Winding Down The Dual Meet Season: After some white-hot match-ups the past several weeks, the collegiate dual meet season is winding to a close. Almost all women’s teams are wrapping up their dual meet season this weekend while a great number of men’s teams are as well. Exhibit A: It’s pretty much crickets in the SEC this weekend with only a Vandy-Tulane match-up on the docket. The ACC isn't much better. While many of the match-ups aren’t quite as power packed as recent weeks, there are still a few top teams hitting the water.
#2 Stanford Men and #4 Cal at #13 USC: The Bay Area Boys are looking to rebound after each squad took one to the chin at the hands of Arizona two weeks ago. The Cal men will be looking to avoid falling into the SoCal trap the Trojans laid for the Golden Bear ladies last weekend as well. The Bears nabbed a 157-130 win in Berkeley a year ago. With Nathan ‘Yo’ Adrian and a handful of potential NCAA individual champions leading the way, SC will need more than a wooden horse to send Cal to a second straight loss. Ditto with the Staab-less Cardinal who have been paced by their mid-distance/distance freestylers this season.
#3 Texas Women at #18 SMU: The Texas women will be looking to rebound from a tough 201-152 loss in the desert to #2 Arizona last weekend and head into their Big 12 title defense with a solid road win. The Longhorns easily disposed of the Mustangs 150-87 a year ago in Austin. The sophomore trinity of Karlee Bispo, Leah Gingrich, and Kathleen Hersey -- who are the Texas team leaders in every race except the 100 back and breaststrokes – each have won National Swimmer of the Week this season.
#18 Purdue Men at #25 Indiana: It hasn’t been a banner year for the Hoosier men but a win over in-state rival Purdue would go a long way toward remedying what ails them. IU won at the buzzer, 156-144, a year ago in West Lafayette. The diving action should be hot and heavy with Big 10 Diver of the Week David Piercy taking on NCAA champ David Boudia.
#1 Texas Men at #19 Texas A&M; #23 SMU: At face value this pair doesn’t look like much of a match-up for Texas but if you take a look at the times Los Longhorns swam against Arizona last weekend and compare them with what A&M and SMU did last Friday, it’s possible things could be closer than you might expect. A&M has been a markedly better dual meet team this season than in recent years (a loss to Auburn their only blemish) but will really need to step up their game to keep their meet from becoming an ‘exhibition’ by Texas at meet’s end. The Mustangs gave A&M all it wanted last Friday in Dallas but was foiled by a 1-3 finish by the Aggies, who were missing three of their four divers, in the final relay. Solid meets for the Lone Star State’s top three men’s squads as they head into the championship portion of their season.
Other Ranked Teams in Action:
Emory at #5/#8 Auburn: The Tigers, who have had their share of dual meet struggles this spring (4-2; 3-4), end their regular season with a home tune-up against the Emory Eagles.
#6 Texas A&M Women at Houston; vs. North Texas: The Aggie women, whose only loss all season came at the hands of rival Texas, bid good bye to a whale of a senior class that includes NCAA medalists Alia Atkinson, Kristen Heiss, and Julia Wilkinson among others. North Texas has had its’ greatest season ever, ranking #4 in the state behind the two Big 12 teams and SMU after having beaten Houston and Rice this year.
Eastern Michigan at #9 Ohio State Men: The Buckeyes, whose only blemish is a loss to #6 Michigan last weekend, wrap up a great dual meet season against an EMU team that has won 53 straight MAC dual meets. More good news for the Bucks: they don’t have to leave town for either the Big 10 or NCAA Championships.
North Carolina State at #14/15 North Carolina: The Wolfpack have had a great dual meet season (5-1; 7-1) but so have the rival, and host, Tar Heels (9-1; 8-2).
#16/13 Louisville hosts the U of L Open