Cats try to catch Badgers in pool (Swimming)

Michael Griffin

Quality over quantity. Something the producers of Saved by the Bell: The New Class clearly didn’t have in mind.

Nevertheless, quality has been a staple of the Northwestern swim team since it lacks the bulky rosters that larger Big Ten schools can throw in the water.

Both the men’s and women’s team will need quality performances in a dual meet today at 5 p.m. against Wisconsin if they plan on giving the stacked Badgers a run for their money.

The No. 10 Wisconsin men’s team meets No. 22 NU in a match that pits teams with equal depth. The Cats have some momentum, coming off a win against Indiana last Saturday

“We want to go up there, punch them in the face and win, and then come back home,” senior Dan Williams said.

Barring a spontaneous aqua cage match, Williams won’t get a chance to punch anybody in the face, but the senior will get a chance to bring his team some points in the 1,000-yard freestyle.

Head coach Bob Groseth said that with the two teams so evenly matched, the edge could come from prized recruit, freshman Michael Alexandrov, who will be competing in his first college meet.

Alexandrov need look no further than fellow freshman Matt Grevers to cure any rookie jitters. Grevers has already been a huge difference maker for the Cats in the first four meets of the season. In fact, Grevers’ name has already been added to the NU record books.

He smashed his original record of 49.08 in the 100-yard backstroke with a split of 48.95 last Saturday against Indiana.

Grevers will be placed in a marquee, head-to-head match-up against Wisconsin junior Adam Mania, who has dominated every competition he’s been in this year.

The women’s squad will look to bounce back from a 182-116 loss to Indiana last week. NU must place that meet in the rear-view mirror and focus on No. 12 Wisconsin.

Despite having a few swimmers out with sickness or injuries, the NU women’s squad has some excellent talent that can still make it a competitive dual meet.

“Because of our lack of numbers, if we go up to Wisconsin and one person doesn’t swim well, that could be the difference between us winning and losing,” senior Vicky West said.

That’s where senior captains Katie Simmons and Erin Swenson swim into the picture. Simmons’ first-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:19.18 was one of the lone bright spots in last week’s loss.

But due to a nagging shoulder injury, the 200-yard breaststroke will be Simmons’ only event.

“There are a lot of people on this team swimming really well right now,” Simmons said. “We’re a little short-handed but we’re going into Wisconsin to win.”

Junior diver Ashley Carter, who won the 3-meter competition and finished second in the 1-meter event against Indiana, could also provide some extra points for the Cats.

Both the men’s and women’s teams are looking to pay the Badgers back, as both NU squads lost when the Cats hosted Wisconsin last year.