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Swimming and diving prepared for second matchup with Purdue this weekend



pieroni

Then-sophomore Blake Pieroni, now a senior, dives off the starting block during the 100-yard breaststroke during a 2015 meet against Cincinnati at the Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center. Pieroni won both the 200m freestyle with a time of 1:34.10 and the 100m freestyle by touching the wall with a time of 43.18 in IU's first meet of the 2017-18 season against Florida and Texas. Rachel Meert Buy Photos

For the second time this season, IU swimming and diving will take the pool with Purdue and will look to add on to a strong performance from November. The in-state rivals are set to duel on Saturday at the Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center.

The ranked matchup will feature the No. 10 lady Hoosiers against the No. 23 Boilermakers, while the No. 4 men's team will face an unranked Purdue squad. 

West Lafayette was the site of the first match-up, the annual Purdue Invitational, which also featured eight other teams.

The Hoosier women dominated the competition, as they won by more than 200 total points.

While the women performed well, the men struggled, coming in second place behind Florida by just under 200 points. IU Coach Ray Looze wants to see some improvements from last time they saw the Boilermakers.

“I expect to see Purdue at its best,” Looze said. “We need to go deeper into the lineup of kids scoring. We’re really going to push hard this week.”

According to Looze, depth has been the main concern for the Hoosier squad since the start of the season. The depth of the team has given IU troubles all season long and has forced IU into tough losses against Texas, Tennessee, Notre Dame and Michigan.

That depth for the women will be challenged this weekend against No. 23 Purdue, who has been falling in the rankings since Oct. 25, when they debuted at No. 16.

The process in preparing for Purdue has started during practice. Looze believes that practice translates into the meets, especially during this time of the year.

“We need to make sure people aren’t disappearing in practice,” Looze said. “Because if you’re doing it in practice, then its gonna happen in a meet.”

The top ranked Hoosiers are entering a crucial time of the year, as this semester includes the Big Ten Championships, NCAA Championships and Speedo Sectionals.

Being the last home meet of the season, IU will honor their seniors for their annual Senior Day at the Counsilman Billingsley Aquatic Center.

One of the seniors that will be honored is Blake Pieroni, the decorated world champion from Valparaiso, Indiana. Pieroni has earned a gold medal from the Rio Olympics and the FINA World Championships in the 4x100m freestyle relay, where he also received a bronze medal in the 4x200 freestyle relay.

While all of those medals are promising, Pieroni has momentum right now, coming off three individual wins at the Michigan meet last weekend.

Fans who want to tune into the dual meet can watch online at BTN plus, as they will live stream coverage starting at 10:30 a.m. ET from Bloomington.

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