If history repeats itself, the Missouri swim teams should win this weekend.
The Tigers host Truman State at 5 p.m. today at the University Natatorium. The No. 23 women’s team will then travel to Lawrence, Kan., to face Kansas on Saturday. MU won in both meets last season.
With the home advantage, the Tigers are hoping for a victory against the Bulldogs.
MU’s women’s team (1-2) wants to repeat last season’s win, but isn’t expecting an easy victory.
“Last year I felt the Truman women gave us the best meet that we had all year,” MU coach Brian Hoffer said.
Captain Andrea Nigh said the team is especially hungry for a win against Truman State because of early losses to No. 1 Auburn and No. 17 Texas A&M.
“I think we need something to get going and get excited,” Nigh said. “Our losses have been with really competitive teams, and we’ve swam well.”
The Tigers return three NCAA national championship qualifiers: Nigh, Sarah Lo and Rebecca Wolfe. Wolfe is a 2004 Olympic trials qualifier in the 200 butterfly.
Truman State’s women’s team, the defending Division II national champion, returns six national champions.
“If I was Truman, I’d want to beat a Division I top 25 team,” Hoffer said. “That’s something to hang on your mantle.”
Despite the returning talent, Hoffer said the freshmen might determine the outcome.
“They are bringing in 11 freshmen and we are bringing in six freshmen,” Hoffer said. “I think it’s going to be kind of a battle of the younger swimmers on the women’s side.”
If the meet comes down to the younger swimmers, the Tigers’ freshmen might find an advantage in experience. Four swam in all three of Missouri’s dual meets and all six swam in the Big 12 Conference relays. Today’s meet will be the first for Truman State.
“I do believe it’s going to be the unknowns in their lineup that will make the difference,” Hoffer said. “We’re going to have to put out our best lineup.”
The MU men (0-1) also defeated the Bulldogs last season. The Tigers return junior Matt North, a 2004 Olympic trial qualifier in the 200-meter breaststroke.
North, who finished first in the 200 breaststroke and second in the 200 individual medley against No. 15 Texas A&M, said he is looking for success the rest of the season.
“Hopefully we can go undefeated from here on out,” North said. “Unless something goes wrong, like we get (disqualified) in a relay, we should beat Truman State; and they are a really good Division II team.”