Oct. 14, 2017
By Leigh Torbin
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Saturday’s second half of their two-day dual meet saw the No. 17/25 Notre Dame swimming and diving teams more than triple their Friday event win total, surging from three to 10, but 13 total wins would prove unlucky as No. 15/5 Texas A&M emerged from the Rolfs Aquatic Center with comfortable team victories. The Aggie men downed their Irish counterparts, 193.5-159.5, while the women’s side saw Texas A&M win, 211-136, over the 38-event meet.
The Irish teams both stand at 2-1 on the year after opening the 2017-18 season with dual meet wins over No. 7/9 Louisville and Michigan State.
Justin Plaschka led the Irish men with a pair of individual wins (100 butterfly and 50 freestyle) while also swimming a leg of two winning relays, the 200 freestyle and the 400 freestyle. Freshman Zach Yeadon also continued the fast start to his collegiate career with wins in the 500 freestyle and 1000 freestyle.
Notre Dame’s women’s team saw individual event wins from Molly Treble (500 freestyle), Abbie Dolan (200 freestyle), Lindsay Stone (1000 freestyle) and Claire Andrews (1-meter diving) while Dolan, Rachel Wittmer, Lauren Heller and Sofia Revilak teamed up to win a thrilling 400 freestyle relay in which Revilak touched the wall just .07 seconds ahead of Aggie anchor leg swimmer Kristin Malone.
The Irish entered Saturday down in the head-to-head scoring against the Aggies. Notre Dame stepped up its competitive levels on Saturday, leaving the coaches proud, but the Texas A&M proved too much to handle, particularly on the women’s side where the Aggies return much of the team which finished third at the 2017 NCAA Championships. The Notre Dame men’s team out scored the Aggies, 94-92, in Saturday’s events.
Coach Litzinger Said
“Our kids rallied and we had some great races. I feel that we had some things that we needed to work on. Our guys really came alive and took a number of events. That was pretty exciting. Our women ran up against a tough team. It’s just a privilege to compete against a team like A&M and be in it with them. They had their share of events, but we got a couple of ours and I feel pretty good going into Georgia Tech next week.”
Irish Event Winners
Men’s 200 freestyle relay (1:21.00) — Justin Plaschka, Tabahn Afrik, Dan Fujan and Daniel Speers*
Women’s 500 freestyle (4:49.60) — Molly Treble*
Men’s 500 freestyle (4:29.91) — Zach Yeadon*
Women’s 200 freestyle (1:46.58) — Abbie Dolan
Men’s 200 freestyle (1:38.37) — Zach Yeadon
Men’s 100 butterfly (48.03) — Justin Plaschka
Men’s 100 backstroke (48.59) — Rob Whitacre
Men’s 50 freestyle (20.22) — Justin Plaschka
Women’s 1000 freestyle (9:51.07) — Lindsay Stone
Men’s 1000 freestyle (9:03.25) — Zach Yeadon
1-Meter Diving (285.90) — Claire Andrews
Women’s 400 freestyle relay (3:19.82) — Abbie Dolan, Rachel Wittmer, Lauren Heller and Sofia Revilak
Men’s 400 freestyle relay (2:58.29) — Tabahn Afrik, Justin Plaschka, Aaron Schultz and Daniel Speers
* denotes events swam on Friday
The Irish will conclude a five-date homestand to open the 2017-18 season at noon on Friday when the teams play host to Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets stand at 1-0 on the year after both the men’s and women’s teams won a dual meet against Pittsburgh on Oct. 6.
Leigh Torbin, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2013. A native of Framingham, Massachusetts, Torbin graduated from the University of Massachusetts in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in sports management. He has previously worked full-time on the athletic communications staffs at Vanderbilt, Florida, Connecticut and UCF.