Notre Dame Women Upset Louisville as Teams Split Dual Meet

Notre Dame wears purple in honor of former head coach Tim Welsh's battle against pancreatic cancer; Photo Courtesy: Notre Dame Athletics

Unranked Notre Dame’s women’s team pulled an ACC dual-meet upset Saturday, scoring a 158-141 victory over No. 14 Louisville. The No. 13 Cardinals men’s team eked out a 152-148 win over the No. 21 Fighting Irish in South Bend.

Coleen Gillilan took the lead for the Irish. The sophomore won the 200 butterfly in an NCAA B cut of 1:56.62, then did the same in the 100 fly in 52.52. She added a win in the 200 individual medley, giving the Irish a lead that withstood the Cardinals winning the finishing 400 freestyle relay.

The Irish scored huge points in freestyle. Madeline LaPorte won the 1,000 and was second in the 500. Skylar Fore was victorious in the 200 free and second in the 100. Bayley Stewart and Carly Quast went 1-2 in the 100 backstroke, and Stewart doubled up by winning the 200 back.

A 1-2 finish in three-meter diving and a sweep of the top four places in the one-meter went a long way for Notre Dame. Kelly Straub claimed two golds, with Annie Wiese second on both occasions.

“When these two teams get together, there is always excitement,” Notre Dame coach Mike Litzinger said in a team release. “It was back and forth the whole way. … I am truly proud of the effort our women put in on both ends of the pool today. It was one of those meets where each performance added on to the other. Our men swam and dove for each other today. You could feel that emotion on the pool deck. I was impressed with our fight, resilience and spirit.”

As part of the meet Saturday, Notre Dame wore purple shirts to raise awareness about the fight against pancreatic cancer. Former Notre Dame head coach Tim Welsh, who is currently fighting pancreatic cancer, was honored at the meet.

Louisville bookended the session with wins in the 200 medley and 400 free relays, but it wasn’t enough.

Kaylee Wheeler and Morgan Friesen went 1-2 in the 100 breast, with Friesen rallying to win the 200 breast. The Cardinals dominated the sprints, with Gabi Albiero winning the 50 free and Christina Regenauer taking the 100 after earning silver in the 50. Maria Sumida won the 500 and was second in the 1,000 and 200 IM.

“We are grateful we have a chance to go on the road and compete,” Louisville coach Arthur Albiero said. “We performed well and I love the fight this group showed. We learned quite a bit about our team today. Unfortunately, we missed a couple of opportunities and that was the difference today.”

The men’s meet wasn’t settled until the 400 free relay squad of Michael Eastman, Haridi Sameh, Nicolas Albiero and Colton Paulson touched in 2:56.48, sixth tenths ahead of the Irish to seal the four-point victory. It complemented the opening win by the Cardinals’ 200 medley foursome of Mitchell Whyte, Evgenii Somov, Albiero and Sameh in 1:26.80.

That opening relay accounted for seven individual wins: Whyte in the 100 and 200 back, Somov in the 100 and 200 IM, Albiero in the 100 and 200 fly and Sameh in the 50 free.

The 50 is the only freestyle event Notre Dame didn’t win. Jack Hoagland (9:09.17) and Luke Thornbrue went 1-2 in the 1,000, then Sadler McKeen and Cason Wilburn went 1-2 in the 200 free. Hoagland won the 500 in a 1-2-3 ND result. Wilburn posted the ninth-fastest time in program history with a 44.02 to win the 100 free.

Josh Bottelberghe outdueled Somov to win the 200 breast and picked up an NCAA B cut behind Somov in the 100.

The teams split diving, with Notre Dame’s Austin Flaute winning the one-meter ahead of Louisville’s Daniel Pinto. The divers switched spots in the three-meter.

“It was a great day to get back to competing in a college dual meet setting,” Arthur Albiero said. “We were certainly tested today and in the end, our guys found a way to win the meet. It was definitely a total team effort. I saw a good mix of veterans and freshmen stepping up in key moments.”

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