After convincing victories over UNLV in their last dual meet, the UCSB men’s and women’s swim and dive teams prepare to travel up north where both teams will face Pacific on Friday and the women’s team will go up against UC Davis on Saturday. The Gauchos will have to overcome the emotional advantage held by the Tigers and Aggies as they visit on each team’s senior weekend.
“[It’s] going to be tough because on senior weekend there’s a lot of emotion,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “[They] will have the emotion on their side, we have to generate our own emotion, our own enthusiasm.”
The Gaucho men are coming into their matchup against Pacific undefeated in dual meets, entering the contest with a perfect 4-0 record.
Meanwhile, the women’s team will seek to go above .500 for the first time this season in dual meets as they come into Friday’s match with a 3-3 record. The women will try to capitalize on the middle distance freestyle and distance freestyle events as they outmatch both Pacific and Davis in those areas.
The Tigers are coming off an impressive tri-meet where the women’s team was able to get two victories against UC Santa Cruz and Fresno Pacific and the men’s team was able to earn a split. The Aggies will give the Gauchos their toughest competition yet, as the defending conference champions enter with a 9-2 record in dual meets and will also look to avenge their last three dual meet losses against Santa Barbara, who they haven’t beaten since 2006.
“Davis’ got a lot of depth, they’ve got the most swimmers on their team than any team we will face,” Wilson said. “Winning events is going to be very important. We’re not going to be able to outdo them on the depth chart so we have to make sure we put swimmers in events that they can win.”
The women will also have to overcome the physical and mental demand of competing on back-to-back days. The last time the women’s team competed on back-to-back days was in November, when they defeated UC San Diego but were demolished by Cal Poly the following day (177.5-117.5), being one of the worst defeats Coach Wilson has had in his tenure at UCSB.
“We’re a different group than we were in the fall,” Wilson said. “We have a full team and we’re in a much better position to compete.”