Sophomore Kelly Ryan.

Irish Hit The Road To Battle BIG EAST Rival Pittsburgh In Dual Meet

Oct. 26, 2011

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team hits the road this week for the first time in the young 2011-12 season, as it battles BIG EAST rival Pittsburgh on Friday in a 4 p.m. dual meet.

“We have started this week really well,” said head coach Brian Barnes. “We have been working hard all week, and we will continue working hard right up until the meet. Since it is still early in the season, we are continuing our usual practice and lifting schedule all week. It will be interesting to see how this team responds to the lengthy travel. We will go from South Bend to Pittsburgh and back by bus in around 24 hours. We are trying to prepare the team for that kind of trip.”

The Irish (2-1) are meeting up with the Panthers in the regular season for the first time since 2008, when Notre Dame topped Pitt, 223-77, on Halloween.

Notre Dame is coming off a 167-125 setback against perennial power Auburn last Friday at Rolfs Aquatic Center. The Irish won six events on the day, with junior diver Jenny Chiang picking up a pair of victories in the one and three-meter dives. Other highlights during the meet included sophomore Kelly Ryan’s close victory in the 200 backstroke and freshman Bridgett Casey’s impressive win in the 200 butterfly.

The Panthers (1-1) opened the season with a 123-120 loss to Buffalo, before picking up their first win of the season over St. Bonaventure, 213.5-84.5.

Pitt finished fifth at last season’s BIG EAST Championships, and return one all-BIG EAST performer in junior Joanna Budzis.

“I think Pitt will offer us a competitive meet,” said Barnes. “We will have to come out ready to compete and race them well to have a chance at a win.”

Complete results of the dual meet against the Panthers will be available at following the conclusion of the meet.