SPORTS

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January 16, 2014

Aquatic Maroons take on DI Panthers

It’s full steam ahead for the Maroons. Following a first-place finish for both the men’s and women’s squads at the Chicago Invitational last weekend, the South Siders (2–0) hope to keep their momentum going as they host the UW–Milwaukee Panthers tomorrow.

Their meet against UW–Milwaukee (2–2) will be important for the team to gauge where they are competitively as they will be the strongest competition the Maroons have faced this season. The Panthers are the only DI team the South Siders compete against, and the team anticipates a difficult matchup.

“The team has been performing well this year and is currently undefeated,” diving coach Kendra Melnychuk said. “This weekend will definitely pose our toughest challenge of the year aside from the UAA championships. They are a great DI team and it’s an amazing opportunity for our athletes to swim and dive against them every year.”

Third-year captain Andrew Angeles sees the virtue in taking on such tough competition.

“Wisconsin–Milwaukee is an incredibly fast team. What the meet will do is provide swimmers with fast competition that will push us to new levels,” Angeles said.

As the two teams do not compete in the same conference and are in completely different divisions, this meet is viewed as a chance to get some friendly competition and get in as much practice racing as possible.

With conference coming up, the Maroons are at the height of physical fitness but have not yet begun to taper and rest for the UAA Championships. The squad will be expected to continue to train at high intensity and post strong times at the meet this weekend, despite the lack of downtime.

“This time of year can be challenging as far as competitions go because the athletes are still training at a very high level and haven’t rested their bodies at all,” Melnychuk said.

The team will be led by upperclassmen and first-years alike, with several athletes posting standout performances last weekend. First-years Maya Scheidl and Alison Wall provided strong performances, along with third-year captain Jenny Hill, second-year Ciara Hu, and second-year Matthew Veldman. On the diving side, third-years Anthony Restaino and Matthew Staab have been performing well.

After the UW-Milwaukee meet, the Maroons have their final dual meet against DePauw and then take a two-week break before heading to Atlanta for the UAAs.

“UAAs are just around the corner and will be here before we know it,” Melnychuk said. “These last few competitions are all about fine-tuning our skills so that we go into the conference championships as prepared as possible.”

Chicago will take on UW-Milwaukee at the Myers-McLoraine pool tomorrow at 1 p.m.

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