Women’s Swim and Dive: Illinois Meet Will Be ‘Tightly Contested’

Football is not the only Michigan State squad competing against the Illini this weekend.

The women’s swimming and diving team will square-off against Illinois Friday at McCaffree Pool, and if history says anything about these two teams, it could come down to the last event.

“Illinois last year came down to the last relay, the year before that it came down to the last relay, so it’s been a very good meet the last two years,” said head coach Matt Gianiodis.

Last year, the Spartans lost 153-147 at Champagne, and in 2011, lost 154.5-145.5 in East Lansing. But Gianiodis said he is looking forward to the matchup.

“The kids know what they have to do; I think it’s more trying to do what you can do individually,” he said. “The biggest thing in this situation is, especially since our pool is so small, that every event will have two heats in it, so you’re just going to have to race as hard as you can because you’re going to be racing against the kids in the heat you’re not in.”

Junior Becca Berman has experienced both of the tough losses to the Illini and is looking forward to redemption.

“I am really excited for the Illinois meet, I think our team has come a long way since last year,” said Berman. “I honestly think we can pull out a win this year.”

The key to the meet will come down to the freestyle and the swimmers placing well, even if it is not first, according to Gianiodis.

“It’s really going to come down to the kids who not necessarily win the events, but the kids who get the thirds, the fourths and everything,,” said Gianiodis, who also expects the divers to have a strong performance.

“We just have to race hard, get our hands to the wall as fast as we can and let the results play itself out,” said Gianiodis.

The meet will begin at 5 p.m. and also includes Liberty University. Illinois does not have a men’s varsity swim team.

Max King is the host of Pool Time for Impact Sports.

Photo: Max King