The UCSB men and women’s swim and dive team will head north this weekend to compete in consecutive meets against UC Davis and University of the Pacific.

After defeating both the University of Nevada and UNLV in their previous meet, the Gaucho women raise their record to 7-1 on the season while the Gaucho men improve to 4-1 overall. The UC Davis women’s swim and dive team stands a perfect 7-0, while the University of the Pacific men and women’s swim team sit at 3-2 and 2-3, respectively.

“The women have a very tough meet; [UC Davis] is our recent rival and it is very intense,” Head Coach Gregg Wilson said. “We turn right around and swim against UOP. We cannot go into that meet flat and lose.”

The UCSB women’s swim and dive team will face one of their toughest challenges of the season when squaring off against UC Davis. The Aggies are led by senior breaststroke swimmer Liliana Alvarez, who swept both the 100-and 200-yard breaststroke events for the third straight week in their meet last Sunday.

Freshman butterfly swimmer Hilvy Cheung has also proved to be a bright spot for the UC Davis women. Cheung is No. 28 in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:57.60 and has notched six individual wins for the Aggies in their last two meets.

“Hilvy Cheung is one of the best freshman in the country and certainly one of the best swimmers in our conference,” Coach Wilson said. “She will give our best swimmers a run for their money.”

The Gauchos will be ready to counter with senior butterfly specialist Andrea Ward. Ward is currently ranked No. 5 in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 51.76 and No. 12 in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:56.11. She also has recently become the first three-time MPSF Athlete of the Week in swimming and the second during the 2013-14 academic year, regardless of sport and gender.

“I feel so lucky that God has seen fit to bless me with success,” Ward said. “UC Davis and UOP are going to put up a fight, so this weekend will be a really good challenge for us.”

Ward is accompanied by senior co-captain Sophia Yamauchi who comes off three first-place finishes in her last meet against UNLV. Yamauchi took the 100 and 200-yard breaststrokes with times of 1:04.87 and 2:17.05, respectively, and also helped the women secure first in the 200-yard medley relay.

“I’m going into the meet telling myself positive things,” Yamauchi said. “Swimming back-to-back meets is pretty tough, and you must be mentally prepared.”

UCSB sophomore butterfly swimmer Mickey Mowry looks to lead the men’s squad by continuing the success he had against No. 23 UNLV in his last meet. Mowry placed first in both the 100 and 200-yard butterfly events with times of 49.29 and 1:47.18, respectively.

The Gaucho women’s swim and dive team competes on Friday at 1 p.m. against UC Davis, followed by both the men and women swim team facing University of Pacific on Saturday at 10 a.m.


a version of this article appeared on page 7 of January 23rd’s print edition of the Daily Nexus.