No. 8 Michigan hadn’t lost a home dual meet in more than a decade, but that streak came to an end Saturday afternoon when the Hoosiers came to town.
The Hoosier men came into the meet ranked No. 4 in the country and defeated the Wolverines, 170.5-129.5. The win for the Hoosiers was their first in Ann Arbor, Michigan since the 1980-81 season.
The star of the meet was senior Blake Pieroni, who won three events, the 50m freestyle, 100m free and 200m free, paving the road for victory for IU.
Junior Vini Lanza also continued his stellar season with wins in the 200m butterfly (1:43.85) and 200m IM (1:46.19).
IU Coach Ray Looze was excited for the program after the win and expected the meet to be IU’s biggest challenge of the year.
“Credit to our guys, they met the challenge head on,” Looze said. “I was excited about the challenge, I wanted to really see where we stood with the best in the Big Ten.”
After the meet, IU stands near the top of the Big Ten, and the entire country, as they are the highest-ranked team from its conference in the country.
While the men were dominant, the women, who were ranked No. 10, struggled mightily, falling to No. 4 Michigan 180-120, bringing their overall record to 3-4.
Looze said the difference in the meet was Michigan’s depth, a particular weakness for the Hoosiers all season long.
“We have to work harder,” Looze said. “If you want to win a meet you have to get more seconds, thirds and fourths. There’s more room to improve.”
The IU women won seven of 16 total events and Looze wasn’t satisfied with that. He said in order to win the meet, you need to be around 10 event wins.
One of the Hoosier women that got two first place finishes was junior Lilly King. She swept the backstroke events, winning the 100m and 200m with times of 59.55 and 2:10.95, respectively.
Depth was one of the Hoosiers' strongest points against Michigan, as IU swept all four diving events at the Canham Natatorium.
On the men’s side, junior James Connor took the one-meter dive (414.65) and senior Michael Hixon won the three-meter (455.5). On the opposite side, junior Jessica Parratto claimed both the one (328.4) and three-meter dive (334.5).
Looze was quick to move on from the win and focus on the next task at hand, rival Purdue next weekend. This weekend was just another step towards the postseason and Looze said the next task at hand is the most important.
“Now it's onto Purdue,” Looze said.
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