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Hoosiers to close dual meet season with Louisville



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Then-sophomore Gia Dalesandro swims in the 200 Butterfly at the Big Ten Women's Swimming and Diving Championships in Columbus, Ohio in 2015. Dalesandro finished first. Ike Hajinazarian Buy Photos

The undefeated IU men’s swimming and diving team will look to finish a perfect dual meet season against Louisville on Friday, and the IU women will battle for a second consecutive win in the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center.

“I think Louisville is going to be a really good meet,” senior swimmer Gia Dalesandro said. “They’re a really good team always, and they’re really competitive. They’ve got some superstars so we’re really going to have to step up, but I’m excited for it, and I’m excited for my last dual meet.”

IU comes into the meet ranked No. 4 in the country for men and No. 14 for women, and Louisville is ranked No. 7 for men and No. 10 for women.

Junior Blake Pieroni, who has performed well all year, will look to continue his recent dominance against the Cardinals after winning the 50-yard freestyle and 100 breaststroke, the first time he has ever won the event.

Senior Bob Glover, who will get his last crack at a dual meet, will be another Hoosier to watch after he won the 100- and 200-yard backstroke and the 200-yard medley relay with junior Ali Khalafalla and sophomores Vini Lanza and Ian Finnerty against the Boilermakers.

“We have a saying that, ‘Try and leave the program in a better position than when you first came in,’ and I think personally we’re definitely going to do that with the results,” Glover said.

The meet will also be the final tune-up before the Big Ten Championships and an opportunity for the men’s team to finish undefeated.

On the women’s side, Dalesandro will look to continue her hot streak after picking up wins in the 100- and 200-yard butterfly and the 200-yard individual medley. She was also a part of the 200-yard medley relay that took home first place with sophomore Lilly King and juniors Kennedy Goss and Ali Rockett.

“We’re gonna need to put up a really good performance next Friday to come out on top,” Swim Coach Ray Looze said after the Purdue meet. “Good thing is they know it. I think we’re a better end-of-the-season team than we are right now, and that’s the most important time of the year for us, so we’re coming around.”

Sophomore diver James Connor and junior diver Michael Hixon will continue to lead the Hoosier men after narrowly losing out last week to Purdue’s Steele Johnson, a silver medalist in the 10-meter synchronized dive at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

On the women’s side junior Jessica Parratto and senior Michal Bower will look to end their strong seasons on a high note. Parratto swept the 1-meter springboard and the 10-meter platform last week against the Boilermakers, and Bower finished second in the 1-meter.

“Hopefully we’ll see everyone continue to see everyone stay healthy and handle the rigors of training as we’re preparing and see some great performances from the whole squad on Friday,” Dive Coach Drew Johansen said.

Friday will also be senior day and the last chance for many Hoosiers to compete in the pool in Bloomington.

“To see where this team is going to go makes me pretty upset I can’t be a part of it because these guys are going to accomplish huge things in the next few years, and I’m so excited to be able to watch that,” Glover said.

The meet will begin 2 p.m. Friday in the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatics Center.

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