The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams picked up two victories over their in-state rival Purdue on Jan. 20.
IU Coach Ray Looze said the environment of the meet was outstanding. He said the team fed off the crowd's enthusiasm.
However, the Hoosiers won’t be able to enjoy that home-pool advantage for long as they travel to Louisville, Kentucky, to take on the Cardinals this Friday.
Last year, the IU women’s team lost to Louisville 171-129. The Cardinals were ranked at No. 10 during that meet. This year is no different as the Cardinals still hold the 10th spot in the rankings.
The Hoosiers, however, are coming in as a better team. After being ranked No. 14 when the two competed last year, IU enters Ralph Wright Natatorium as the seventh best team in the nation.
“This is going to be a really tough competition,” IU Coach Ray Looze said. “We are going to throw everything we can at them on the women’s side.”
Expect some of that firepower to come from juniors Lilly King on the swimming side and Jessica Parratto on the diving side.
Against the Boilermakers, King won three individual events — the 100 breaststroke in 1:01.36, 200 breaststroke in 2:10.61 and 200 IM in 2:01.29. As for Parratto, she won the one-meter dive with a score of 345.5, as well as the platform with a season-best score of 350.33.
Other swimmers to watch are senior Ali Rockett, junior Christine Jensen and freshman Grace Haskett. Those three team with King for the 200-medley relay, which took a victory over Purdue with a time of 1:38.57.
On the men’s side, the Hoosiers come into the meet ranked at No. 3, while Louisville is No. 13. The Hoosiers beat the Cardinals last year 195-105.
Looze said he is going to have to do some evaluation before this meet to see who he wants to put in what event to best match-up with the Cardinals. He is still looking for the perfect combination of what athletes will swim on what team, Looze said they are about 95 percent there.
Like the women’s team, the men’s 200-medley relay team also came away with a win against Purdue. Freshman Gabriel Fantoni, junior Ian Finnerty, freshman Bruno Blaskovic and senior Blake Pieroni were the members and swam a time of 1:27.54.
The overall victory against Purdue extended the men’s dual meet win-streak to 21. Pieroni said the 21 consecutive victories aren’t in the team’s head when they get set to compete.
“It’s great to have but the win-streak isn’t huge for us,” Pieroni said. “Dual meets are one thing and the Big Ten Championships are another.”
With the Big Ten Championships under a month away, Pieroni said the goal against Louisville is to get the Hoosiers swimmers improved and confident for the time Feb. 21 rolls around.
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