The IU women’s swimming and diving team will face another in-state rival at 12 p.m. Saturday in West Lafayette against Purdue.
The competition will be aired live on the Big Ten Network.
“Both teams want to do whatever they can to win,” senior swimmer Ashley Specht said. “In the past, both teams have swam very fast because they know they have the pressure of people watching.”
Coming off of a win against Notre Dame last weekend, the Hoosiers hope to keep the momentum as they head into their match against the Boilermakers.
The IU women will not only get to compete under the lights, but they will also get the opportunity to learn their competition for the upcoming Big Ten Championships in March.
Although the Hoosiers face many daunting challenges, including the heightened pressure that comes with competing against Purdue and the lack of home pool advantage, the swimmers said they choose to focus on the positives.
“They have some very fast girls and it will be interesting to see how our girls react,” Specht said. “I think that if we start off strong, then we will easily sweep away with a win.”
The Purdue swimming and diving team won 14 of 16 events in their most current competition against Michigan State Jan. 12.
“Purdue has beaten us the past several times in a row so we know what’s coming there,” IU Coach Ray Looze said. “We are going to have to be really ready to go and prepared for their best shots.”
The Hoosiers will have to step up particularly in the sprint events. Representing the Purdue women at the Michigan State meet, Laura Gustafson won the 50-yard freestyle in 23.64 and the 100-yard freestyle in 50.88.
Last weekend, IU sophomore Sara Delay won the 50 free with a time of 23.37, just .27 faster than Gustafson’s time.
Freshman Brooklyn Snodgrass will help add to IU’s depth as she continues to dominate in backstroke events.
Snodgrass earned her third Big Ten weekly award Tuesday after her performance against Notre Dame.
In the 100-yard backstroke, she placed first with a time of 54.21, a NCAA B-Cut. Snodgrass picked up another first place in the 200-yard backstroke after touching the wall at 1:56.32, also a NCAA B-Cut.
Aside from the backstroke events, IU and Purdue are expected to have close races in the butterfly events and relays.
Compared to Purdue’s Rihannon Sheets’ final time of 2:00.92 in the 200-yard butterfly against Michigan State, freshman Haley Lips touched the wall at 2:00.86.
Lips ended with a second-place finish in the 100-yard butterly and a time of 55.81 against Notre Dame, while Sheets placed first with a time of 55.97.
Despite the roadblocks to an IU victory presented by Purdue, the women hope to carry their team spirit and distinct abilities to West Lafayette and clinch a win.
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