Aware of the improving young Nebraska team, Missouri got a strong performance from its seniors.
The Missouri women’s swimming and diving team defeated the Cornhuskers 162-138 on Friday at the University Natatorium in a Big 12 Conference meet.
MU won last year’s meet 228-82, but Friday’s win was more difficult.
“Nebraska is a much better team,” MU coach Brian Hoffer said. “I knew exactly what we were up against. Our team did a very good job and did what it took to win.”
It was the only home meet of the season for the Missouri divers.
No. 23 MU (4-2, 2-1) was unable to get an early lead against Nebraska (2-1, 0-1), a young team consisting of 10 freshmen and 13 sophomores on its 25-man roster.
The teams split the first four events, and the Tigers led 38-36. MU widened the gap by winning the next seven consecutive events. Missouri’s seniors won five events in their last home competition.
“Our seniors are doing a great job, and I truly believe that we are really only as good as our senior class,” Hoffer said.
Senior Rebecca Wolfe set a pool record in the 200-yard butterfly, finishing in 2 minutes, 2.76 seconds, beating the record of 2:03.62.
“Rebecca Wolfe was really great,” Hoffer said. “She broke the school record, which was something I think her and I were both eyeing. It was great to see her do that.”
Wolfe said she is excited to get the record back in MU’s name. The record is about five seconds off her personal best.
“I would like to have not waited so long to finally do it,” Wolfe said. “But it’s my senior year, so I’m definitely excited to do it.”
Senior Sarah Lo, a returning NCAA championship qualifier, dominated the backstroke events, winning the 100 in 57.79 and the 200 in 2:05.8.
Senior Andrea Nigh won the 50-yard freestyle (24.14) and 100 freestyle (52.69).
Junior Mariona Costa also contributed with wins in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke.
The Cornhuskers, known for strong distance swimming, went 1-2-3 in the 500- and the 1,000-yard freestyle events. Freshmen won all four of NU’s swimming wins.
“Their team is awesome,” Wolfe said. “They are greatly improved. They’ve got some awesome freshman in there. I know my freshman year I was oblivious to what was going on, so it’s almost an advantage to be that young.”
Sophomore Nicole Frazier won the 1-meter diving and freshman Kim Massaro placed second in 3-meter diving.
“I was excited because we were at home,” Frazier said. “Nebraska has very, very good divers. I knew coming in we were going to have to step up and do really well. Kim has been doing really well.”