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IU ready for top-10 competition



IU has barely had time to put together its travel squad, but it’s already facing two of its toughest opponents this weekend for the second meet of the season.

After a win in their home opener against Cincinnati, IU Coach Ray Looze said the team is eager to face some tougher competition.

The Hoosiers will travel to Austin, Texas, for a two-day meet Friday and Saturday. The meet will be scored as a double-dual meet, meaning IU will have head-to-head scores against both teams.

“I am looking forward to seeing the team perform on the road,” Looze said. “This competition is important, and it will show us where we’re at in the season. Whether we win, lose or draw, it will give us a good picture of how good we are and how good we can actually be.”

The men’s team will be matched up against the Longhorns, the defending NCAA National Champions, and the Gators, who are currently ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation, according to CollegeSwimming.com.

Last year, Texas placed seventh at the NCAA Championships on the women’s side, and Florida is No. 5 in the nation entering this weekend.

“If we want to succeed, we need to have the highest number of people to contribute,” Looze said. “Whether they are placing first or fifth, it all counts. We need people who can get a hand on the wall to win us key points wherever they can.”

The IU men’s team is ranked No. 20 in the country, while the women are ranked No. 17. This weekend, Coach Looze said he expects the team to continue to make advancements while on the road.

“Our expectations for the women are to win one or both of the matches and for the men, we want to improve and take a step closer to close that gap between the level of Texas and Florida, and ourselves. It is going to be a big stage to improve and it’s realistic to say we are able to win some events against them.”

The Hoosiers said they are motivated to match up against two top-10 teams this early in the season. A successful meet this weekend will give the team a sense of their capabilities, Looze said.

“Our mindset going into this weekend is aggressive,” Looze said. “We don’t have anything to lose, just improvements to gain. I’m excited. I have a good sense of anticipation to go up against this good competition because it could be a big sign conveying what is yet to come.”

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