Jan. 18, 2018
by Tony Jones
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – An Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) showdown awaits the University of Notre Dame men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams this weekend in Tallahassee, Florida. The No. 22 Irish travel to the Sunshine State to face league foe, No. 20/25 Florida State, on Friday and Saturday at the outdoor Morcom Aquatics Center.
Friday’s action is slated to begin at 4 p.m. (ET), with Saturday racing set to commence at 2 p.m. This weekend’s action marks the final dual meet held away from the Rolfs Aquatic Center for Notre Dame during the 2017-18 season.
Successful Return From Break Against Iowa, Illinois
A total of 24 wins out of 28 Saturday races for Notre Dame told the story for the Irish in their competitive return to the pool for the spring semester last weekend at Iowa. The Notre Dame men’s squad scored a 187-113 dual victory over the host Hawkeyes, and the Notre Dame women’s team swept both Iowa (217-80) and Illinois (213-84) at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center in Iowa City.
Key swims for Notre Dame on the weekend included Justin Plaschka posting an NCAA B-cut with a winning time of 20.16 in the men’s 50 freestyle and Alice Treuth chipping in a victorious 1:57.74 for an NCAA B-cut in the 200 backstroke. Rob Whitacre added the third and final NCAA B-cut of the weekend with a time of 1:45.93 to win the men’s 200 backstroke.
Depth Shows Through In Meet Sweep At Iowa
Of the 24 total wins for Notre Dame last Saturday in the scoring portion of the dual showdown at Iowa, the depth of the Irish both in the pool and on the boards rose to the surface.
Headlined by multiple race winners Zach Yeadon, Justin Plaschka and Rob Whitacre on the men’s side and Abbie Dolan, Alice Treuth and Lindsay Stone on the women’s side, a total of 20 different Notre Dame competitors went on to earn event victories in the Irish dual sweep. This included individual events, the women’s 400 freestyle relay, women’s 3-meter diving and men’s 1-meter diving.
Success Against Ranked Opponents Thus Far In 2017-18
This weekend’s dual opponent, Florida State, will mark the seventh ranked foe the Notre Dame men have faced thus far this season, while the Seminoles are the eighth ranked team the Irish women’s squad will compete against thus far over 10 meets. The Irish men are a combined 2-2 in dual action against ranked counterparts, with the Notre Dame women checking in at 3-1 against fellow dual competitors inside the national top 25.
Along with success against ranked opponents in dual meets, both Notre Dame teams raced against national standout squads No. 5/12 NC State, No. 16/23 Ohio State and No. RV/17 Kentucky as part of the Ohio State Fall Open Invitational last November in Columbus, Ohio.
FSU The Latest ACC Opponent Awaiting The Irish
Notre Dame is no stranger to ACC competition thus far this season. Entering this weekend’s dual meet against Florida State, the Irish have already competed against No. 7/9 Louisville (Oct. 7), Georgia Tech (Oct. 20), No. 5/12 NC State (Nov. 17-19 at OSU Fall Open Invitational) and Pittsburgh (Nov. 17-19 at OSU Fall Open Invitational). Notre Dame is 2-0 against the ACC in dual meets in 2017-18 after downing both Louisville and Georgia Tech, and will look to continue that trend against the Seminoles in Tallahassee.
“The meet with FSU will certainly be hotly contested,” Notre Dame head coach Mike Litzinger said. “Both FSU programs have advantages over the other, both have coaching staffs that are in their second year, and each of their teams are making strides nationally. The Seminoles are very strong in the sprint freestyles, relays and diving. We will need to step up in those events and post high-end performances to compete.
“Adding on the competitive nature of the dual meet will be the fact that we are swimming/diving outdoors, and this is our fifth consecutive contest on the road,” Litzinger added. “Our team will need to rise to the occasion.”
Shamrock Invitational Up Next For The Irish
Notre Dame makes its long-awaited return to the Rolfs Aquatic Center for the annual Shamrock Invitational on Jan. 26-27.
Tony Jones, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2012 and coordinates all media efforts for the Notre Dame softball, men’s soccer and swimming and diving programs. A native of Jamestown, New York, Jones is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and prior to arriving at Notre Dame held positions at the University of Louisiana Monroe and with the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills.