Jan. 19, 2006
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - No. 14 Purdue puts its 6-0 record on the line when it visits No. 18 Indiana Saturday at 1 p.m. in Bloomington.
The Hoosiers (5-2) have beaten the Boilermakers five straight times and lead the all-time series 14-9, but head coach Cathy Wright-Eger comes into this meet with a new approach.
"In the past, we've had a tendency to get excited about this meet, but we need to save our emotions for Big Tens and NCAAs" said Wright-Eger. "We're going to treat this meet like the Michigan dual. We'll take it one race at a time and have individuals take care of what they are capable of."
On paper, it looks as if Purdue should win this meet. The Boilermakers have posted faster season times than the Hoosiers in all but three individual events: 100 freestyle, 100 and 200 backstroke. Purdue also owns better times in the three freestyle relays, while IU holds the edge in both medley relays.
Purdue also looked better on paper last year, but still got beat, 157-141.
Wright-Eger followed that loss with harsh comments, saying, "To say I'm disappointed is a grave understatement. We had the opportunity to win, but we let it slip though our hands; people needed to step up and they didn't.
"I warned my team that IU would come in swimming fast, and we just didn't respond. Whatever could have gone wrong, did."
This time around, Wright-Eger is more confident in her team and believes they know what to expect.
"IU always swims fast this time of the year, but so do we, and so does everyone else. I want them to bring out the best in us and I want to win, but our season-long emphasis has been how we'll do in the postseason."
This meet could come down to the performances of the divers, and it will be interesting to see how the Boilermakers respond to last year's faceoff, in which they were outscored, 23-15.
Carrie McCambridge came within a point of winning both springboards, scoring 13 of the team's 15 points. If Purdue wants to give itself the chance to win this meet, Amanda Miller, Lauren Hallyburton, Emily Wetzel and others have to step up.
Along with Purdue and Northwestern, Indiana has one of the best diving corps in the conference. Hoosiers Christina Loukas, Lindsay Weigel and Lisa Silvestri are all capable of scoring 300 points or more off each springboard.
Following Saturday's competition, Purdue heads to Minneapolis for its final dual meets of the season, competing in the annual Big Ten quadrangular against Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. The two-day event runs from Jan. 27 to 28.