____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>En route to helping the Hoosiers finish 18th at the NCAA Championship meet in Minneapolis on Saturday, sophomore Eric Ress made All-America finishes look easy — even with a broken hand. Ress, who broke the third metacarpal bone in his left hand during the final lap of the 100-yard breaststroke at the Big Ten Championships, still finished second in both the 100 and 200-yard backstroke at NCAAs. Both races resulted in All-America honors for Ress. In the 200-yard competition preliminaries, Cory Chitwood of Arizona beat out Ress by .12 of a second, the closest finish in the 200-yard backstroke since hundredths of a second have been counted.The time also breaks his own school record in the event.“There’s no doubt in my mind he would have been a double national champion with smooth sailing,” IU coach Ray Looze said. “But it’s even more impressive just not quitting and showing the fight that he did. I just have a tremendous amount of respect for the young man, and he’s a great leader, both by example and through actions as well.”Though the injury was physical, Ress said the remedy was mental.“I tried not to let it psych me out that much,” Ress said. “I tried to stay as even-keel as possible and tried not to let it bother me because I knew the more I would focus on it and use it as an excuse, the more I’d actually probably hinder my swimming, so I just tried to go into it the same way I went into Big Tens.”Ress wasn’t the only standout for IU. Freshman Cody Miller finished 10th in the 200-yard backstroke with All-American honors. In his final collegiate event, senior David Piercy earned his first All-American honors after finishing ninth in the three-meter springboard competition. Diving coach Jeff Huber said Piercy’s confidence and attitude help the youthful diving squad develop into next year’s leaders.“We’ve got some guys that were able to watch and take notes,” Huber said. “And we’ve got some good guys coming up that will be our next team leaders.” The team has shown improvement this year from past seasons. In 2009, the Hoosiers finished 25th, and last season, they finished 31st. Looze said injuries were a major problem with last year’s squad, with big contributors like Ress and sophomore Jim Barbiere unable to participate.“We had a lot of guys redshirt last year, a lot of injuries and whatnot,” Looze said. “So we definitely had more talent this year to work with, and I felt we had better chemistry and the kids really bought into the program.”The Hoosiers look to continue the improvement seen from last season to this one, but Looze said the program will only move forward with a productive offseason.“We’re proud of the direction we’re moving in, and we’re really pleased with the team,” Looze said. “And if we have a great spring of training and summer, that will go a long way to putting together a Big Ten championship team next year and one that can move up the NCAA ladder.”
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____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The IU men’s swimming and diving team knows the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center well. They competed there just a month ago as they finished second in the Big Ten Championships.Starting today, 11 Hoosier athletes return to Minneapolis to participate in the NCAA Championships.Sophomore Eric Ress and freshman Cody Miller earned first team All-Big Ten at the Big Ten Championships and now look to continue their success on the big stage, qualifying for five and three events, respectively.Ress, who missed last season with a torn ACL, broke the third metacarpal in his hand during a race at Big Tens, which affected his training regimen during the last couple of weeks.“Growing up, I used to mountain bike and snowboard and all that, and I never broke a bone doing any of that stuff,” Ress said. “Go figure, I break a bone doing a pretty nonimpact sport. I guess that’s just how it is.”The team already improved from fifth place in the Big Ten last year to second place, and now they look to improve on a 31st-place finish at last year’s NCAAs.Senior Titus Knight, a first-time qualifier for NCAAs, said he has heard quite a bit about the challenge and the spectacle that is the NCAA Championship meet.“From what I’ve heard — from all the hype — it’s a meet that’s faster than the Olympics,” Knight said. “Now, not having been there before and just going off what other people have said, I’m pretty excited, pretty pumped. I wouldn’t say nervous at this point. I’m sure as the meet gets closer, I’ll probably get a little more nervous, but I’m just going to try and approach it like I did Big Tens — just go in there and make a statement.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>While 11 swimmers and divers will head to the men’s NCAA Championships in Minneapolis, the remainder of the team, along with non-NCAA qualifying women swimmers and divers, will take part in the USA Swimming Sectionals in Indianapolis. While there might not be quite the same feel or glory to a sectional meet as there is to an NCAA meet, IU coach Ray Looze said this meet is vital to the athletes’ futures.“That’s a really important meet,” Looze said. “A lot of the NCAA qualifiers we had this year went to sectionals last year.” Because this meet comes at the end of the season, it gives the swimmers a benchmark for next season. After the season-long buildup to the Big Ten meet, sophomore Daniel Kanorr said swimmers sometimes struggle to swim well so soon.“It can be pretty tough coming off a big meet such as Big Ten’s and having to get back into the grind and taper and then expect to swim fast again about a month later,” Looze said. “It’s pretty tough, but it’s just something you’ve got to overcome if you want to go to NCAA’s and be successful.”There has been a bit of a difference in training between athletes headed to the NCAA meet and those headed to Sectionals. The NCAA-qualifying women were about a week ahead in training because they swam last weekend, finishing 15th in the NCAA. Training has been highly individualized the whole season, so there is nothing too abnormal with different athletes having different workouts.The sectional meet is set to take place Tuesday through Saturday in Indianapolis while the men’s NCAA meet will be Thursday through Saturday in Minneapolis.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>All season, the IU women’s swimming and diving team has been ranked in the top 15. In a fitting way to end the season, it finished 15th in the nation at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championship on Saturday in Minneapolis .Junior Allysa Vavra swam two Honorable Mention All-American races along with an All-American finish in the 400-yard Individual Medley, which was also a Big Ten record. This capped off a very successful month for Vavra, in which she won both the 200 and 400-yard IM competitions at the Big Ten Championships. IU coach Ray Looze said he attributes the majority of her success to her work ethic throughout the season.“With her, she’s an extremely hard worker — one of our hardest,” Looze said. “It’s just really nice to see somebody that does many of the right things get rewarded at the end of the season.”Vavra led a class that Looze said he believes has the potential to be one of the best in IU history. Looze said this was his best class ever in terms of leadership during his nine-year tenure as head coach.“They’re just a very, very special group of girls,” Looze said. “They’ve really led by example and if their teammates have been watching and benefiting from having someone like that on a team, they’re going to be better for it.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Despite lacking many seniors, the IU diving team has made do with what it has. It has captured the women’s and combined team titles at U.S. Diving Winter Nationals and has performed in the top two at both Big Ten Championships. This weekend, the divers travel to Columbus, Ohio, to continue their season at the Zone Diving Meet. The meet represents a chance for divers to qualify for the NCAA Championship. IU coach Jeff Huber and his squad have strived all year to put together consistent efforts in each meet, and this is no different.“For us, that’s what we hope to put together — our most consistent list, because at that meet it’s just going to be consistency,” he said.Multiple divers have struggled with injury leading up to the meet. Freshman Laura Ryan, who was the highest-placing female diver at U.S. Winter Nationals — she finished eighth in the platform diving and 10th in the springboard competition — might have done damage to a ligament in her thumb at the event. Even with the injury, she managed to win the platform competition at the Big Ten Championships. Beginning with the women’s 3-meter diving and the men’s 1-meter diving competitions Thursday, the meet will continue Friday with the women’s 1-meter competition and the men’s 3-meter competition. Junior Gabby Agostino finished first in the women’s 3-meter springboard and freshman Darian Schmidt finished third in men’s 1-meter springboard to qualify for NCAAs on Thursday. When the team returns Saturday, it will start preparing for the NCAA Championships. The women compete March 17-19, and the men’s championships take place March 24-26.— Alex McCarthy
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>From 2006-08, Marie Marsman was simply a graduate student at IU earning her master’s in kinesiology and helping out with the Hoosier swim team, hoping to one day find employment as a swim coach. Two years after that, she realized her dream at her alma mater. Months after that, she and her team were crowned Big Ten Champions.It’s been a very interesting past few months for Marsman and the Indiana swimming and diving program. In September, assistant coach Pam Swander resigned after a five-year tenure to pursue a coaching position at SwimMAC, a national training center in North Carolina. The first meet was scheduled for Oct. 22, so a replacement needed to be found as soon as possible. Coach Ray Looze and his staff immediately knew who should fill the vacancy. They looked no further than Marsman, who had success as an assistant coach at the University of Utah. “We also had a chance to spend two years with her when she was here as a volunteer coach, so there’s a pretty high comfort level for all of us,” Looze said. “There wasn’t even a debate among the staff as to what to do.”Without hesitation, Marsman returned to Bloomington. In her words, she “obviously said ‘yes.’” Marsman said she found the transition only took a couple of days.The swimmers also took very little time to adjust, especially since Marsman had worked with a couple of the swimmers during her first stop in Bloomington. “When she was here my freshman year, she kind of had more of an assistant role rather than a coach role,” senior Titus Knight said. “She just kind of did what she was told, but now she’s really more independent.” Marsman was a sprint freestyle swimmer at Carleton College — a Division III school in Minnesota — so she has had recent swimming experience, which the IU swimmers said they respect and learn from.“It’s nice to have a female on board, especially one who was a swimmer not too long ago,” junior Margaux Farrell said. “She really has emphasis on attention to detail, which sometimes, in such a high-volume, high-intensity sport, can get lost. She always preaches ‘No mindless swimming. Pick something and get better today.’” Though Looze has been coaching at IU for nine years and assistant head coaches Donny Brush and Mike Westphal have been coaching together for six years, Marsman said she already feels like she fits in with the coaching staff. “The good thing about it is even though it’s a change in coach and I do some things differently, we really team-coach here,” Marsman said.Swander had success with the Hoosiers while working with IU swimmers like Kate Fesenko, the 2010 NCAA Champion in the 200-yard backstroke, among other national champion swimmers. Marsman came in with big shoes to fill but has gained the admiration of coaches thus far.“We’re lucky to have her,” Looze said. “We really are. She’s made us better, and that’s not easy to do because she replaced somebody that did a good job, and she’s taken that and moved it to another level.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>In a Big Ten Championship meet where the IU men’s swimming and diving team finished second — avoiding third place by just 11 points — it was the extra effort that got the team to the podium. Senior David Piercy, who hadn’t dived in a platform competition since his freshman year, excelled. Sophomore Eric Ress, who jammed a finger on his left hand Friday, had doubts about whether or not he was going to swim the 200-yard backstroke Saturday. Ress finished second in the 200-yard backstroke Saturday, scoring 17 points. With the Hoosiers beating out the Buckeyes by 11 points for second place, this proved vital. Freshman Cody Miller played a huge role for IU, winning the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke. “It didn’t matter who he was racing against,” Looze said. “He took control of races, leading from the start to the finish in both of them, and we’re just really pleased with Cody and how much he’s grown this year.” Sophomore Jim Barbiere said it may have been the best effort IU has had in the past decade. Michigan came away with the championship in Minneapolis, winning by 678-604 against the Hoosiers. “The whole time, we weren’t really thinking about getting second,” Barbiere said. “We were pretty much looking at Michigan the entire meet and on the last day, Ohio State had a really good day, so we actually had to fight them off at the end of the meet.” Ress said the future is bright for the Hoosiers. “No one really expected us doing as well as we did,” Ress said. “We were projected to get fifth or fourth and when we got second, it was really a strong standpoint for IU. I honestly believe, even with our graduating class, we’re going to be a force to be reckoned with next year.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The road trip up to Minneapolis, Minn., for the Big Ten Championships didn’t seem to adversely affect the IU men swimmers, as they started the meet off in record-breaking fashion Wednesday.Even though they finished third in the 800-yard freestyle relay, the team of sophomore Eric Ress, senior Titus Knight, junior Cody Weik and sophomore Jim Barbiere broke the IU record for the event by a massive six seconds. Ress opened up the relay by setting an IU individual record for the 200-yard freestyle. The relay time was good enough to qualify all four swimmers for the NCAA Championships.“We believe that the 200 freestyle is the cornerstone event of any program,” IU coach Ray Looze said. “So to be able to put together a good 800 freestyle relay is a very promising sign.”The opening event — the 200-yard medley relay — yielded a sixth place finish for the team of freshman James Wells, freshman Cody Miller, Weik and senior Bryan Chovanec. Looze stressed that the Hoosiers needed to do well during the preliminary races on Thursday and they did just that. Six Hoosiers qualified for finals, leading to four top-five finishes; sophomore Ryan Hinshaw finished fourth in the 500-yard freestyle, followed by Barbiere in fifth. Ress touched the wall third in the 200-yard individual medley. In the 50-yard freestyle, Chovanec finished fourth.Sophomore Zac Nees finished second in the 1-meter diving competition, followed by a third place finish in the final event of the night: the 400-yard medley relay.Through the first five events, the Hoosiers hold onto second place, trailing Michigan 259.5-251. They hold a 68-point lead over defending champion Ohio State.Finals will take place at 7:30 p.m. both nights.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The IU women put on a show for spectators last weekend, winning the Big Ten Championship by a 243-point margin. Starting Wednesday, the men look to deliver an encore. The Men’s Big Ten Championships, in Minneapolis, Minn., start today and continue until Saturday night. Many of the men were present to support the women when they defeated the rest of the Big Ten. “I hope they understand how hard it’s going to be, and that’s what I’m going to be telling them,” IU coach Ray Looze said. “This is going to be a challenge, and they could be behind for a lot of the meet, but the only thing that matters is what happens in the end.”While Looze said he wants his team to take the meet seriously, he doesn’t want the pressure to get to the athletes.“I hope they watched how the women handled that,” Looze said. “Just being loose and having a good time, just kind of deflecting the pressure and turning it on its backside by being zany and just taking the more spirited approach.”While swimmers like sophomore Jim Barbiere agreed that being relaxed and loose is important, Barbiere said he finds importance in “learning to get your mind in the right place before the meet.”“Having fun is a huge part of it but having fun comes through winning,” Barbiere said. “So that’s what we usually feed off of: staying focused through that.”The competition will be tough, with six Big Ten teams ranked in the top 25. Michigan, which has won the most Big Ten Championships with 33, is ranked highest, at No. 9 nationally. The No. 11 Buckeyes, who won the conference title last year for the first time since 1956, return with 12 swimmers who scored points in last year’s Big Ten Championships and six All-Americans, anchored by sophomore Tim Phillips and senior Elliott Keefer.Looze said the team feels like it is prepared for this high level of competition because it has been working for this all season-long.“There’s not a whole lot physically left to do other than fine-tune and work on turns, starts, relay exchanges, and we’ve done that,” he said. “Every ‘t’ we could cross or ‘i’ we could dot, we’ve done that. Our preparation has been solid.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>This meet was about the score. It was about Allysa Vavra and all of IU’s individual champions. It was about IU coach Ray Looze — who was awarded Big Ten Swimming Coach of the Year — hurrying over to junior Courey Schaefer and lifting her off the ground in excitement after a preliminary race.The IU women’s swimming and diving team left the rest of the Big Ten in its wake this week, claiming its third straight title and winning by a 243-point margin (821-578) against runner-up Minnesota. “The past two years I’ve been on this team, we’ve won Big Tens both times,” junior Brittany Strumbel said. “My freshman year, I thought we were the best team in the country. I thought we were awesome, and each year we just keep winning by more points, and I don’t know how we do it because... when we come here, it just seems to all come together for us.”Strumbel started the Hoosiers off with a Big Ten record-breaking first leg of the victorious 800-yard freestyle relay Wednesday. The team was tied for the lead going into the finals Thursday, and after taking a 98-94 lead after the first event Thursday, it never looked back. “I think they’re respectful of how hard it is to win one of these,” Looze said. “There were points in the year where I don’t think anybody thought this was going to be possible, especially from the outside looking in.”Vavra was nearly unstoppable, winning both the 200 and 400-yard individual medley competitions and coming in third in the 200-yard breaststroke. Senior Ashley Jones had three top-five finishes, two of which were behind Vavra.IU diving once again dove with great success. Freshman Laura Ryan finished third in the 3-meter diving and first in the platform competition, and junior Gabby Agostino came in third in platform.Not only did the Hoosiers have the most depth, they might have had the most energy of any team in attendance. The IU bench was constantly filled with jumps, screams and enthusiastic and occasionally costumed athletes and coaches. Even IU Athletic Director Fred Glass got caught up in the moment, jumping into the pool to celebrate with the team after they clinched the title.“I’m a fifth-year senior, and we’ve just learned over the years that the more ridiculous we are, the faster we swim,” Jones said.Minnesota boasted both the Swimmer of the Big Ten Championships in senior Jillian Tyler and the Diver of the Big Ten Championships in junior Kelci Bryant. On Friday, Tyler became the 12th swimmer in the Big Ten to win an event four years in a row when she won the 100-yard breaststroke. Despite these impressive showings, the Hoosiers proved that depth is perhaps the most important trait a team can have in a championship meet.“This week is not about the individual,” Vavra said. “It’s all about the team, and to win a third Big Ten title, it doesn’t just take one person, it takes everyone on the team to do the same thing.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Fifth-year senior Ashley Jones and the Hoosiers know what it’s like to be in an early hole at the Big Ten Championships.“We kind of went in with no expectations,” Jones said. “When I was a freshman — and we won that year — after the first day, we were behind by 30 points, so we were expecting, at worst, we’d be back 30 to 50 points.”This year, however, the situation is reversed from Jones’ freshman campaign.The Hoosiers have a 279-236 lead over second-place Minnesota — and the rest of the field — following the first two days of competition. Junior Allysa Vavra and Jones finished first and second, respectively, in the 200-yard IM. It’s an event they have swum together many times this season, but never with such success and on this grand of a stage. A fourth-place finish in the 200-yard relay led off a successful night for IU. Juniors Brittany Strumbel and Nikki White finished second and third, respectively, in the 500-yard freestyle behind Minnesota junior Ashley Steenvoorden.The Hoosiers look to maintain their lead during the next two days of competition at the Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatic Center when the teams return for prelims at 11 a.m. and finals at 6:30 p.m.— Alex McCarthy
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The Hoosiers intend not only to defend their pool this week as they become hosts to the Big Ten Championship for the first time since 2005, but their 2009 and 2010 Big Ten titles as well. From freshman diver Laura Ryan to senior leaders like Ashley Jones, who earned three top-three finishes at last year’s Big Ten Championship, there is plenty of depth on this year’s squad.“We’re just looking to have a lot of fun now,” IU coach Ray Looze said. “All the preparation is behind us ... no predictions; we have to take it an event at a time, a heat at a time. We need to focus on ourselves and just stay loose.”Junior freestyler Margaux Farrell, who found the podium five times last year (with wins in the 200 free and the 400 free relay), will look to continue her success on the big stage. Junior diver Gabby Agostino will defend her 2010 victory in the platform diving competition. With six Big Ten teams ranked in the top 20 of the College Swimming Coaches’ Association of America poll, the No. 14 Hoosiers will face some of the nation’s elite. Minnesota enters ranked at No. 13, followed by IU at No. 14, with Michigan at No. 16, Wisconsin at No. 17, Ohio State at No. 19 and Purdue at No. 20. With the teams stacked so closely together, even the coach of the favored Minnesota squad said the title is up for grabs this week.“I think this conference is arguably one of the best and deepest conferences in the country,” Minnesota coach Terry Nieszner said. “To compete at this conference, every single person on the team has to step up, raise the bar a little bit higher and perform up to what they’re capable of doing and beyond.”
How do the Hoosiers stack up against the rest of the Big Ten?
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>It’s crunch time for the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. The women take part in the Big Ten Championship next week while 11 men will travel to the OSU Winter Open this weekend to finalize their Big Ten Championship roster.Eleven swimmers will compete for four spots to fill out the roster of 24.“Four guys are going to be happy, and the other guys are going to be disappointed in the short term,” IU coach Ray Looze said.While swimmers count as one roster spot, divers count as half a roster spot. Last week at the USA Diving Winter Nationals, the IU divers won the NCAA team combined competition as well as the NCAA women’s competition. Freshman Laura Ryan qualified for the Olympic trials in tower and springboard diving.The men placed fourth in the NCAA division. — Alex McCarthy
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>When the IU men’s swim team woke up Saturday, it was down by 22 to arch-rival Purdue. When the team went to bed that same night, it had claimed a 166-134 victory.It was down 30-8 because the diving competition had already taken place Jan. 21. IU coach Ray Looze estimated that his team needed to win 10 of the 14 remaining events. It managed to win nine of them.“Ten would have been a for-sure win,” Looze said. “But we were able to get away with winning nine because of our depth.”In two events, the 200-yard butterfly and the 200-yard individual medley, Hoosiers took the top four spots. Sophomore Eric Ress led the team with three victories (200-yard IM, 100 and 200-yard backstroke) after being unable to swim against Purdue last year due to injury. The dual meet season ended for the men, but they will travel to Ohio State next weekend to compete in the OSU Winter Open. “Anytime you end your dual meet season on a winning note, that’s a good thing,” Looze said. “But we also know that we could have performed a lot better. We left a few races in the pool.”Through the first five days of the U.S. Diving Winter Nationals, the men were in third place, with the women running sixth. IU was in second place overall behind Texas. In the individual competition, sophomore Zac Nees was seventh while freshman Laura Ryan was fourth.
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>In their final regular-season meet the IU women put on a show in Louisville, breaking five pool records en route to a convincing victory. On Saturday, the IU men will try to do the same thing in their regular-season finale in West Lafayette against rival Purdue. The men are also coming off a victory at Louisville, in which they also broke five pool records.“What I want to see is a similar effort to what we did last week against Louisville,” sophomore Eric Ress said. “Last week was probably the most cohesive, unified group of guys I’ve seen in a dual meet or even a championship team.”Since the diving team has already competed and only half of the divers went to Purdue — the other half went to Knoxville, Tenn. to face Tennessee and Georgia on Jan. 22 — the team will begin in a 30-8 hole. Purdue has also proven it can take down the Hoosiers, as it surprised the IU women with a victory Jan. 22.“In order to not get swept this year by them, our men are going to have to claw their way out of being behind right from the get-go,” IU coach Ray Looze said.Looze estimated that of the 14 remaining events, the Hoosiers need to win 10 of them.— Alex McCarthy
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The IU swim teams have gotten into the habit of getting revenge this season. After a loss to Michigan earlier in the year, the women came back and won 157-127 against the Wolverines on Jan. 8. On Friday, the men were on a mission to bring Louisville down after a loss to the team last season. Both teams set five pool records each en route to convincing victories in a dual meet against Louisville and Virginia Tech on Friday in Louisville. The men claimed a 176-124 victory over No. 18 Louisville and a 189.5-110.5 win over Virginia Tech. The No. 14-ranked IU women, in their final meet before the Big Ten Championships, also won convincingly, besting No. 16 Louisville 181-119 and Virginia Tech 223-77. “We imposed our will on them,” coach Ray Looze said. “You hear that in basketball a lot, and we just took it right to them from the get-go and ended that competition pretty early. Not even halfway through, the meet just felt over.”Senior Illya Larin (500 and 1,000-yard freestyle) and sophomore Eric Ress (100 and 200-yard backstroke) both broke pool records in two races. The meet ended with the No. 13-ranked Hoosier men’s squad setting a pool record in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a winning time of 1:29.76.In their last meet before the Big Ten Championships — which are to be held at home Feb. 16-19 — the IU women also set records in Louisville. Junior Alyssa Vavra set two pool records with victories in the 1,000-yard freestyle and the 400-yard individual medley. Freshman Lindsay Vrooman’s pool record came in the 500-yard freestyle, while junior Brittany Strumbel earned hers in the 200-yard freestyle and sophomore Taylor Wohrley broke the 200-yard backstroke pool record. “They’re as ready as they’re going to be (for Big Ten’s),” Looze said. “We’re in a preparation sport, so your season of training dictates how you’re going to do at the end of the season, not these last few weeks.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Nineteen days separate the IU women’s swimming team from the Big Ten Championships. However, they have just one meet to tie up all loose ends and finalize some little things. Both the IU men and women travel to Louisville to face Louisville and Virginia Tech on Saturday.Coach Ray Looze said he wants to see an improvement in the women’s energy from last week when the women were defeated at Purdue. “We went in there thinking it would be pretty easy for us to win, and we obviously didn’t,” senior Ashley Jones said. “It was a little bit of a surprise for us, so I think this week, we’re going to be a little more focused, be ready for anything and go out from the beginning ready to race.”The men are looking to bounce back after falling to Tennessee and Georgia last weekend. They are also looking to avenge a Jan. 29 loss in Louisville last year. For the Hoosiers, personnel is different this time around, with multiple players returning from redshirt status last year.“I think people are really hungry this year,” sophomore Jim Barbiere said. “People have been working really hard and going fast this week in practice, so I think that the biggest difference is that our confidence level is going to be much higher than it was last year.”While the swimmers focus on Louisville and Virginia Tech, the diving team will travel to Iowa to compete in the USA Winter Diving Nationals from Sunday through the rest of the week. High marks in the competition could mean a spot in the World University Games or in the World Championship. This year, the meet is not taking place during Spring Break, so not as many players can travel with the team. But this does not seem to faze the team.“It’s going to be a little bit different because we’re going to have a little bit of a smaller team,” sophomore Zac Nees said. “But I think all the guys who are going are just going to rally together, and it’s going to be like having the whole team there.”
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>The IU men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams took to the road Saturday, with similar and disappointing results.The No. 12 IU men fell to No. 10 Tennessee 163.5-119.5 and No. 11 Georgia 149-134. The women also dropped a close meet against Purdue 161-139. IU coach Ray Looze said he believes many of the struggles could be attributed to swimming away from Bloomington.“I think we learned a valuable lesson as far as what it takes on the road in the SEC against two very, very good teams, and I think that experience will get us prepared for Louisville and Virginia Tech next week and Purdue beyond that," Looze said.Despite the challenge of swimming in the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tenn., many Hoosiers swam with favorable results. Sophomore Eric Ress won both the 100 and 200-yard backstroke, while seniors Bryan Chovanec and Ante Zoricic won the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard freestyle,respectively.At Purdue, a number of the women reached the podium, only to finish just short of beating rival Purdue, which improves to 6-0 in dual meets this season. But IU assistant coach Marie Marsman said the loss was not the type that will repeat itself.“We lost some close races, which was tough,” Marsman said. “But we carried a really good attitude the whole way through, and it’s just setting us up well to practice our race strategy for the conference meet.”Senior Brittany Barwegen won the 100 and 200-yard butterfly, sophomore Taylor Wohrley won the 200-yard backstroke, freshman Sara Delay won the 50-yard freestyle, and junior Alyssa Vavra won the 200-yard IM.Next weekend, both teams travel to Louisville to take on Louisville and Virginia Tech. — Alex McCarthy
____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>With a win against Michigan in their rear view mirrors, the IU men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams look to continue rolling Saturday. The men travel to Knoxville, Tenn., to take on Tennessee and Georgia, while the women head to West Lafayette to swim against Purdue.Though IU and Purdue are rivals on the football field and basketball court, coach Ray Looze said he tries to keep emotions consistent from meet to meet.“We don’t put any more emphasis on any one program than another,” Looze said. “We don’t really have a Purdue rivalry. We have a ‘we want to beat everybody’ rivalry.”The men will face Tennessee and Georgia, who are ranked No. 10 and No. 11, respectively. Now that most teams have begun to rest up for the upcoming NCAA championships, freshman Cody Miller said all swimmers react differently to the resting period of training.“Some guys will be swimming faster, quicker into their taper, and other guys take a little bit longer in their taper,” Miller said.Since the men’s meet against Purdue takes place during Diving Winter Nationals, a large amount of the men’s team will travel to Purdue with the women competing early. The points will be added to the swimmers’ scores when the men swim against Purdue on Feb. 6. Sophomore Mick Dell’Orco said he believes that the change will not adversely affect the divers.“It’s just a matter of what we need personally to succeed as a team at Winter Nationals,” Dell’Orco said. “We’re all on the same page on that one.”