No. 13 Indiana women’s swim and dive was back in Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center for its season finale meet against the University of Evansville on Friday. Coming off a big win against rival Purdue last weekend, Indiana carried the positive momentum into its meet with Evansville, winning 148-111.
Following the win, head coach Ray Looze emphasized the importance of how stressful the tournament meets will be in coming weeks and that it can be good to have a more relaxed setting late in the season.
“We are just trying to integrate some of the younger athletes,” Loo
ze said. “We don’t have a lot of opportunities to do that, so just trying out some different stuff. Today we are trying to have some fun and do some low-stress competition, because that's all we have left is high-stress competition.”
In the lap pool, relays have been a point of emphasis over the course of the season and something the coaches have been focused on heading into the postseason. The Hoosiers came out on top in both the women’s 200-meter medley relay and the women's 200-meter freestyle relay while also allowing the younger athletes to get time in the pool.
One of the new faces to make a splash at the meet was freshman Dominika Kossakowska. The Polish native arrived on campus over winter break and won two events against Evansville. Kossakowska won both the 100-and 200-yard freestyle races with times of 51.33 and 1:49.52, respectively.
Even though there were a lot of new faces in competition, one of the upperclassmen had a big meet. Senior Kristen Hayden set a new dual meet record in the 3-meter dive, eclipsing the old
record score of 373.95 with a score of 399.38. Hayden also won the 1-meter dive with a score of 335.33.
With the Big Ten Championships coming up next on Indiana’s schedule, Looze provided insight on how he sees his team performing this year.
“The women right now are going to have a hard time beating Ohio State or Michigan,” Looze said. “If we finish any higher than third, then I think that would be exceeding expectations, and as for nationals, last year, we finished fifteenth so anything higher than that.”
With its sights set firmly on postseason competition, Indiana women’s swim and dive will return to the pool on Feb. 16 in Madison, Wisconsin, for the Big Ten Championships.