After a two month break, the No. 14 IU women's swim and dive head back to the pool against the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines.
The Hoosiers enter the contest with a 2-2-1 record in dual meets while Michigan has a perfect 5-0. The Wolverines boast wins over Oakland University, Miami University, Northwestern, Iowa and the University of Denver. The Wolverines also placed first at the University of Georgia Fall Invitational and the Orange Bowl Classic.
Michigan is led by senior Siobhan Haughey, one of the best freestyle swimmers in the nation. Haughey represented Hong Kong in the 2016 Olympics, and last season, finished second at the NCAA Championships in the 200-yard freestyle, and fourth in the 100-yard freestyle.
This season, Haughey has the fastest time in the nation for the 200-yard freestyle (1:41.77), and the second fastest time in the nation for the 100 freestyle (46.72). Both are NCAA A-cut times. On top of the freestyle times, Haughey has the fifth best time in the nation for the 200-yard individual medley.
Michigan senior Catherine DeLoof has also been a dominant freestyle swimmer this season, with the ninth best time in the nation in the 100-yard free style and the fifth best time in the 200-yard freestyle.
Whereas IU is deep and dominant in the breaststroke, Michigan is very similar in the freestyle.
“I think the group is partly so strong because there’s so much combined experience there,” Abby Snyder, a sports writer for The Michigan Daily, said. “With the three seniors in the group who can provide some leadership, and obviously the experience makes them better athletes overall. But the group is also fairly deep with two sophomores and a freshman.”
As always, the biggest event the Hoosiers will need to rack up points in to beat the Wolverines is the breaststroke events, where the Hoosiers have the fastest swimmer in the nation.
For the Hoosiers, Olympian senior Lilly King continues to put up blazing times in the breaststroke events. At the IU Invitational in November, King posted the third-fastest time in American history in the 100-yard breaststroke, 56.43 seconds, and sixth fastest time in American history in the 200-yard breaststroke, 2:03.60 seconds. Both times are the fastest in the nation for their respective events.
On top of King, IU has two other swimmers with top-10 national times in the 200-yard breaststroke, as freshman Noelle Peplowski has the eighth-fastest time, and senior Laura Morley the ninth. Peplowski also has the seventh fastest time in the nation for the 100 breaststroke.
This will be the second meet of the season for senior Jessica Parratto. Parratto returned from a neck injury at the IU Invitational, where she won her first diving event back. Against Michigan, Parratto will get her first chance in a dual meet this year.
The Wolverines are the defending Big Ten champions, and the highest ranked team that IU will have faced this season. IU faces a difficult schedule in the 2018-19 season, and the first meet of 2019 for the Hoosiers will further escalate the level of competition.