For the No. 10 IU men’s swimming and diving team, this weekend’s dual meet at No. 4 Michigan is about rebounding from an earlier loss. For the No. 8 women, this meet is all about not letting up after a previous victory against the same team.
On Saturday, IU’s swimming and diving team will travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., for the second time this season and IU’s first meet in more than a month. Earlier in the season at the Nov. 4-5 double dual meet with IU, Michigan and Texas, the men’s team lost to the Wolverines by a score of 216-84 in its only third-place finish of the year. On Oct. 28, the women defeated the now No. 22 Wolverines 178-122.
“This meet is going to be really important for us,” IU Coach Ray Looze said. “For the women, we really want to improve on our depth and get a good gauge on where we stand on our relays, and on the men’s side, I feel there is a lot of unfinished business to take care of. We want to go in there and do a much better job than we did before.”
The Hoosiers’ men’s team started the season with a 4-2 record, with its only losses of the season coming from the double dual meet with Michigan two months ago. The men thus far have enjoyed a breakout season by junior diver Zac Nees, who has won three of the six diving events he has participated in during the year, and they have shown a wide range of depth in the swimming pool. Junior Sam Trahin has won multiple 400-yard individual medleys this season, freshman Steve Schmuhl has specialized in the 200-yard backstroke and competed in both freestyle and butterfly races and sophomore Cody Miller has continued to contend for breaststroke titles.
However, when IU traveled to Michigan this past November, the Hoosiers did not win a single event in the swimming competition. Looze said performing well and beating Michigan this time is a must.
“I told our men that we’re going into this meet and the rest of the season with a blue-collar approach,” Looze said. “We want to go in there and be hard working and tough, and luckily we get this extra shot against them before the Big Ten Championships.”
IU’s women’s swimming and diving team (3-3) meanwhile faces a different task in Saturday’s meet against Michigan. During October’s double dual meet against the Wolverines and Longhorns, IU beat Michigan by a margin of only 56 points. For a veteran Hoosiers team led by senior swimmers Allysa Vavra, Margaux Farrell and Brittany Strumbel, the Hoosiers are well aware of the potential letdown.
“Michigan had a great first semester on the women’s side, but I don’t see us letting down against them,” Looze said. “I think we’re a better team than we were last time we raced them. Last time, they beat us in a few races that we should have won, but this time around, we should be able to rectify that.”
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