PHILADELPHIA – In a season with a small number of home meets, the University of Pennsylvania swimming and diving teams will start the 2014-15 slate this weekend at home in Sheerr Pool. The women will compete twice this weekend, first hosting Ivy rival Columbia on Friday at 4 p.m. They will then join the men for a combined dual meet with Connecticut on Sunday at 12 p.m. After this weekend, the Quakers will not return to Sheerr Pool for competition until their final home meet in January.
Now that the women are without Shelby Fortin, the most decorated swimmer in program history, the Red and Blue will rely on 14 new faces as well as the returners to step up and fill the void right off the bat. As Penn’s rivalry with Columbia continues to increase every year, the Quakers will need to put their best foot forward to produce a different outcome than the last time the two teams met, when the Red and Blue fell to the Lions in New York, 166-134. The women are also looking for their first home win against Columbia since defeating the Lions in the 2010-11 season, 165.5-135.5.
While the men won’t face Columbia until Nov. 14 on the road, the Quakers will combine on Sunday to host the Huskies, who already have two wins under their belts from victories over Villanova and Fordham. Last year, the women opened their season victorious, defeating UConn 172.5-127.5 in Storrs, Conn. However, the same could not be said for the men.
Entering the final event – the 200 free relay -- with a 143-140 advantage, the Red and Blue fell in the final seconds as the Huskies pulled ahead in the neck-in-neck race to finish first and win, 153-147. With last year’s defeat fresh in their minds, the men will look for revenge on home territory.
Penn will look to juniors Chris Swanson, an All-American in the 1650 free, and Eric Schultz, the reigning Ivy League champion in the 50 free, to lead the team to victory.
Live results of the meet on Friday and Sunday will be posted via MeetMobile. Please go to the Apple or Android app store to download the mobile application, or click here.