Casey Wagner swam an Irish season-best in the 1650 freestyle.

Fighting Irish Women's Swimming and Diving Faces a Challenging Schedule in 2006-07

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NOTRE DAME, IND.- Head women’s swimming & diving coach Carrie Nixon and the University of Notre Dame women’s swimming & diving team announced its challenging 2006-07 schedule this afternoon, Sept. 27.

The Irish begin the season by hosting the annual Dennis Stark relays on Oct. 6. Among the other schools invited to attend this season include Valparaiso, Oakland (Mich.), Ball State, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Illinois State and Marquette.

Notre Dame will then begin the dual meet season with three home events in a row at the Rolf’s Aquatic Center. The stretch begins with Purdue on Friday, Nov. 3. The Boilermakers ended the 2006 campaign ranked No. 17 in the College Swim Coaches Association Poll. Michigan State comes to town on Nov. 10 with Pittsburgh arriving on Nov. 11. The Irish will wrap up the home portion of the 2007 schedule hosting the Shamrock Invitational from Jan. 26-27. The other programs in the Shamrock include Penn State, Oakland, Connecticut and West Virginia.

The Irish only have one dual meet on the road this season against Louisville (Feb. 3) but Notre Dame will participate in three in-season invitational meets. Notre Dame travels to Minneapolis, Minn. for the three-day Minnesota Invitational starting Nov. 17. The Minnesota Invitational is traditionally one of the toughest in-season Invitational meets in the Midwest.

The Irish then head to West Lafayette, Ind. to compete in the three-day U.S. Open Swim on Nov. 30 at Purdue. The Notre Dame diver’s that same weekend, Dec. 1-3 are in Columbus, Ohio for the Ohio State Invite.

After a break for the holidays, the Irish get back to work and travel to the Hawai’i Invitational on Jan. 3. After coming back to the mainland Notre Dame travels to Michigan to take on three Big Ten teams in Michigan, Illinois and Indiana on January 12-13. The Hoosiers ended the season ranked No. 16 while the Wolverines were ranked No. 22.

The Irish will be looking for their 11th consecutive BIG EAST Championship title when the meet begins in Long Island, N.Y. on Feb. 14, 15, 16 and 17. The Irish sent three swimmers and a diver to the 2006 NCAA meet, finishing 41st overall, due to illness problems. The team will look to improve their finish with hopefully a healthy squad in this season’s NCAA Championship, which will be held at the University of Minnesota beginning March 8.

“We’re all very excited for the season ahead, particularly opening the schedule with four meets in front of our home crowd,” Nixon said. “It’s always important for us to see the incredible impact that our hard work and dedication have on the Notre Dame community. The Minnesota Invitational, this fall, will be a fantastic opportunity for the girls to swim and dive in the 2007 NCAA Championship pool, competing against some of the top programs in the country. We’re fortunate enough to be hosting the US Open in the state of Indiana this year, so that’s an added bonus for our fall competition schedule. Our second semester is packed with great match ups – Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Penn State, West Virginia, and Louisville – a few Big Ten and Big East teams to finish the duel meet season. We’ve done a great job preparing over the summer and striving for excellence this fall, so we’re all very excited to meet the challenges ahead.”

Click on the pdf link for complete schedule.