Coming off of an impressive season-opening meet against UCLA (3-0 overall) and Oregon State (0-3 overall) the UCSB women’s swimming team is ready for action as it heads out on the road to compete in a nonconference meet against Arizona State (3-0 overall) this weekend. Meanwhile, the men will get their season started at the same meet.

The defending Big West Champion women’s team showed its talent and depth against the Bruins and Beavers. Junior Jessica Cruzat led the way with a first-place finish in the 100-meter backstroke and a second in the 200 back. Sophomore Anne Marie May showed she was in top form as she placed first in the 100-meter freestyle, clocking in at 52.64 and taking second in the 50 free in 24.13. The Gaucho squad also dominated in the 400-medley relay as Cruzat, May, junior Erin Yamamoto and freshman Sara Nicponski touched the wall in 3:49.65.

“It’s our first traveling meet, so everyone is excited as I will bring the majority of team with us,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “We have really good kids, and we are looking good. We have a lot of depth, so it is all about the kids coming there and standing up for themselves. We are playing in [Arizona], so they do not want to lose in their pool, so they will bring it. We have to push the pedal to the metal.”

Arizona State is led by All-American senior captain Caitlin Andrew and junior All-American Jen Beckberger. The Sun Devils also have an advantage against the Gauchos as they have diving skills in freshman Brittany Jumer. Diving is something that UCSB has lacked for quite some time. However, Wilson is optimistic that depth will go a long way to make up for missed diving points.

“They have diving, but we don’t, so we will already be behind,” Wilson said. “We are just going to go out there and swim the best we have. We beat them two years ago, so it is always fun to compete against Pac-10 teams. They are a challenge, but I feel like we can compete with them and swim at their level.”

On the other side of the spectrum, the Gaucho men will open up their season with strong aspirations. Sophomore Scott Vogelgesang swam the 200 free with a time of 1:43.01 and the 100 free in 47.40 during the men’s intrasquad meet. Sophomores Matt Bartlett, Daniel Nyaradi, Daniel McClary and junior Bradley Matsumoto posted a 1:34.19 in the 200-medley relay. Matsumoto, Vogelgesang, Bartlett and senior Mason Edwards completed the 400 free relay with a time of 3:08.08. The Gauchos may have the advantage in this case as the Sun Devil men are riding a three-game losing streak, bringing their overall record to 0-3.

“The men will start their season this week, so they are eager to go out there and prove themselves,” Wilson said. “They look good in practice, but it’s one thing in practice and another in an actual meet, but they are ready to swim. We just have to go out there and make things happen. We have the skills to make things happen.”