Aug. 9, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -
Notre Dame head coach Brian Barnes has announced the schedule for the upcoming 2011-12 season. Highlighting the schedule are five home meets including regular-season contests against five teams that concluded the 2010-11 season ranked in the top 25.
"We're looking forward to a good season and have put together a competitive schedule for our program," Barnes said. "There are no meets we can take for granted, and the goal is to put ourselves in the position to get better and faster with each practice and each meet."
The Irish open the fall campaign with three straight home meets at the Rolfs Aquatic Center, the first two coming during the weekend of Oct. 14-15. Notre Dame plays host to the Dennis Stark Relays for the 28th straight season on Oct. 14. Last year, the Irish claimed first place over Illinois State, Valparaiso and Saint Mary's.
One day later, the Irish return to the pool for a double-dual meet with Oakland and TCU.
The final meet of the homestand comes on Oct. 21, as Notre Dame welcomes Auburn, who finished last season ranked fourth in the CSCAA Top 25 poll.
Three straight road contests lead the Irish through Thanksgiving, as Notre Dame faces off with Pittsburgh (Oct. 28), Purdue (Nov. 4) and Louisville (Nov. 12). The Boilermakers (No. 22) and the Cardinals (No. 19) were both ranked to end last season.
On Dec. 2, the Irish travel to Columbus, Ohio, for the three-day Ohio State Invitational. The Buckeyes ended last season ranked 15th.
Notre Dame takes it annual winter training trip to Hawaii, capped off by a Jan. 4 dual meet against the Warriors. A meeting with Northwestern and Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Jan. 14 will conclude six straight road meets for the Irish. The Wolverines finished the 2010-11 season ranked 16th.
Notre Dame returns to the friendly confines of the Rolfs Aquatic Center on Jan. 21 when it welcomes Michigan State for a dual meet. The annual Shamrock Invitational will be held Jan. 27-28 and a road trip to Ball State on Feb. 4 will mark the end of the regular season for the Irish.
The BIG EAST Conference Diving Championships will be hosted by Pittsburgh from Feb. 10-12, while the BIG EAST Swimming Championships will follow on Feb. 15-18.
Purdue will roll out the carpet for a last chance meet on Feb. 27 before the NCAA Diving Zone Meet takes place on March 8-10.
The NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships are set for March 15-17 in Auburn, Ala.
The Irish are coming off a 2010-11 season that saw them finish second at the BIG EAST Championships, snapping their streak of 14 straight league crowns, the most consecutive titles for any team in any league-sponsored sport.
Returning for the Irish are a pair of standouts from the 2011 BIG EAST Championships. Junior Kim Holden has won the 100 and 200 backstroke at the league meet in each of her first two seasons with the program, while sophomore Kelly Ryan won the 100 and 200 freestyle races in her league debut.