The UCSB swim team welcomes Davis to the Big West Conference for the first time at Campus Pool on Saturday at noon.
This is the first matchup between Davis and Santa Barbara since the Big West invited Davis to join the conference. The men face off against only Davis, but San Diego will also get into the pool with the women’s team.
“We are anxious to welcome them into the conference,” Head Assistant Coach Jeremy Kipp said. “They are a good team and should be strong and well-funded within a few years. But right now we are the big dogs and want to show them why.”
The Gauchos have had plenty of time to train without interruption since last week’s meet against the deep lineup of USC was cancelled. Santa Barbara has been training indoors and outdoors, braving the inclement weather of the past couple of weeks.
“Mentally if it doesn’t break you it makes you tougher,” Kipp said. “And I certainly haven’t seen any breakdowns.”
The women’s team has had some problems early on when the injury bug hit, but thanks to the extra training and rest time, one injured swimmer is returning to the pool. Freshman Courtney Jenkins has started to swim and exercise in the pool, but sophomore backstroker Stephanie Scott’s injury has not improved and she will be out for the remainder of the season.
Even with the injuries, Santa Barbara is optimistic with its chances against Davis on Saturday.
“They have a large women’s team. They have some real good butterflyers like Renee Dyer, but I’m hoping that our depth will prevail,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “For our men, our depth and strength will prevail. We are too strong for them right now.”
The Gaucho swimmers are eager to get back into the pool and race after having the past month away from any competition.
“They want to get out and race,” Wilson said. “They want to show what they can do.”
Santa Barbara will also welcome back to the campus Barbara Jahn, who was a Gaucho diver in the early ’70s and is now the women’s head coach for the Aggies.