ISL Playoffs Preview: Energy Standard, Cali Condors, DC Trident, Team Iron Set to Dive In

DELOOF Ali DCT DC Trident (DCT) ISL International Swimming League 2021 Match 5 day 1 Piscina Felice Scandone Napoli, Naples Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto
Ali DeLoof. Photo Courtesy: Photo Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

The International Swimming League (ISL) returns to action with the playoff rounds of the 2021 season from Eindhoven, Netherlands.

The first playoff match will pit the top two teams — Energy Standard and the Cali Condors — with the bottom two playoff teams — Team Iron and the DC Trident.

The match begins at 19:00 CET and 1 p.m. ET on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 11-12.

Heading into the ISL playoffs, Energy Standard is in first place with a 16-point rating, followed by the Cali Condors (15), London Roar (13), Toronto Titans (12), LA Current (11), Aqua Centurions (10), Team Iron (8), and DC Trident (5). The New York Breakers and Tokyo Frog Kings were eliminated after the regular season.

The playoffs are seeded to favor the top teams from the regular season.

The second ISL playoff match is Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 13-14 from Eindhoven and has the middle four playoff teams — London Roar, Toronto Titans, LA Current and Aqua Centurions.

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In all, there will be six playoff matches with the mixes of the eight teams to determine which teams make the final, which begins Dec. 3.

Energy Standard has a huge contingent of international stars, led by Sarah Sjostrom, Chad le Clos and Siobhan Haughey. Haughey has yet to be defeated in ISL history in the 200 free, and has plenty of 100 free wins as well. The question will be how many of the European swimmers will compete after last week’s Short Course European Championships. And if they do, is it possible to expect them to be up to last week’s standards.

Caeleb Dressel leads the Condors into the playoff round. Coming off of a superb performance in the Olympics, Dressel dove right into the ISL season and has the Condors in second place heading into the week.

He gives the Condors the best chance at jackpot points as well as in the skins, and can do it in multiple events.

He isn’t alone as versatile swimmers like Olivia Smoliga, Natalie Hinds and Beata Nelson are waiting to dive back into ISL competition.

Meanwhile, the DC Trident and Team Iron are trying to stay alive in competition. Every race is important to see if they can move up in the standings to reach the final.

Team Iron is led by Ranomi Kromowidjojo, while the DC Trident have seen some big point totals come from Ali DeLoof, Zach Apple and Linnea Mack.