Oct. 14, 2011
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane University women's swimming and diving will open the home portion of its 2011-12 season on Saturday, Oct. 15, when the Green Wave play host to North Texas at the Reily Student Recreation Center Natatorium. The dual meet is slated to begin at 11:30 a.m. and admission is free.
The Wave will looked for an improved showing in their second dual meet of the season as Tulane fell to LSU, 193-98, on Sept. 30 in Baton Rouge. North Texas will be participating in its first meet of the year and the two teams are familiar with one another as Saturday's meet marks the fifth meeting between the two teams in the pool.
The all-time series is knotted at 2-2 and the Mean Green have won the last two head-to-head matchups held in Denton, Texas. Tomorrow's meet is the first time North Texas makes the trip to New Orleans since Oct. 15, 2004, when the Green Wave earned a 215-76 victory. Tulane's other win over UNT came on Nov. 1, 2003, when the Wave came away with a73-38 decision in Tallahassee, Fla.
"We have made some significant improvements in technique and race strategy," Tulane head coach Lena Guarriello said. "We're still working on stroke correction as well as breaking bad technical habits, but it helps to have a meet behind us to give the team a feel for how these changes affect racing.
"This is probably one of the most even matched meets we've swam to date. North Texas has some very strong swimmers, but at the same time, our girls are also swimming well."
In the season-opener at LSU, 11 Green Wave individual posted second-place finishes and the squad finished 2-3 in eight events. Freshman Claire Schelske was the first Tulane swimmer to post a runner-up finish, touching the wall at 10:36.62 in the 1000 free. From there, sophomore Rachel Ranson and junior Elizabeth Whitaker were second and third in the 200 free with times of 1:55.32 and 1:55.79, respectively.
North Texas, meanwhile, returns 21 letterwinners from last year's team which finished third at the 2011 Sun Belt Conference Swimming & Diving Championships. In addition, the Mean Green welcome the talents of 14 true freshmen.
"North Texas has held a great relay meet for the past few years," Guarriello said of this weekend's opponent. "I've enjoyed bringing the team up to them to kickoff our season. This year, they decided not to host the meet, so we invited them down to see us. They're a fun team to swim against."
Saturday's meet against North Texas is one of two Tulane will host during the 2011-12 season as the Wave will host Vanderbilt on Nov. 5. Prior the match-up with the Commodores, Tulane will travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for a double-dual meet against host Alabama and Emory.