USC travels to Bay Area for dual meets

The USC women’s swim team travels to Northern California this weekend to take on No. 4 California and No. 1 Stanford in two highly anticipated dual meets.

The Women of Troy (8-0, 3-0) will face Cal today and Stanford on Saturday, with both meets scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

Stiff challenge · In the span of two days, the Women of Troy, battling fatigue, will look to swim past two challenging top-five teams in California and Stanford that have proved problematic in previous years. - Daily Trojan file photo

These meets against the two powerhouses have traditionally been very significant to USC swimmers, who have a bone to pick with the Golden Bears as well as the Cardinal.

“We haven’t beat Stanford’s women’s [team] in 14 to 15 years,” said USC coach Dave Salo. “So, we are up against two of the best teams in the country and we think we are one of them”

The No. 3 Women of Troy are aware that Cal and Stanford are not to be underestimated.

USC views the competitions this weekend as tools to make the team better.

“It’s probably best for us to go against the best competition we can,” Salo said. “It’s good for us to kind of fine tune. You can’t get lulled into confidence.”

When it comes to back-to-back meets, the lack of rest between competitions becomes problematic.

Last year, the Women of Troy defeated Cal in the first of the two dual meets, but were defeated by Stanford.

Exhaustion and lack of focus  might have caused the team’s loss last year, but the Women of Troy hope this year will be a different story.

“Last year, when we had these two meets, we focused so much on Cal that we lost to Stanford. We’re changing the strategy this year,” said senior co-captain Lyndsay DePaul.

The Women of Troy certainly have a challenge in store for them as they face two of the top swim teams in the Pac-10, both of which are also undefeated this season.

Salo, however, feels confident in his team.

“In the scheme of things, our women’s team has a chance to win the [NCAA] championship,” he said.

Senior co-captain Presley Bard also expressed her belief in the team’s ability to succeed in this weekend’s dual meets.

“Last year we had girls who could win events, but now we have girls who can win second, third and fourth,” Bard said. “We have people who can score, as well as win events.”