|ISU swimming and diving post successful campaign|
|Written by Todd Marver, Daily Vidette Reporter|
|Tuesday, 15 March 2011 22:00|
Second was a recurring place for the Illinois State swimming and diving team this season. The Redbirds finished second in all three multi-team invitationals they participated in during the 2010-2011 campaign including: the Notre Dame Relays, Akron Zippy Invitational and lastly, the Missouri Valley Conference Championships.
The ‘Birds also competed in a total of eight dual meets, achieving a 5-3 record. With the season now in the rearview mirror, here’s a closer look at the Illinois State swimming and diving highlights:
In its first competition against other schools Oct. 8 in South Bend, Ind., ISU claimed second with 196 points, falling as Notre Dame accumulated 220 points. The ‘Birds finished ahead of Valparaiso and Saint Mary’s, who placed third and fourth.
First Three Dual Meets (Evansville, Northern Iowa, Illinois)
The ISU swimming and diving team hit the road two weekends in a row, facing off against Evansville Oct. 15 and Northern Iowa Oct. 23. This totaled three consecutive weekends away, as ISU traveled to Notre Dame before its first two dual meets on the road. The Redbirds claimed two away conference dual meet victories over the Purple Aces (168-132) and Panthers (198-100).
“Those three straight weekends helped us understand what we need to do to compete on the road against our opponents and try to improve week in and week out,” ISU head swimming and diving coach Steve Paska said. “The girls adapted and performed terrifically with the travel schedule we had in the fall semester, especially with three straight weekends of travel in October.”
The two away conference dual meets helped prepare ISU to take on Big Ten powerhouse Illinois Nov. 12 at home. The Redbirds lost 175-123 to the Fighting Illini, but gained the experience of being able to face off against an extremely talented squad.
“ISU has competed against Illinois 40 to 45 times in my 26 years here, and a special feeling is in the air when we compete against them,” Paska said.
Akron Zippy Invitational
The Redbirds traveled to Akron, Ohio on Dec. 5 to compete in a meet that featured 12 women’s swimming and diving teams. ISU finished second with 1,146 points, behind Ohio’s 1,562 points.
“The Akron meet was basically a dress rehearsal for the Missouri Valley Conference meet,” Paska said. “Finishing second at Akron helped immensely for us to have that three-day weekend under our belt, knowing what is expected of us in February at the MVC meet.”
Next Five Dual Meets (Ball State, Western Illinois, Wisconsin Green-Bay, Youngstown State and Northern Iowa)
The ISU swimmers and divers compiled a record of 3-2 in their five dual meets between the Zippy Invite and the MVC Championships. Like earlier in the season, the Redbirds hit the road two consecutive weekends for dual meets, and the ‘Birds split the two away dual meets, losing to Ball State, 195-101, on Jan. 14 and defeating Western Illinois on Jan. 22.
On Jan. 29, the Redbirds had a double dip, defeating Youngstown State, 230-70, and falling to UWGB, 191-109, in Green Bay, Wis. On Jan. 30, ISU traveled back home to take on UNI in a Senior Day matchup at the Horton Pool. The ‘Birds defeated the Panthers for the second time of the season, 143.5-92.5.
The Redbirds finished second in Carbondale, Ill., at the conference championships Feb. 17-19, recording 735 points behind Missouri State’s 944 points with Southern Illinois, Evansville and Northern Iowa finishing third, fourth and fifth, respectively.
The ISU swimming and diving team is losing a number of top performers to graduation, but the squad returns many members of the team for the 2011-2012 campaign. Senior first team all-conference members Molly Gomberg, Liza Perrino, and Amy Schaefer have swam in their final competition for the Redbirds, as well as honorable mention all-conference members Lauren Terzis and Christine Byron.
First team all-conference and honorable mention all-conference honorees who will return next year include: juniors Brittany Tazzioli and Polly Hirt, sophomores Sarah Rendek, Danielle Schumacher, Brianna Winkler, Tori Alland, Jeanette Nolte and Morgan Buechele and freshman April Livingston.