Women of Troy face off against their crosstown rival
In preparation for its final dual meet of the season, the No. 6 USC womenâs swimming and diving team is gearing to face off against crosstown rival No. 21 UCLA on Saturday at 1 p.m at McDonalds Swim Stadium.
After frustrating losses at California and Stanford two weeks ago, the Women of Troy (8-2, 3-2) hope that this meet, also their senior meet, turns out to be a victory.
USC coach Dave Salo knows that hanging in the balance is not just one win against UCLA, but a long tradition of beating the Bruins.
âThey are our traditional crosstown rivals and at stake is the gauntlet,â Salo said. âWeâve beat them three times in a row now and we are hoping to make it four times in a row.â
The winner of tomorrowâs dual meet is awarded five points that go towards the Crosstown Guantlet, which is a trophy awarded annually to the school that has the most successful athletic year compared to the other. Points awarded are based on the winner of each Trojan-Bruin head-to-head contest, and currently the Trojans are ahead 37.5-20.
Senior and co-captain Presley Bard is confident in USCâs chances of beating its biggest rival.
âThereâs gonna be a couple of close races but we should be able to win almost every event,â Bard said. âItâs all in good fun but you always wanna beat your crosstown rivalry school.â
Looking back at the womenâs swim teamâs previous two dual meets, however, raises some questions about how confident the Women of Troy are feeling about tomorrowâs meet. After they fell to Cal 182-118, and at Stanford, 161.5-136.5, the team had a disappointing last couple of competitions.
Despite the losses, Bard is confident that team can move on and use the lessons learned from the Cal and Stanford meets this weekend.
âWe definitely donât want what happened at Cal and Stanford to happen again. Every day Dave has been reminding us about our losses as motivation, not because he is upset with us,â Bard said. âSometimes we have to learn how to lose to learn how to win. He is hoping that we take the value of the lesson and take that energy and use it to move forward.â
With those inspirational thoughts in their mind, the Women of Troy are hoping for a successful, well-attended dual meet tomorrow not only for the sake of the Gauntlet, but for their seniors.
âI am hoping that a lot of people come out and support us,â Bard said. âWe are not gonna be taking UCLA lightly. Itâs gonna be a memorable and exciting day, and itâs always a really special meet because itâs the senior meet too.â