NCAA Division II and III Preview: Quiet Weekend Before Invites Begin

PHOENIX, Arizona, November 14. WITH the majority of schools across all three divisions taking this weekend off before the major invitationals get underway next weekend, it figures to be a quiet weekend on the NCAA Division II and III swimming front.

Division II

A couple of major shakeups occurred this week in the Division II and III polls, based on last weekend’s competitions. In Division II, the Grand Valley State men’s team knocked off Big 10 member Michigan State 166-134 to jump to the top of the Division II ranks. The Grand Valley State women’s team just barely fell to the Spartans, 162-138. The Lakers will not compete again until next weekend, when they head to Ball State for the Doug Coers Invitational.

UC San Diego, which had been ranked first the previous week, fell to second after losing to in-state rival UC Santa Barbara last Saturday. Queens University of Charlotte and Wingate University filled the third and fourth spots, while Drury has moved up to fifth after defeating Delta State last weekend. Drury will take this weekend off before hosting the Drury Invite next weekend, while Delta State will have a chance to pick up their first win of the season as they’ll face Henderson State tomorrow and Ouachita Baptist on Saturday in back-to-back dual meets. Delta State has several swimmers ranked in the top 10 nationally, including Melanie Tombers, Kierstin Page and Vlad Zinca, and will look to translate those individual performances to a team win.

Wayne State, ranked 15th in Division II, will also have back-to-back dual meets this weekend, as they travel to Oakland on Friday night and Ashland on Saturday afternoon. Eighth-ranked LIU Post has looked strong thus far and will hope to continue that success against Army on Saturday. Joyce Kwok has already posted the fastest time in Division II in the 100 fly (56.20) and third-fastest time in the 200 fly (2:03.78).

Other meets to watch for this weekend include 14th-ranked Tampa against St. Leo and 17th-ranked Northern Michigan at the Border Battle Invite.

Division III

Following back-to-back wins over Birmingham Southern and the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Emory University women’s swimming and diving team has passed Denison and Kenyon for first atop the CSCAA Division III rankings, while the Emory men currently sit third. This weekend, the Eagles will head to Athens, Georgia for their biggest test of the season at the University of Georgia. Emory and Georgia have met 18 times in the two teams’ histories, with the Bulldogs sweeping the Eagles last season. Two Emory swimmers, Andrew Wilson and Annelise Kowalsky, earned University Athletic Association Swimmer of the Week honors for their performances last weekend, as both swimmers recorded an NCAA B cut in the 100 breast (Wilson in 57.66 and Kowalsky in 1:04.66). Those are the seventh and eighth UAA Swimmer of the Week honors for the Eagles this season, and Wilson’s second recognition in four weeks.

In other action this weekend, Kenyon will take on Ohio Northern on Saturday afternoon. The Lords haven’t raced since November 2nd, when both teams were swept by rival Denison. The Denison men’s team has since overtaken Kenyon for the top spot in the CSCAA poll, while the Kenyon women sit third behind Emory and Denison. Kenyon will be looking for some strong swims from both teams as they look ahead to the TYR Invitational at Northwestern next weekend.

Also on Saturday, the fifth-ranked New York University women and ninth-ranked men will host The College of New Jersey, who they are currently tied with in the CSCAA men’s poll. TCNJ has actually beaten NYU in dual meet action in the past four seasons, so it’s shaping up to be an exciting meet.

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