ROWING : Syracuse challenged by tough early-season slate

first_img Comments Published on April 26, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Josh: [email protected] Justin Moore filled Syracuse’s schedule with tough competition this season. Eight of its opponents are currently in Top-20 or have received votes in the CRCA/US Rowing Coaches poll.Senior coxswain Allison Todd believes the challenging slate has made a difference thus far, saying the Orange is now capable of putting together a dominant and complete performance.The schedule also serves as a reminder SU can’t take any opponent lightly.‘At this point Justin has always told us you take everyone seriously,’ Todd said. ‘You race as if everyone’s fast. The other crews are fast but the thing is, even though they’re not ranked, they’re still going to put up a fight.’Moore’s strategy tested the Orange during the season and prepared his rowers for postseason racing, which starts when Syracuse heads to Indianapolis on Saturday for the Big East Double Dual regatta at Eagle Creek Reservoir. The Orange will face a competitive field that includes Iowa, Notre Dame, Rutgers and West Virginia. No. 15 Notre Dame is the only ranked crew in the event. But the oarswomen do not want to take any of their opponents lightly.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNotre Dame is also the eight-time defending Big East Champion. This season, the Fighting Irish have defeated No. 19 Clemson, while losing to No. 4 Ohio State by seven seconds. Two weeks ago, Notre Dame, who boasts one of the best varsity four boats in the country, lost to No. 2 Virginia by less than seven seconds.‘We’ve heard very good things,’ freshman Anna Kaszycki said. ‘We’ve heard that they’re very fast. I think it’s exciting and gives us a good opportunity to see where we’re at and where we need to be.’Syracuse has a talented group ready for the challenge Notre Dame poses. The Orange’s varsity four boat – coxed by junior Kristina Herb and comprised of Ashley Marsh, Laura Adams, Amy Ludovici and Morgan DiValerio – currently ranks fourth among Mid-Atlantic schools.Notre Dame and Syracuse will surely be the favorites, but Iowa and West Virginia will row closely behind. On March 17 in South Carolina, the SU varsity eight crew finished only one second ahead of Iowa and cruised to a 14-second victory against the Hawkeyes’ varsity four.‘Since we first raced them [Iowa] in Clemson we’ve made a lot of progress,’ freshman Emma Basher said. ‘I think it will be good to go up against them again and see how we compare and hopefully we beat them by more this time.’West Virginia’s season-best time in the varsity eight this season is 6:42.72, which is actually better than Syracuse’s 6:47.4. Syracuse also faced Rutgers on March 31 at Onondaga Lake, defeating the Scarlet Knights in a varsity eight head-to-head consolation match.SU will use this weekend to hone its skills for the Big East Championship, which takes place from May 12-13 in Mercer, N.J., where Notre Dame will once again be the Orange’s toughest competition.But the Orange will be ready regardless of its opponent this weekend. Basher said the team has continued to improve at practice this week, and that the previous experience against top-ranked teams like Dartmouth prepared the team for the postseason race.With the stakes a little higher, Todd wants to see SU turn that experience into a successful weekend in the conference regatta.‘We’ve had pieces of the races that have been successful, and last weekends I think we put it all together,’ Todd said. ‘Hopefully this weekend we’ll have the same results.’[email protected]center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more