The UCSB men and women’s swimming teams are ready to dive back into Campus Pool, as they play host to conference foe Cal Poly (1-0 men, 1-0 women) and nonconference opponent UC San Diego (0-1 men, 1-0 women) this weekend at noon. Since none of these three teams compete for diving points, this meet will test the depth of each team, a test the Gauchos (0-1 men, 1-2 women) are more than ready to take.
After both Santa Barbara squads lost to Arizona State (1-3 men, 4-0 women) last weekend, the Gauchos are ready to capture a win back home, and they have the necessary key players to make it a reality. Freshman Sara Nicponski has easily transitioned from her high school days to the collegiate level, bringing in two individual victories in the 100 and 200 breast against the Sun Devils. Veteran junior Jessica Cruzat took second in the 200 back and freshman Brittany Borowitz took second in the 400 IM.
For the men, sophomore Scott Vogelgesang dominated in the 100 and 200 free, while senior co-captain Brooks Felton took second in the 500 free. Although the Gauchos have proven they have a solid powerhouse in the pool, the Tritons and Mustangs will be gunning for them. However, Head Coach Gregg Wilson is confident that his team will pull through.
“We are competing against two teams that are very well coached,” Wilson said. “[Cal Poly] has a very good coach and he has turned the program around in a year, so he will want a win. One thing we got going is that both teams have no depth, which we have. The kids are excited for competition because they will test us. We have to be prepared and we expect to do well in relays due to our depth.”
The Mustangs showed their talent at the Malibu Invite on Oct. 27, where freshman Gloria Benefield and senior Stacey Sorenson gathered big wins for their team. Benefield posted a 2:03.69 in the 200 fly while Sorenson posted 51.97 in the 100 free. The Mustangs are coming off of a very successful season opener at the Malibu Invite on Oct. 27, where Cal Poly swimmers posted top Big West Conference times. Sophomore Carter Richards holds the fastest time in the Big West with his 4:34.76 in the 500 free for the men’s side.
On the opposite side of the pool, the Tritons opened their season with a win for their women’s team and a loss for the men. Juniors Aubrey Panis and Erinn Deters will be determined to bring another victory to the Tritons, as Panis took first in both the 100 free and back while Deters took the 50 free and 100 fly. Sophomores Dan Perdew and Todd Langland will be ready to lead the pack, as they took first place in the 50 and 100 free.
“I think we will do well against [San Diego],” Wilson said. “They have no depth, but [Poly] is an aggressive team. I feel they will be a force to come in the future and a very powerful enemy. All of us have really good individual swimmers, but it comes down to team effort, and we have that. We expect that our relays will dominate and that the kids’ momentum will carry us to where we want to go.”