January 30, 1999


ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team (7-3) dropped its third dual meet of the season to Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. Saturday afternoon, 162-136.

The ninth-ranked Wolverines won nine out of the 16 events to post the victory. This is the third time this season that the two squads have faced each other, but the first time in dual meet action. The 22nd-ranked Irish were led by double-event winners Kristen Van Saun (Lawrence, Kan.) and Heather Mattingly (Houston, Texas), who won both the diving competitions.

The Irish, who had won seven-straight dual meets following a loss to Miami on Oct. 16, opened the Michigan meet with three straight victories. The Notre Dame 400-medley relay team of Kelly Hecking (Rutherford, N.J.), Allison Lloyd (Fort Wayne, Ind.), Elizabeth Barger (Littleton, Colo.) and Carrie Nixon (Ouray, Colo.) swam a season-best and first-place time of 3:49.50 in the opening event. Van Saun then beat the field in the 1000 freestyle with a team season-high time of 10:11.74 to give the Irish a 24-12 lead. Mattingly capped the Irish three-event run with a win in the one-meter diving event with a score of 274.95.

The Wolverines, however, put together three wins in the next three events before Barger captured first place in the 200-yard butterfly, almost two and a half seconds faster than her nearest competitor, Kerrianne Kalbko of Michigan. After a win by Michigan’s Jenny Crisman in the 50 freestyle, Mattingly placed first in the three-meter diving event with a score of 303.90.

Notre Dame breaststroker Shannon Suddarth (Topeka, Kan.) won the 200 breaststroke and Van Saun won the 400 individual medley with a team season-high time of 4:27.56, but the Wolverines captured five of the last seven events including the 400 freestyle to win the dual meet, 162-136.

The Irish will have a little more than three weeks to prepare for their next meet, the BIG EAST Championships, Feb. 25-27 in Uniondale, N.Y.