Missouri State Swimming and Diving Releases 2015-2016 Schedule

The Missouri State men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams look ahead to another competitive slate in 2015-16 as head coach Dave Collins announced the Bears’ schedule Wednesday, July 29.

“I’m very pleased with how the schedule turned out,” MSU head coach Dave Collins said. “We get started at the beginning of October and if you go all the way through the men’s NCAA Championships, that’s the end of March, so it’s a long season. I feel like we’ve got good competition dates spread out and some great teams we’re competing against. We have some nice multi-day meets highlighted by the Purdue Invite in November and then the U.S. Winter National meet a couple weeks later in December. Those are going to be right at the midseason mark – which is a great way for us to find out where we’re at and evaluate our athletes midway through – when they should be in good shape.”

The Bears’ 13-meet regular season schedule features five home meets – including crosstown rival Drury and in-state rival Missouri – at Hammons Student Center, six opponents from Power Five conferences, four teams that were ranked in the CSCAA Division I Top 25 Rankings and an appearance at the 2015 U.S. Winter National Championships.

“It’s always been my philosophy on swim meets during the dual-meet season that we want to challenge our athletes the best we can,” Collins said. “I think in doing that and preparing for our conference championship portion of the season, we want to compete against the best talent we can. I think we’ve done that the last few years and what that’s done for us is when we get into the conference championships, we’ve competed against great swimmers. When we get into the NCAA Championships, we see a lot of familiar faces which I think is important. That will continue to be our philosophy. We’re not looking for a set amount of wins on the year, we’re just looking to improve week-to-week and a challenging heavy schedule does that.”

Missouri State begins its 50th season of men’s swimming and diving and 17th season of women’s swimming and diving at the 11th annual Missouri Show-Me Showdown on the University of Missouri’s campus on Oct. 2.

The Bears host two conference duals the following week, taking on Evansville Friday, Oct. 9, and the Salukis of Southern Illinois Saturday, Oct. 10.

Homecoming at Missouri State keeps the Bears busy in the pool when Drury visits the Hammons Student Center for the “Duel in the Pool” Friday, Oct. 16, followed by the annual Alumni and Intrasquad exhibition meet on Saturday, Oct.17.

“It’s really a positive thing to be able to have home meets, especially at the beginning of the season,” Collins said. “You’ve got a fresh bunch of freshmen that may be a little nervous to get the season started, so being able to do that at home is great. Our parents and fans usually show up pretty well at home meets, so that will be a nice way to kick things off.”

A busy October comes to an end for the Bears as they travel to Lawrence, Kansas, for the second consecutive year. MSU will take on Denver’s men’s and women’s squads Oct. 23-24 – which won their respective conference championships last season – while the women’s team will also compete with Kansas, which finished third in the Big 12 Championships a season ago.

The Bears return to action a month later when they appear at the Purdue Invitational from Nov. 20-22. The Invite features eight women’s teams and six men’s teams, including a crop of the country’s top mid-major programs. Host Purdue’s women’s squad ranked 21st nationally in the final CSCAA poll in 2014-15, while Atlantic Coast Conference-member Notre Dame finished in the top six at its conference championships.

Other schools that will feature men’s teams at the Purdue Invite include Southern Illinois, Wyoming and Air Force. San Diego and Florida International both field only women’s teams, but the FIU Panthers went 10-0 in duals last season and won the Conference USA championship.

Before the end of the 2015 calendar year, the Bears will travel to Federal Way, Washington, for the USA Winter National Championships from Dec. 2-5.

“This being an Olympic year, it’s important we put in a long-course competition – a 50-meter competition – so that our athletes that are on the track for either trying to qualify for the Olympics or trying to qualify for our U.S. Olympic trials, get that opportunity,” Collins said. “We had a good summer competing 50-meters and I think that’ll be a good opportunity for those athletes to also see where they’re at in the 50-meter pool.”

January begins the home stretch for MSU ahead of its conference championships which begin in February.

The Bears head to College Station, Texas, for a second year as the men’s squad takes on the Texas A&M Aggies on Jan. 7. Both the men and women will travel to Kirksville for a dual at Truman StateJan.16, before returning to Springfield for the second edition of the “Duel in the Pool” at Breech PoolJan. 21.

Senior day will feature an in-state affair as the Missouri Tigers – who last season ranked 14th and 18th in the final Division I CSCAA rankings on the men’s and women’s side, respectively – visit Hammons Student Center on Saturday, Jan. 23.

MSU’s regular season concludes as the men’s team travels to South Bend, Indiana, for the Shamrock Invitational. The Bears will race host Notre Dame along with Iowa, which was ranked 21st in the final CSCAA poll last season, and Grand Canyon.

“At that point in the second part of the year in January, you’re really trying to fine tune a racing plan,” Collins said. “You’re trying to fine tune some small details that you want to come together at both championships. That’s a good opportunity to get some good opponents there in late January that’ll give us a good chance to finish out that part of our season and really just fine tune some of the details that need to be crisp heading into the conference meets.”

The women’s swimming and diving team will compete at the 2016 Missouri Valley Conference Swimming and Diving Championship, which takes place from Feb. 17-20 at the Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium on the campus of Southern Illinois in Carbondale. The 2016 Mid-American Championships, hosted by Eastern Michigan, will take place from March 2-5 in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Both NCAA Championship meets will be hosted by Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia. The women’s championships are scheduled for March 17-19 and the men’s championships will occur the following week from March 24-26.

The above article is a press release submitted to Swimming World. To reach our audience, contact us at newsmaster@swimmingworld.com.