Top Seven Stay Steady in CSCAA Women’s Division I Poll; California Still On Top

PHOENIX, Arizona, November 14. AS was the case in the Division I men’s poll, the top spots in the College Swim Coaches Association of America’s women’s swimming and diving poll remain unchanged. The top seven teams keep their places heading into the midseason invitationals, with several team slipping due to inactivity in the past couple of weeks.

The goal of the CSCAA rankings committee is to produce an in-season poll of the 25 best-performing teams in rank order at the time of each poll. The poll is not designed to predict the results of the NCAA Championship, but rather which teams would win head-to-head against other teams in the country.

Specifically, the poll committee does not differentiate between the types of meets, or the status of a specific team in terms of rested versus unrested, when considering votes. Further, rankings are only based on performances that have taken place up to that point in the season, with an emphasis on action from the previous poll.

Swimming World has been invited as a media member to participate in the polling process, and has a vote in each poll. Jeff Commings serves as Swimming World’s representative on these weekly conference calls.

1. California (4-0, 2-0 Pac 12)
Previous rank: 1

W at Oregon State (9/27), 161-95
W vs. Washington State (10/4), 164-89
W vs. Florida (10/19-20), 238-210

Since last poll:
W vs. Wisconsin (11/1), 163-111

Next competition: November 21-23 at UNLV Fall Invitational

A few of the top swimmers for the California Golden Bears competed in off events against Wisconsin, but Missy Franklin got her first opportunity to race in the 200 backstroke in a college meet, posting a 1:55.28. With such swimmers as Celina Li and Elizabeth Pelton wining convincingly in off events, Cal’s versatility within its squad was on display on November 1.

2. Georgia (5-0, 3-0 SEC)
Previous rank: 2

W vs. Kentucky (9/25), 165-98
W vs. Wisconsin (10/4-5), 182-136
W vs. Georgia Tech (10/15), 187-88
W at LSU (10/18), 170.5-118.5

Since last poll:
W at Florida (11/7), 162-138

Next competition: Friday vs. Emory

Georgia had the depth to overcome Florida’s top-end talent last week and keep their season’s unbeaten streak alive. The Bulldogs had some impressive wins from Melanie Margalis and Annie Zhu to make a statement in the national rankings.

3. Southern California (3-0, 3-0 Pac 12)
Previous rank: 3

W at Washington State (10/18), 146-116
SMU Classic (10/18-19), first place

Since last poll:
W at Arizona State (11/8), 167-128
W at Arizona (11/9), 167-133

Next competition: December 5-7 at Texas Invitational

With Meghan Hawthorne guiding the way in multiple wins, the Trojans roared through Tempe and defeated Arizona State, then posted some nationally-ranked times against Arizona, including an impressive 1:38.30 in the 200 medley relay. The Trojans will take the next two weeks to prepare for the very competitive Texas Invite.

4. Texas A&M (3-0, 2-0 SEC)
Previous rank: 4

W at Vanderbilt (10/12), 154.5-98.5
W vs. Texas (10/18), 152-148

Since last poll:
W at Missouri (11/1), 159-118

Next competition: November 21-23 at Art Adamson Invitational

With no need to put up season-best times to beat the Tigers, Texas A&M coasted through their dual meet with Missouri, and allowed USC to leapfrog over them in the coaches poll. Breeja Larson, despite not posting a sub-1:00 100 breast, is still swimming faster than anyone has done so far this season.

5. Florida (2-2, 2-1 SEC)
Previous rank: 5

All-Florida Invite (9/27-29), first place
W at Missouri (10/17), 181-109
L at California (10/19-20), 238-210

Since last poll:
L vs. Georgia (11/1), 162-138
W vs. Alabama (11/7), 179-113

Next competition: November 22-24 at Buckeye Invitational

Sinead Russell, Natalie Hinds and Elizabeth Beisel couldn’t hold off the depth of Georgia’s Bulldogs, and but the Gators put up some very fast swims, including some season bests from Beisel in distance free. Beisel was back in her specialty, the backstroke, against Alabama allowing fellow backstroker Sinead Russell to shine in freestyle.

6. Texas (7-1, 1-0 Big 12)
Previous rank: 6

W vs. Rice (10/11), 149-99
W vs. North Carolina (10/17), 171-129
L at Texas A&M (10/18), 152-148
W at Indiana (10/25) 155-141
W vs. Michigan (at Indiana) (10/25), 210-90

Since last poll:
W at Virginia (11/8-9), 196-157
W vs. Penn State (at Virginia) (11/8-9), 242-111
W vs. West Virginia (at Virginia) (11/8-9), 297-41

Next competition: December 5-7 at Texas Invitational

Texas had some impressive performances in racking up three meet wins last weekend. Gretchen Jacques had an impressive double on the first day of a quad meet with Virginia, Penn State and West Virginia, winning the 100 breast (1:01.91) and 100 free (50.32). They’ll take the next two weeks to prepare to host the Texas Invitational.

7. Stanford (4-0, 2-0 Pac 12)
Previous rank: 7

W vs. San Jose State (9/26), 138-100
W vs. Washington State (10/3), 147-104
W at Oregon State (10-25), 170-88

Since last poll:
W vs. Wisconsin (11/2), 201-85

Next competition: November 21-23 at Art Adamson Invitational

The dual meet with Wisconsin was notable not only for Stanford’s immense depth across all events (especially freestyle), but the 22.37 posted by Maddy Schaefer to become the fastest 50 freestyler in college so far this season.

8. North Carolina (6-1, 1-0 ACC)
Previous rank: 9

W at Virginia Tech (10/11), 233-120
W vs. Radford (at Virginia Tech) (10/11), 289-55
W vs. Liberty (at Virginia Tech) (10/11), 262-87
W vs. James Madison (at Virginia Tech) (10/11), 272.5-80.5
L at Texas (10/17), 171-129
W at TCU (10/18), 200-97
SMU Classic (10/18-19), third place

Since last poll:
W vs Louisville (11/1-2), 213-140

Next competition: November 21-23 at Nike Dowd Cup

North Carolina’s women’s team continues to impress this season, led by distance ace Stephanie Peacock. In the dual against Louisville, Peacock posted season-best times in the 500 and 1000 freestyles while her teammates also continued to improve on their already fast swims.

9. Tennessee (5-0, 1-0 SEC)
Previous rank: 8

W at UNC-Wilmington (9/27), 178-116
W vs. South Carolina (10/18), 169-124
W at Louisville (10/24), 170-130

Since last poll:
W at Indiana (11/1), 171-123
W vs Kentucky (at Indiana) (11/1), 214-84

Next competition: November 22-24 at Georgia Tech Invitational

Tennessee has a very diverse squad, evident by wins in every stroke in the tri-meet with Indiana and Kentucky. Standing out at the meet was Faith Johnson, who extends her unbeaten streak in the sprint freestyle events.

10. Indiana (3-3, 1-0 Big Ten)
Previous rank: 10

Dennis Stark Relays (10/11), third place
W at Notre Dame (10/12), 155-145
L vs. Auburn (at Notre Dame) (10/12), 180-120
SMU Classic (10/18-19), second place
W vs. Michigan (10/25), 181-119
L vs. Texas (10/25), 158.5-141.5

Since last poll:
L vs. Tennessee (11/1), 171-123
W vs. Kentucky (11/1), 199-95

Next competition: December 5-7 at USA Swimming nationals

A lack of depth in many events keeps Indiana at .500 on the season and at number 10 in the poll, as higher-ranked teams outscore them not only in first-place points but in the remaining spots in a few events.

11. Arizona (3-1, 2-1 Pac 12)
Previous rank: 11

W at Utah (10/19), 204-96
W vs. UNLV (10/25), 183-109

Since last poll:
W vs. UCLA (11/8), 151-149
L vs. USC (11/9), 167-133

Next competition: November 23 vs. Boise State

A nailbiting win over UCLA and a loss to USC showcased Arizona’s lack of depth in the strokes, despite dependable wins by Margo Geer, Bonnie Brandon and others.

12. Virginia (4-1, 0-0 ACC)
Previous rank: 18

W at Navy (10/25), 250-50
W vs. Yale (at Navy) (10/25), 237-63

Since last poll:
L vs. Texas (11/8-9), 196-157
W vs. Penn State (11/8-9), 226-127
W vs. West Virginia (11/8-9), 288-50

Next competition: November 22-24 at Buckeye Invitational

Despite the loss to Texas, Virginia put up some impressive times not just by leaders Courtney Bartholomew and Lea Smith, but by plenty of other swimmers to keep the meet close. Their performances helped the Cavaliers make the biggest jump upward in this week’s poll among previously ranked teams.

13. Louisville (1-2, 0-0 American)
Previous rank: 12

W vs. Xavier (10/11), 189-70
SMU Classic (10/18-19), third place
L vs. Tennessee (10/24), 170-130

Since last poll:
L at North Carolina (11/1), 213-140

Next competition: November 22-24 at Michigan Invitational

Losing to North Carolina hurt Louisville a bit in the newest rankings. Kelsi Worrell and Tanja Kylliainen continue to lead the team with performances that keep the team in the fight.

14. Minnesota (5-0, 3-0 Big Ten)
Previous rank: 14

W vs. Arizona State (10/5), 197-94
W vs. Michigan (10/11), 174.5-125.5
W at Wisconsin (10/18-19), 218-152

Since last poll:
W at Iowa (11/1), 194-101
W at North Dakota (11/9), 179-114

Next competition: Friday through Sunday at Minneapolis Grand Prix

Minnesota took down a much weaker conference team one weekend, then traveled to North Dakota and won handily. Though none of the times showed much improvement, diving scores from Maggie Keefer and reliable distance freestyle work from Breanne Siwicki continue to lead the pack.

15. Auburn (3-0, 1-0 SEC)
Previous rank: 13

W at Vanderbilt (9/27), 158-44
Dennis Stark Relays (10/11), first place
W at Notre Dame (10/12), 180-120
W vs. Indiana (at Notre Dame) (10/12), 180-120
Royals Invite (10/25), unscored

Since last poll:
Idle (participated in intrasquad meet 11/8)

Next competition: November 22-24 at Auburn Invitational

By only participating in an intrasquad meet (to raise funds for multiple sclerosis research) since the last poll, Auburn’s place in the ranking was in danger. They slip a couple of spots, but are likely to regain ground after hosting their invitational meet.

16. Purdue (4-0, 2-0 Big Ten)
Previous rank: Not ranked

W at Miami (Ohio) (10/18), 177-116
Indiana Intercollegiates (10/26), first place
W vs. Notre Dame (11/1), 155.5-144.5
W vs. Northwestern (11/8), 202-97
W vs. Ohio State (11/8), 157-143

Next competition: November 22-24 at Buckeye Invitational

Beating a nationally-ranked team helped put Purdue on the list, and taking the dual meet win over Ohio State by just six points showed how competitive Purdue will be as the season progresses.

17. UCLA (5-1, 2-1 Pac 12)
Previous rank: Not ranked

W at San Diego (10/19), 184.5-101.5
W vs. Santa Barbara (11/1), 198-99
W vs. Oregon State (11/1), 179-77
W vs. Florida Gulf Coast (11/1), 201-98
L at Arizona (11/8), 151-149
W at Arizona State (11/9), 183-113

Next competition: November 21-23 at UNLV Fall Invitational

The Bruins beat Arizona last year in dual meet action, and almost pulled it off again with some impressive wins by Noelle Tarazona and Madison White, as well as some depth to help secure the points needed in relays and in the stroke events.

18. Alabama (2-1, 0-1 SEC)
Previous rank: 21

W at Delta State (9/20), 242-50
W vs. Florida State (10/12), 179-121

Since last poll:
L at Florida (11/7), 179-113

Next competition: November 22-24 at Auburn Invitational

Leah Bird was the only winner for the Tide against Florida, taking the 200 fly. Bonnie Macdonald, who will be expected to score big at the conference meet in distance freestyle, broke the 10-minute barrier for the first time this season during the 1000 free.

19. Ohio State (7-1, 2-0 Big Ten)

W at Kentucky (10/11), 195-104
W vs. Kenyon (10/25), 191-99

Since last poll:
W vs. Cleveland State (11/1), 252-48
W vs. Denison (11/1), 251.5-48.5
W vs. Virginia Tech (11/1), 191-109
L at Purdue (11/8), 157-143
W vs. Northwestern (11/8), 211-89
W vs. Ohio (11/9), 193-106

Next competition: November 22-24 at Buckeye Invitational

Beating a Division III team (Denison) and a mid-major team (Cleveland State) helped boost Ohio State’s win record, but a tough loss to Purdue by just six points resulted in a wash in terms of their standing in the poll.

20. Penn State (1-0, 0-0 Big Ten)
Previous rank: 25

W vs. West Virginia (10/18), 152-102

Since last poll:
L at Virginia (11/8-9), 226-127
L vs. Texas (at Virginia) (11/8-9), 242-111

Next competition: December 5-7 at Texas Invite

Though the team could not beat Texas or Virginia, Penn State’s women’s squad posted enough impressive times to prove they are a competitive team in the national scope.

21. Arkansas (4-0, 1-0 SEC)
Previous rank: 15

NTU Relays (10/4), first place
W at North Texas (10/5), 207-91
W at LSU (10/19), 180-120
W vs. Nebraska (10/26), 205-95

Since last poll:
W at Missouri State (11/9), 203.5-88.5

Next competition: November 21-23 at Missouri Invitational

Arkansas is holding on to an impressive streak of 14 dual-meet wins, breaking the team record of 13 from 1991 to 1992. Swimming against a much weaker team, however, resulted in times that did not impress and a slip in the rankings.

22. Florida State (5-1, 2-0 ACC)
Previous rank: 24

All-Florida Invite (9/27-29), second place
W at West Florida (10/11), 232-68
W vs. Tulane (at West Florida) (10/11), 241-59
L at Alabama (10/12), 167-133
W vs. Florida Gulf Coast (10/18), 189-109
W vs. Georgia Tech (10/25), 239-61
W vs. NC State (10/25), 157-143

Since last poll:

Next competition: November 22 at Auburn Invitational

Performances from previous meets continue to impress the coaches voting in the poll, but those swims need to improve as the midseason point approaches if the Seminoles hope to stay in the rankings.

23. North Carolina State (5-1, 4-1 ACC)
Previous rank: 23

All-North Carolina Invite (10/4-5), first place
W at Virginia Tech (10/19), 171-129
L at Florida State (10/25), 157-143
W vs. Georgia Tech (at Florida State) (10/25), 224-76

Since last poll:
W vs. Duke (11/8), 168-121
W vs. Miami (11/8), 207-77
W vs. UNC-Wilmington (11/9), 212-78

Next competition: November 21-23 at Nike Cup

A few wins against unranked teams keeps North Carolina State in the rankings, but their performances in the Nike Cup will likely showcase their true talent and could move them higher in the poll.

24. Wisconsin (0-2, 0-1 Big Ten)
Previous rank: 20

L at Georgia (10/4-5), 361-275
L vs. Minnesota (10/18-19), 438-302

Since last poll:
L at California (11/1), 163-11
L at Stanford (11/2), 201-85

Next competition: Friday at Northwestern

Competing against two top-10 teams will hurt a squad’s placing in the coaches’ poll, but Wisconsin still continues to show promise. Ivy Martin’s first losses in the sprint feestyles could provide some fire for the remainder of the first half of the season.

25. Michigan (2-3, 1-1 Big Ten)
Previous rank: 17

W vs. Iowa (9/27), 185-111
L at Minnesota (10/11), 174.5-125.5
L at Indiana (10/25), 181-119
L vs. Texas (at Indiana) (10/25), 210-90

Since last poll:
W at Toledo (11/1), 221-79

Next competition: November 22-24 at Michigan Open

Michigan makes the biggest slip in the poll, despite a win over Toledo.

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