 a.m., followed by swimming at 11 a.m.
Location: Trees Pool, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Live Timing: Online and on Meet Mobile
Litzinger’s Scouting Report: “They are an up-and-coming team, and they have some great athletes and fantastic diving. We’re going to be challenged on the men’s side in the sprint freestyles and the individual medleys, as well as the diving. The women, they have very strong diving and they have some strong IM swimmers as well.”
Pittsburgh (RV/NR) are Notre Dame’s third ACC rival of the season. The Irish are 1-1 against conference opponents. After consecutive weeks of travel to meets around the country, Litzinger said that the practice of swimming in unfamiliar waters may begin to pay off for his squad.
“It’s a matter of, can we perform when we’re away from home?” Litzinger explained. “Of course, we’ve been on the road the last three meets, so I think our team is feeling more comfortable in that role, and ultimately, when we swim at a championship-level meet, we’ll have to be away.”
Another learning opportunity being presented this weekend, the two-day format will present a new challenge for Notre Dame. Each athlete may only participate in three events per day, and only two can be individual events.
“There’s a little bit of gamesmanship when you put the lineup together […] It’s really fun to do back-to-back competitions, so we do one in the afternoon on Friday, and then back it up with the morning the next day,” Litzinger explained. “It it kind of simulates a finals into prelims for a true championship-style meet.”
Divers will begin Friday at 1:30 p.m. with swimming to follow at 4 p.m. Follow along with @NDSwimDive on Twitter for updates, and watch on ACC Extra at http://www.espn.com/watch?id=4d1aea5f-d343-41d8-9f2e-b41569bd295e.