BERKELEY, California, February 1. THE No. 1 ranked USC women's swimming and diving team defeated No. 7 California, 155-145 at Spieker Aquatic Complex on Friday afternoon. An always difficult place to compete, the Women of Troy pulled out victories in eight of 16 events, with Stina Gardell sealing the win with a strong swim in the 200-yard IM, along with key points from the divers.
With the victory, the top-ranked Women of Troy improved to 9-0 (5-0 Pac-12), while the two-time defending national champion and current No. 7 Bears fell to 5-2 overall (2-2 in the Pac-12).
“I am very proud of the women,” head coach Dave Salo said. “Cal does not fall very often at home. The women held their ground, never quit and put up a “Sue Heck” performance. The keys to the win were some strong performances from Kasey Carlson and Kendyl Stewart. We sealed the win with an outstanding swim from Stina Gardell, winning the 200 IM to seal the win before the relay. The divers, led by Sam Adams were critical to keep us in the meet and have a chance to win.”
The Golden Bears took an early lead in the meet, winning five of the first eight events to put the Trojans down, 78-72, at the first break.
After finishing second and fourth in the 200-yard medley relay, the first win of the day came in the 1000-yard freestyle as Haley Anderson took first (9:52.98) and Lynette Lim (9:53.20) took second. Anderson and Lim repeated in the 500-yard free, again finishing 1-2.
Carlson came through with a big win in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 23.03. Freshman Kasia Wilk took third for the Women of Troy with a time of 23.25. Carlson again came through as she earned her second win of the day in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 49.50.
Stewart had strong swims in the100-yard and 200-yard backstroke events, taking second in both, while freshman Joanna Stenkvist finished third in the 200-yard backstroke (1:58.70) to earn valuable points for the Trojans. Stewart finished first in the 100-yard butterfly (52.88), her first top finish of the day and a key swim for USC.
The Trojan divers kept USC in the meet, as Samantha Adams and Haley Ishimatsu finished 1-2 in 3-meter diving. In the 1-meter competition, Ishimatsu took first, as Adams finished in third.
The meet's penultimate swim was the 200-yard IM, featuring the 2012 NCAA champ in Cal's Caitlin Leverenz and Elizabeth Pelton, along with USC's Gardell. Gardell came through to edge out both Pelton and Leverenz to finish first with an NCAA B qualifying time of 1:58.30. Gardell's swim clinched the meet for USC.
The Women of Troy have a quick turnaround as they continue their Pac-12 and Bay Area road trip on Saturday, Feb. 2 at No. 2 Stanford. The duel is set for 12 p.m. PT.
The Hoosier women return to action Feb. 20-23 at the Big Ten Championships in Minneapolis, Minn.
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