The University of South Dakota men and women’s swimming and diving teams will be on the road to face Wisconsin-Green Bay in a non-conference meet, the first away-competition for both squads this season.
The Coyotes (Men 1-1, Women 1-2) are facing off against the Phoenix after spending the first five meets of the season at home.
“All our big meets are on the road,” head coach Jason Mahowald said.
The last time teams were in a meet together, both squads defeated Summit League rival Western Illinois to earn their first victories of the season.
“We’ve done a good job of being competitive and doing the right thing before our meets,” Mahowald said.
Now, the Coyotes will be putting their skills to the test against a program neither the men nor women have defeated so far as members of Division-I athletics.
The men’s squadron is 1-2, but has thus far proven to be formidable enough to deny USD a victory over them in a meet.
Wisconsin-Green Bay women’s swimming team is the defending Horizon League champion. They are 3-1 in the competition so far this season.
“They’ll be a good challenge for us,” Mahowald. “It will be a good meet.”
With this being the first test on the road for the Coyotes, elements like the teams youth will impact the team’s performance.
“We’re young,” Mahowald said. “We have a lot of freshmen and they lack
a lot of experience.”
Between both teams, there are 22 freshmen swimmers. Thirteen are on the women’s team and nine are on the men’s team.
Despite substantial amount of athletes will be swimming on the road for the first time, sophomore sprinter Mariah Anderson said their inexperience will not be a factor.
“When you’re young, you really want to step it up,” Anderson said. “You want to try and step up and do your part for the team.”
Traveling can also play a crucial role in how the team performs in the meet.
Anderson said being prepared mentally is paramount for the team.
Senior Dane Van Arkel said he is interested in how
freshmen will be able to handle traveling. The sprinter said the returning members will have to understand the physical toll a bus ride can take on a swimmer’s body.
“It’s going to take that much longer to warm up and get ready,” Van Arkel said.
Anderson said teammates have been supporting each other in and out of the pool.
“You always have someone you can talk to,” Anderson said.
Van Arkel said the team’s best attribute is its pride.
“Everyone’s always out cheering for each other regardless of the race,” he said.
While the remaining meets are primarily away meets, the team will face rival South Dakota State on Nov. 19 in the DakotaDome.