It will be the battle of powerhouses when the UCSB men’s and women’s swimming teams take on the University of Nevada, Las Vegas tomorrow at Campus Pool at noon. It will be the last home meet for the Gauchos, as well as their senior meet, which will bring added emotion and excitement to the contest.
The Gaucho men (6-1 overall, 2-0 in the Big West) have dominated in the pool and are currently riding on a six-game winning streak and they look to make the Rebels (5-1) their seventh consecutive victim. However, UNLV notched their fourth straight win against Air Force last weekend, and they are ready for some Gaucho action. On paper, both teams are equally excellent, which will make this meet even better with close wins and harder swims. Leading the Gauchos will be senior captains Brooks Felton and Mason Edwards, who each want to end their last collegiate season on a high note. Behind the helm will be junior Chris Good, who won two individual events last weekend against Cal State Northridge (0-2, 0-1 Big West) in the 400 individual medley and the 500 yard freestyle, and sophomores Scott Vogelgesang and Matt Bartlett, who each have performed consistently throughout the season.
“It’s our last home meet and it’s our farewell to our seniors, so I expect it will be a great meeting considering we always have fun with [UNLV],” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “We have been meeting with UNLV for 17 years, so we know each other well. They have a good men’s team, but they don’t have the depth they’ve had in the past, but they are still great distance swimmers. However, I think our relays are stronger and we have to pick up lots of wins because it is pretty much an even match.”
On the other side, the Rebels have strong competitors in seniors Jonas Anderson and Richard Hortness, as Anderson swept the 100 and 200 breaststroke and Hortness picking up the win in the 50 and 100 yard free against Air Force. In addition, senior Tiger Christian completed the square by winning the 100 yard butterfly and 200 yard backstroke. The Gauchos have prided themselves in their depth and relay action, but the Rebels are known for their distance swimming, which will give the Gauchos a run for their money. The Rebels’ 400 free relay and 200 medley relay took first, so the Gauchos will be on the lookout. However, Wilson is confident his team will perform as always.
“[UNLV] has great senior girls and good distance, but our girls are ready to get out there and swim,” Wilson said. “On paper, our relays are much better, but it can go either way, so I like to prepare them to be their best. As a team, we want to be in full strength and we want UNLV to be in full strength because that will show us where we are at and how much we need to improve on or what we need to continue to stay at that level.”
The Gaucho women (5-3, 2-0 Big West) also have a tough competition as the Rebel women (5-2) bring a five-game winning streak into the meet and have shown power in the pool. Junior Bailey Kuestermeyer easily placed first in the 200 and 500 free, while senior Kim Bonney claimed the 100 free and 200 breast in 52.21 and 1:53.06, respectively. However, Gaucho sophomore Anne Marie May has proven that freestyle is her trademark and has won the 100 free in 51.58 in the past, which is 23 seconds faster than Bonney. Freshman Brittany Borowitz had a stellar performance against the Matadors, winning the 100 back and 100 breast, though she normally swims in the individual medley races.