SOUTH BEND, IN, September 23. NOTRE Dame Head Coach Tim Welsh announced the 2004-05 Notre Dame Men’s Swimming & Diving schedule last week.
The Irish will face three teams that finished last season ranked among the nation's top 20 – #16 Pittsburgh, #18 Northwestern, and #19 Brigham Young – in dual meets during the 2004-05 campaign.
The Irish will open their season next weekend with two home meets in one evening, when they play host to Evansville at 4 p.m. (EST) on Friday, Oct. 1 and then take part in the Dennis Stark Relays at 6:30 p.m. in the Rolfs Aquatic Center.
In a bit of a departure from a standard NCAA varsity season, Notre Dame's winter training and competition trip will actually be one of the highlights of their season. They will be gone from Dec. 29-Jan. 9 to Dublin and Limerick in Ireland and will end it by facing the Ireland National Team on Saturday, Jan. 8 at 4 p.m. in Dublin.
Notre Dame is holding an Irish prize raffle to help defray costs for that trip. Prizes include travel packages to a 2005 Irish football game and one to a spring-semester '05 Notre Dame basketball contest. Tickets ($5 apiece) and more information are available from assistant coach Matt Tallman (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The five home dates will showcase arguably the most impressive visiting talent in the history of the program. After the season-opening doubleheader, Notre Dame faces a tri-meet on Friday, Nov. 12 meet with eight-time defending Big East champs Pittsburgh and Michigan State of the Big Ten. Each defeated Notre Dame in dual meets last season, and the Irish look forward to a double dip of payback that day.
The first semester culminates with the Notre Dame Invitational, the annual fall championship meet in the Rolfs Aquatic Center that features swim powers from all divisions, from Dec. 2-4. The lone home meet of the second half of the season will be on Saturday, Jan. 22, when the Irish play host to Northwestern, and their super-soph Matt Grevers, which finished 11th in the NCAA Championships in 2004. In last year's matchup in Evanston, Ill., Notre Dame held various leads against the 15th-ranked Wildcats before Northwestern registered a victory.
The Irish road trips will be similarly difficult. Notre Dame will take on the top two dual-meet teams from the Mountain West Conference in their home pools. The Irish will face Utah on Friday, Oct. 29 before competing against defending MWC champion Brigham Young (a dual-meet winner vs. the Irish a season ago) the following day. The next weekend sees Notre Dame heading to Iowa on Friday, Nov. 5 for a dual meet against the Hawkeyes, which beat Notre Dame in 2003-04 and then finished 28th at the NCAA meet. The final road trip of the fall semester comes on Nov. 19-20, when Notre Dame heads to Louisville, where the two schools will take part in a two-day, three-session, championship-style meet.
After facing Northwestern, the Irish will have three dual meets on the road before the commencement of the postseason. Notre Dame will head to Cleveland State on Friday, Jan. 28 and then will face the lone Catholic school on its schedule, St. Bonaventure the following day in the home pool of the Bonnies, who finished last season ranked fourth in the nation in the College Swim Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Division I Mid-Major poll.
The final dual meet will be at Oakland University on Saturday, Feb. 5. It will be the sixth consecutive years the Irish and Golden Grizzlies have faced off, and the home squad has won each of the last five.
The 2005 BIG EAST Swimming & Diving Championships are slated for Feb. 16-19 in East Meadow, N.Y. Notre Dame was the conference runner-up a season ago after posting its highest-ever point total in the meet.
The NCAA Zone C Diving Championships are slated for March 11-12 in West Lafayette, Ind., and the NCAA Championships will be in Minneapolis, Minn. from March 24-26.
Notre Dame returns 21 of 25 monogram winners from last year's team that set eight University records, won the Notre Dame Invitational for the third straight year and rebounded from a 1-5 start to go 8-7 in dual meets. The Irish return the team leader in 14 of 16 individual events for the 2004-05 campaign and also add a talented group of 10 newcomers.
2004-05 NOTRE DAME MEN’S SWIMMING & DIVING SCHEDULE
October 1 Friday EVANSVILLE Rolfs Aquatic Center 4:00 p.m.
October 1 Friday DENNIS STARK RELAYS Rolfs Aquatic Center 6:30 p.m.
October 29 Friday Utah Salt Lake City, Utah 5:00 p.m.
October 30 Saturday Brigham Young Provo, Utah Noon
November 5 Friday Iowa Iowa City, Iowa 5:00 p.m.
November 12 Friday PITTSBURGH Rolfs Aquatic Center 5:00 p.m.
Nov. 19-20 Fri-Sat Louisville Louisville, Ky. 5pm/9am/2pm
Dec. 2-4 Thurs-Sat NOTRE DAME INVIT. Rolfs Aquatic Center 10am/6:30pm
January 8 Saturday Ireland Nat. Team Dublin, Ireland 4:00 p.m.
January 22 Saturday NORTHWESTERN Rolfs Aquatic Center 2:00 p.m.
January 28 Friday Cleveland State Cleveland, Ohio 5:00 p.m.
January 29 Saturday St. Bonaventure St. Bonaventure, N.Y. Noon
February 5 Saturday Oakland Rochester, Mich. 2:00 p.m.
Feb. 17-19 Thurs-Sat BIG EAST Champs. East Meadow, N.Y. 10:30am/6pm
March 11-12 Fri-Sat NCAA Zone C Diving W. Lafayette, Ind. TBA
March 24-26 Thurs-Sat NCAA Championships Minneapolis, Minn. Noon/7pm
All times are local.