April 9, 2011
COLUMBUS, Ohio -
The University of Louisville rowing team earned varsity eight and varsity four wins over Indiana University while also suffering a narrow varsity eight loss to No. 9 Ohio State on Saturday.
Racing at the Griggs Reservoir on the Scioto River, Louisville's varsity eight boat finished with a time of 7 minutes, 2.5 seconds late in the afternoon to edge out Indiana, in with a time of 7:03.6. Bucknell was third overall with a time of 7:16.8. IU's boat came out of the blocks very strong as expected and was extremely aggressive. Though the Cardinals lacked the punch they earlier in the day, they were able to dig it in for the last 300 meters and edge out a win.
"We took a lot from our afternoon race against the Hoosiers and it came at a good time," said Louisville head coach Laura Aubrey. "We needed to experience that kind of race now so we are prepared if and when it happens again."
Earlier in the day, Louisville's varsity eight boat had a time of 6:40.8 and was edged out by No. 9 Ohio State, which reached the line in a time of 6:40.2. Bucknell was a distant third at 6:59.8. The Cardinals were looking for their third win of the season over a top 20 team, but finished less than a second away from the feat.
"I am very happy with the varsity eight's performance today," said Aubrey. "They continue to show a great deal of maturity, composure and tenacity every time we line up on the course. Today was a big victory for this boat and I couldn't be more proud of their effort."
The Cardinals' varsity four boat had the team's biggest win of the day finishing with a time of 7:55.3, while Indiana crossed the line at 8:04.7. Bucknell was third at 8:05.4. The win followed a competitive morning defeat against Ohio State when Louisville finished at 7:43.4, while the Buckeyes led the way at 7:37.3.
"The varsity four put out a great race against the Buckeyes," said Aubrey. "They had a lot of fun in that race and it showed. Even though it was technically a loss, in my mind it was a huge victory. They raced aggressive, they took some chances and they gained a great deal of confidence as a result. They were pumped coming off the water and it was nice to see them feeling so good about their performance.
"The varsity four crew took what they learned from the morning races and took it to the next level in the afternoon. They are seeing they can do some great things in this boat and that makes them hungry for more."
Louisville's second varsity eight boat opened the day with a time of 6:57.2 to trail Ohio State in at 6:48.6, while Bucknell was third at 6:59.4. In the afternoon, the Cardinals had a time of 7:08.2 to trail the Buckeyes (7:05.2) and Bison (7:06.8).
"The second varsity eight is continually making the gains we need to see and I am encouraged by the strides I'm seeing," said Aubrey. "For most of the morning race, it was a great matchup between us and Bucknell. Bucknell put together a very strong race and forced us to get out of our comfort zone, which is exactly what we needed. We were able to edge out Bucknell in the end, but that did not happen without a good fight. I am happy with the momentum I am seeing from this boat and feel there are some good gains still to come.
"In the afternoon, the second varsity eight had another nail-biting race down the course against Indiana and Bucknell," said Aubrey. "Bucknell and Indiana came out strong again on the start and we found ourselves about three seats down at the 500-meter mark. Our eight hung in there with Bucknell, while Indiana surged ahead. We were really focused on Bucknell and this race was very similar to our morning race. However, we weren't able to move on them like we did in the morning. In the last 400, we made a big push and both boats started to close the gap on Indiana. We weren't able to get the win, but again, we gained a lot from this side-by-side the entire way down the course racing. You cannot hide in races like this and it's great to experience that right now."
In other morning races, Louisville's second varsity four had a time of 8:21.2 to trail Ohio State at 7:34.9, while the Cardinals' novice eight boat finished with a time of 7:14.6 to trail the Buckeyes at 6:56.7. In afternoon racing, U of L's second varsity four had a time of 8:28.5 and trailed Bucknell's time of 8:15.1, while the Cards' novice eight boat closed at 7:30.4 as Indiana finished at 7:21.9.
"The novice eight and second varsity four are gaining invaluable experience and speed every time they get down the course," Aubrey said. "Overall, I am very pleased with our team's effort today. The team goals we made at the beginning of the year are really shining through right now and I am very proud of their effort and focus up to this point. More importantly, I believe they sense it and they feel it and that makes them hungry for more."
Up next, Louisville will compete at the Charles River Challenge on April 16-17 in Boston in its final competition prior to the BIG EAST Championship on May 1 in West Windsor, N.J.