Feb. 2, 2002
The University of Notre Dame women’s swimming and diving team capped off an undefeated dual meet season with a 175-124 victory over Michigan in Ann Arbor. The 13th-ranked Irish squad finishes the dual meet season 10-0 to post the program’s second-ever undefeated season. Coach Bailey Weather’s team is now 30-1 over the last three seasons in dual meet competition with two perfect slates (1999-2000 and 2001-02).
Notre Dame entered the meet against the 17th-ranked Wolverines coming off a victory over #16 Northwestern (201-99) on Thursday, Jan. 31. In similar fashion to the Irish start against the Wildcats, the 400-yard medley relay team posted a victory in the first event of the meet to put the Irish in control early. Senior Kelly Hecking, senior Allison Lloyd, sophomore Lisa D’Olier and senior Carrie Nixon swam to a 3:45.94 time to take first place.
In the second event of the meet, Heather Mattingly won the one-meter diving competition by 15 points, marking her third diving victory of the weekend (she swept both boards against Northwestern). The Irish senior diver would eventually win her fourth event of the weekend with a four-point victory (305.02) in the three-meter diving competition later in the meet.
Michigan rebounded slightly in the third event, taking first and second place in the 1650 freestyle. Any Wolverine momentum would be short lived, however, as the Irish came back to finish one-two-three-four in the 200 freestyle. Heidi Hendrick led the way (1:52.69), followed by Lisa Garcia, Sarah Alwen and Katie Eckholt.
The 100 backstroke was due next, and Notre Dame’s All-American Kelly Hecking took control of her signature event with a 56.24 victory. Danielle Hulick earned even more meet points for the Irish with a second-place finish in 56.98.
Michigan’s Kelli Stein out-touched Lloyd to win the 100 breaststroke in the next event, but a pair of Irish Lisas kept the meet under Notre Dame control. Lisa D’Olier and Lisa Garcia took first and second in the 200 butterfly, then handed the reigns of the Irish meet to senior Carrie Nixon.
Nixon responded with two victories, scorching the field in the 50 freestyle (23.06) and the 100 free (51.10). In both meets of the weekend, the Irish senior All-American proved unbeatable in her specialty events (50 and 100 freestyle), ending up with four individual victories and three relay wins.
Michigan would come back in the second part of the meet to win the 200 backstroke, 200 breaststroke and 500 freestyle, but in each Wolverine victory, Notre Dame’s talented depth prevented the home team from making any head way on the team scoreboard. Kristen Peterson, Hecking and Hulick finished two-three-four in the 200 back, Lloyd and Laurie Musgrave took second and fourth in the 200 breast, and Marie Labosky and Kelli Barton ended up two-three in the 500 freestyle – clinching the meet victory for the Irish.
Labosky would add a victory in the 400 individual medley (4:24.25), followed by Barton, to round out the Irish top finishes.
Notre Dame will be back in action in Ann Arbor next weekend for the Michigan Open (Feb. 9) before the BIG EAST Championship in Uniondale, N.Y., which begins Feb. 23.