Both the men’s and women’s swim and dive squads will take on the UW–Milwaukee Panthers this Saturday. The Maroons will have home field advantage in the friendly confines of Myers-McLoraine Pool. This advantage will certainly come in handy as the DI Panthers are 14–0 against Chicago since they started competing in 2009.
The men’s swimming team will come into the meet after splitting their matches last weekend with a 162–117 win against Lewis and 149–129 loss against Olivet. The Maroons have had an up-and-down season so far as a team, but have improved as the season went on. The squad is currently ranked 11th in the country by Collegeswimming.com and fourth-year Brian Weisbecker is pleased with their performance as a team so far.
“Our season has been going really well. We have a freshman class of 25 and they have helped us with a lot of depth in our meets and generally with good energy in practice,” said the veteran of the squad’s impressive youth.
The Panthers will provide a unique challenge to the Maroons, as they are a DI team and the Maroons are only DIII. The Panthers are struggling in their season so far as they are 1–3, including a loss to DIII Wheaton. The difference in divisions does not scare the Maroons, as they believe their hard work this season will allow them to compete against a DI team. Weisbecker cites a close loss against the Panthers two years ago as reason to be optimistic in their meet.
Third-year Kevin Ku has high expectations for their meet. “I suspect that we will do well at this meet. We have a lot of talented swimmers that can do pretty well in season.”
The men aren’t the only part of the team taking on UW–Milwaukee. The women’s swim and dive faction will also be taking their shot against the Panthers this Saturday. The women have been rolling through their schedule so far, notching wins in every one of their matches. The Maroons’ dominance has pushed them to eighth in the country, according to CollegeSwimming.com.
The women’s team of UW–Milwaukee is 3–1 in the season so far with wins over Grand Valley, Wright, and Wheaton. The women Panthers are fresh off the Hawkeye Invitational in Iowa City and look to come to the South Side with plenty of momentum. It seems to be a match-up between an unstoppable force and an immovable object.
The women, similar to the men, also look forward to the challenge of taking on a DI team. According to second-year Natalie DeMuro, the difference in divisions does not intimidate their team. “The swimmers have been putting in a lot of yards this week and the divers have been working on upping our degree of difficulty. They’re a DI team but we’re confident in what we can accomplish on Saturday. As teammate Melissa Bischoff would say, ‘We’re a DIII program with DI spirit!’”
The Maroons will take on the Panthers in Myers-McLoraine Pool at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 16.