Women of Troy host two conference foes
The USC womenâs swimming and diving team will face top Pac-10 rivals California and Stanford at the McDonaldâs Swim Stadium Friday and Saturday, with the Women of Troy eager to set the pace against some of the toughest competition they have faced this season.
âThe fun thing about this weekend is that this is perhaps the most evenly matched competition between the three different schools in the last four to five years,â USC assistant coach Jeremy Kipp said.
Cal, the reigning NCAA champions, is out for revenge after last yearâs dual meet in Berkley, when the Women of Troy ran up a victorious score on a stunned Bears squad.
âWe are going to do what we can to take a few wins and make it close,â USC coach Dave Salo said. âWith the graduation of Rebecca Soni, Katy Houston, Kristen Lahey and Rachael Waller, we are going to rely on a very young team to follow up with last yearâs upset win over Cal.â
The battle against Stanford will be another story, however, as the Trojans are looking to close the gap on the No. 4 team. Last yearâs meet came down to the last few races, so this time the team will have to get off the walls fast and finish hard if they hope to capture victory.
âStanford is undefeated this season and looks to be among the favorites to win the NCAA championships this year,â Salo said. âWe are excited and ready to compete with both teams.â
The competition will also mark the last dual meet for senior captains Dina Hegazy and Krissy Forelli. Both women were All-Americans at last yearâs NCAAs and will be looking to make the championship team once again this season.
The Trojans to watch on both days will be sophomore Katinka Hosszu, junior Lyndsay DePaul and freshman Haley Anderson. Hozzsu and DePaul are among the best all-around swimmers in the NCAA and will be important in the distance, medley and sprint events. Anderson has proven herself to be USCâs leading distance lady, and the team will be looking to her to start off the meet with a win.
Sophomore diver Victoria Ishimatsu will be another key competitor for the Trojans on both days, particularly against Stanford, which has one of the top diving teams in the country.
âOne area to watch and will be critical are the divers,â Kipp said. âWe could possibly go a 1-2-3 sweep in both boards, which would be a huge advantage.â
Although USC will rely heavily on the high-scoring teammates, what will ultimately dictate the outcome will be the smaller, yet valuable, efforts of the swimmers fighting for third, fourth and fifth, where points can add up and ultimately decide competitions.
âThe meet will be won on freshmen like Jessie Schmitt and Christel Simms who will need to step up big time,â Kipp said.