The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Illinois swim & dive gets ready to host first home dual meet against Vanderbilt

Senior+Sophia+Burwitz+swims+the+100+yard+butterfly+during+the+meet+aginst+Vanderbilt+yesterday.+
Lucas Sun
Senior Sophia Burwitz swims the 100 yard butterfly during the meet aginst Vanderbilt yesterday.

Following both a win and loss this past weekend on the West Coast, Illinois swim and dive is back in Champaign for its home opener dual meet. 

“California was a great trip for us in general,” said head coach Jeana Kempe. “We swam and competed great on the boards. Anytime you get to (go) outside and travel, you come a little bit closer as a team, and they’re really carrying that into this week.”

Kempe spoke about the team’s recent trip to the West Coast which resulted in both a win and loss. This past Thursday, Illinois had an excellent win against Pepperdine, with a score of 164-75. However the next day, the Illini fell shallow of a win with a score of 73.5-167.5. Last week’s meets currently have Illinois with a 1-2 record for the season.

“Energy has been great,” Kempe said. “Practice has been great. They look ready to go in the pool. We’re really excited about hosting Vanderbilt this weekend. They’ve definitely been more focused all around.” 

Moving forward to this upcoming weekend, Illinois is set to host Vanderbilt for the home opener dual meet. Vanderbilt is stacking up relatively similarly to Illinois, with a record of 1-1 through its first two meets. Following a loss against Florida of 75-180, and then a narrow win of 138-124 against Tulane, this upcoming meet on Saturday will be a crucial win or loss for either team to be able to push their season in the right direction. 

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    The Illini had a slightly better 2022-23 season, finishing 6-3, compared to a 5-4-1 finish for Vanderbilt. Both of the teams have had a big loss this season, as well as a win. This meeting could be a potential turning point for each team’s journey.

    “The goal and the objective is to win,” Kempe said. “We’re excited because honestly, this is one of the best Vanderbilt teams that I’ve seen in a long time.”

    Kempe talked about how the team that Vanderbilt is bringing, composed of just swimmers since it does not have a diving team, is one of the best teams Illinois has faced recently, according to her. This is also Illinois’ final dual meet before its midseason meet at Purdue, where it will also face Northwestern and No. 3 Louisville.

    Illinois swim and dive is back later this month for the Boilermaker Invite in West Lafayette, Indiana from Nov. 16-18 before competing in the Purdue Long Course Time Trial on Nov. 19. 

     

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