BATON ROUGE -- The LSU women's Swimming and Diving team (2-1, 1-1 SEC) will travel to New Orleans on Friday to take on Tulane (1-1) at 6 p.m. (CT), and will return to Baton Rouge on Saturday to host North Carolina State at 2 p.m. (CT) in the LSU Natatorium. All admission to home meets is free of charge.
"It gives our woman a chance to have a night swim on Friday night, obviously in a different location, and then come back the next day, race and try to swim fast again," Swimming Coach Dave Geyer said. "When you look at the conference championships, especially with the new format of a four full-day meet, it is going to not only be a physical challenge, but an emotional and mental challenge as well. Any time you have an opportunity to sort of mock that, you want to take advantage of that."
The Lady Tigers are looking to rebound after the team's first SEC loss last weekend against Auburn. LSU was led by freshman diver Cassie Weil, who was named the SEC Female Diver of the Week after sweeping the springboard events. Weil broke LSU's all-time three-meter dive record in her first collegiate meet with a score of 372.68.
"We're looking for a good competitive weekend," Diving Coach Doug Shaffer said. "Any opportunity you have to step on the boards and compete, it advances us for the year. There is only one other school in the state of Louisiana that has diving, and that is Tulane. To be able to put the two teams together is beneficial. I think our competition (from NC State) is going to be good and strong. They've posted some good results. We've got the home turf. We're going to defend our pool."
NC State returns NCAA All-American diver Hannah Hopkins and All-ACC swimmer Hannah Freyman. The Wolpack are fresh off of a first place finish in the All-North Carolina Invitational that was attended by 12 teams.
Tulane has consistently improved year-to-year since the program was rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina. The Green Wave narrowly fell to North Texas this past weekend, and will face LSU again Jan. 25.
"For the women's team, we need to continue to raise our level of competition," Geyer said. "Friday night we are going to take the opportunity to look at different things relay and split wise. I know whole heartedly that NC State is going to be ready to swim fast, and that it is going to be a challenging dual meet with them."
The Lady Tigers have been paced this season by a core that includes six returning NCAA Qualifiers from a year ago. Sophomore Amber Carter leads LSU in the sprint events and the 100 butterfly. Carter's 50 free mark of 23.24 ranks her 10th in the nation in the early portion of the season.
Junior Torrey Bussey also leads LSU in the breaststroke events and the 200 individual medley. Bussey's 200 breast mark is 21st in the nation.
Through three meets, Geyer has liked what he has seen from his large freshman class and is going to use the meets to assess the team as a whole.
"Two wins and continuing to swim faster is what I want to see," Geyer said. "I think with the women's team and their youth, every meet is a learning experience for them. Any time you can learn is great, but any time you can learn and win is better. It only bolsters your confidence as you move forward in conference meets."
Friday's meet with Tulane will consist of 13 events. The 200 fly, 200 breast and 200 IM will be omitted. Saturday's meet with NC State will be the standard 16-event order.
A full recap will be available on LSUsports.net following the meets. For social media and behind the scenes action of all of LSU sports, please visit LSUsports.net/fancage.