As the USC women’s swimming and diving team enters its final month of regular-season action, the No. 1 Women of Troy (8-0, 4-0) face two formidable conference opponents bidding for an upset this weekend.
USC will travel to the Bay Area to tackle two-time defending NCAA champion No. 3 Cal (5-1, 2-1) on Friday at 1 p.m. and No. 8 Stanford (5-1, 2-0) on Saturday at noon.
History is not on USC’s side, as Cal leads the series 18-14 and Stanford leads the series by a margin of 32-2.
One player looking to start a new trend against the Bay Area schools is senior co-captain and 2012 Olympic silver medalist Haley Anderson, who leads a veteran group of eight All-Americans for the Women of Troy.
Joining her are senior co-captain Christel Simms, seniors Lindsay Parrish and Yumi So and juniors Kasey Carlson, Lynette Lim, Meghan Hawthorne and Stina Gardell.
In USC’s last meet, the Women of Troy defeated Wisconsin (5-6) in a 144.5-109.5 home win on Jan. 12. A day later, sophomore Haley Ishimatsu took first place in the UCLA Diving Invitational in Westwood.
Cal suffered its first loss of the season against Arizona on Jan. 25 but rebounded with a 177-121 road victory over Arizona State the next day.
The Golden Bears are led by their only senior, Caitlin Leverenz, a two-time NCAA champion and a 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in the 200-meter individual medley.
In their last meeting, the Golden Bears defeated the Women of Troy 162-138 at USC. Friday’s meet at Cal will be televised on the Pac-12 Network on a delayed basis, with the date and time to be announced.
Stanford carries three straight victories going into a home matchup against No. 12 UCLA on Friday before taking on USC on Saturday. The Cardinal also defeated the Women of Troy at USC last year 160-5-139.5. USC’s last win against the Cardinal came in 1996.
The Women of Troy look to finish the regular season undefeated, with only three meets remaining before the 2013 Pac-12 championships begin on Feb. 27 in Federal Way, Wash.