Illinois swimming, diving loss at Ohio brings positive results

By Meghan Montemurro

The Illinois women’s swimming and diving team fell to the Ohio State Buckeyes Saturday, 157-143 at the McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion in Columbus.

Head Coach Sue Novitsky knew it would be a close meet, but in the end the Illini fell just a little bit short of the win. However, Novitsky is pleased with where the team is at this point in the season.

“We are moving in the right direction and people are taking steps in the right direction,” Novitsky said. “We need to keep working hard and putting together complete races.”

Despite the loss, there were positives to take away from the meet. Over 85 percent of the times in all of the events were season bests. The Illini were led by senior swimmers Barbie Viney and Meghan Farrell, both of whom set NCAA provisional cuts. Although there were record times, the Illini did not finish well at the wall, especially when it was a tight race. Novitsky believes this can be attributed to laziness with the details in practice being carried over into the meet.

While fatigue may have had an effect on the younger swimmers, the veterans on the team have had experience in this department. It was the third weekend in a row that the Illini swimmers were on the road, which can take a toll on the team, mentally and physically. Novitsky said they will need to adjust accordingly.

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“They are going to have to learn how to travel on the road and be able to get up and get ready for the competition,” Novitsky said.

With sixteen events in each meet, Novitsky believes learning to conserve energy will be key down the road.

Even though the Illini didn’t place any divers higher than fifth place in either the one-meter or three-meter dive, Novitsky said she, as well as diving coach Chris Waters, were mostly pleased with the divers’ performance.

She noted, though, that the divers are continuing to improve and that they are also looking to become more consistent just as the swimmers are.

The Illini now have about a two-week break before they head to Texas A&M; University for the Texas A&M; Reveille Invitational. Novitsky plans to use this break for recovery time, as well as improve on the details in each event. The Texas A&M; Invitational will present a challenge for the Illini, as three of the top teams in the country will be there on November 17th.

Novitsky is pleased with the good condition the swimmers and divers are in and how the Illini are healthier than previous years.

“We’re swimming well in practice and they are working hard in practice,” Novitsky said. “They are competing well and we’re in a good place to keep moving forward.”