swimming

Shaka Smart replaced longtime head coach Rick Barnes in early April. Smart led VCU to a spot in the Final Four in 2011.
Photo Credit: Marshall Tidrick | Daily Texan Staff

The 2014–2015 school year was a roller coaster year for Texas athletics. Fans saw shake-up at the top in men’s basketball, another national championship for men’s swimming and diving and another trip to the Final Four for volleyball. But those changes and successes were punctuated by disappointment — Texas football ended its season with two blowout losses, and baseball is on the verge of missing the NCAA Tournament yet again. Here are five of the top sports highlights from the past school year.

Barnes out, Smart in

After 17 seasons and a recent loss of momentum, former basketball head coach Rick Barnes received his notice after this year’s short March Madness run. Days later, Barnes announced he was headed to Tennessee — and the Longhorns hired former VCU head coach Shaka Smart.

Smart is the first African-American head basketball coach to be hired at Texas.

Smart will bring a “havoc” style of play, an up tempo defense and an offensive system that helped propel VCU to the Final Four in 2011. He has been to the NCAA Tournament every year since 2009.

Sophomore point guard Isaiah Taylor decided to return to Texas for his junior season, and may well serve as engine in Smart’s system next year.

Men’s swimming and diving captures 11th national title

The Longhorns dominated the pool at the NCAA Championships in March, winning the team’s 11th nation championship. Texas led the meet from the start and finished with 528 points. Second-place California ended with 399 points.

In addition to the team titles, the Longhorns also claimed seven individual titles. Sophomore Will Licon and freshman Joseph Schooling led the way for Texas, winning two events each.

Texas is now tied with Ohio State for the second-most national championships in swimming and diving.

Volleyball returns to Final Four

The Longhorns returned to the Final Four in December largely on the strength of senior outside hitter Haley Eckerman. Eckerman finished the season with a team-high 44 aces and 3.24 kills per set in her final year.

The accomplishment was the third-straight trip to the national semifinal round for Texas — a feat only matched by the 1986–1988 team.

Still, the season ended in disappointment. Texas fell behind unseeded BYU 2–0 and couldn’t rebound, losing 3–1 in the national semifinal round. The Longhorns finished the year with a 27–3 record overall and a 15–1 Big 12 record.

Strong’s first season yields mixed results

Head coach Charlie Strong had an up-and-down season in his first year at the helm for the Longhorns. On the one hand, the defense was stout, finishing first in the conference in pass defense and total defense. Senior defensive tackle Malcom Brown had 11 tackles for loss and was selected by the New England Patriots in the first round of the NFL draft.

But the offense struggled with first-year starting quarterback Tyrone Swoopes and a revolving door along the offensive line.

Strong did finish the year on a positive note, locking down the No. 9 class for 2015 according to ESPN.

Baseball fails to live up to expectations

Before the season began, Texas head coach Augie Garrido said this season’s Longhorns would be just as good as the 2005 national champion winning team.

It was a bold statement, but a fair one — Texas was coming off a deep run in the College World Series and had just fallen a game short of playing for the national championship.

But after 48 games, the Longhorns have shown they have little in common with the ’05 team. Texas holds a .500 record, and, barring a run at the Big 12 championship, it will likely miss the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four years.

“We really assumed and thought we had the leadership on this team as a result of how close they were and how many guys were coming back,” Garrido said.

Unfortunately for Texas, Garrido assumed wrong, and the team failed to live up to its own expectations.

Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

Texas men’s swimming and diving team added another accolade to its long list of titles this weekend, taking home its 11th NCAA title in Iowa City, Iowa.

From the first dive to the final wall touch, the Longhorns led the meet. The team dominated the competition, claiming the team title with 528 points. Last year’s NCAA champion, California, snagged second with 399 points and Michigan came in third with 312 points.

Texas head coach Eddie Reese, named CSCAA Swimming Coach of the Meet, and former Ohio State coach Mike Peppe now share the No. 1 ranking for most NCAA titles of all time. Reese is the only coach in swimming and diving history to win NCAA team titles in four separate decades.

“I’ve got 10 rings from winning 10 championships,” Reese said. “I have no clue where they are.” 

Reese said what matters to him is the individuals who make up his team.

“I know what every kid did and how much they improved,” Reese said. “Those are things that really matter. It’s always about people. The number of championships just means I’m old.”

Before the first preliminary rounds began Thursday, Texas, as a program, held NCAA titles in every swimming event except the 500-yard freestyle and the 400-yard individual medley. By the end of the meet, sophomores Clark Smith, in the 500-yard free, and Will Licon, in the 400-yard individual medley, had both earned first-place times, rounding out Texas’s record sheet. 

In the 400-yard individual medley, Licon defeated Georgia junior Chase Kalisz, the national record-holder in the event, with a time of 3:36.37. Smith’s first place finish in the 500-yard free contributed 20 points to his team’s total.

“Clark Smith didn’t even make this meet last year, [and this year], he won an event,” Reese said. “That just doesn’t happen. I can’t make that happen. He made that happen.”

Freshman and London Olympian Joseph Schooling also made a great deal happen. Schooling helped make program history when the Longhorns qualified six swimmers, an NCAA record, in the 100-yard butterfly preliminaries for the championship final. Previously, no school had ever sent more than four swimmers to a final in any event at the NCAA Championships.

Schooling became the first ever Longhorn to sweep the 100- and 200-yard butterfly at the NCAA Championships and the first Texas swimmer in general to earn a title in both events.

“To swim my first championship season with these guys, with Eddie [Reese] and Chris [Scheaffer] and have so much success off the bat means a lot to me, and I’m excited for the next few years,” Schooling said.

While Schooling has another three years with the Longhorns, the 2015 NCAA Championships marked the last time Texas’ seniors would compete as Longhorns.

“I am still waiting for someone to wake me up right now,” senior Kip Darmody said. “I don’t think the meet could have gone any better for us. Sacrificing many Saturday nights and giving it my all every day, day in and day out, it’s surreal. Like I said, I am still waiting for someone to wake me up — it’s something special.”

Sophomore Jack Conger won the 400-medley relay alongside senior Kip Darmody, freshman Joseph Schooling and sophomore Will Licon at the NCAA Championships on Thursday.
Photo Credit: Daulton Venglar | Daily Texan Staff

Going to the NCAA Championship is nothing new for the Texas men’s swimming and diving team. Under 37-year head coach Eddie Reese, Texas has earned 28 top-three finishes and 10 NCAA team titles. The Longhorns also have more NCAA Championships and NCAA top-two finishes than any other men’s swimming and diving program in the country.

So far, the news out of this year’s NCAA Championships is no different. Many veterans to the Championships, this year held at the University of Iowa, are returning for their fourth and final national competition and are setting some impressive precedents.

The vets, along with their younger teammates, nearly accomplished a feat that had never been done. Texas was one event shy from opening the NCAA Championships with three consecutive event wins.

In the first finals event of the night, juniors Matt Ellis and John Murray, senior Kip Darmody and sophomore Jack Conger initially took second in the 200-freestyle relay. But after a disqualification of N.C. State, the Longhorns secured a first place finish in the 200-freestyle relay, marking Texas’ first NCAA title in the event since 1996.

In the second finals event, the 500-freestyle, sophomore Clark Smith took first, earning 20 points for his team, and becoming Texas’ first national champion in the event.

Although sophomore Will Licon broke his streak by taking second to Stanford’s David Nolan in the 200 IM, he still achieved a new record. Licon lowered his school record time in the event and more than held his own against Nolan, the senior American record holder in the 200 IM.

In the first and only diving finals event of the night, junior Cory Bowersox secured a sixth place finish on the one-meter springboard, giving him his third consecutive All-American finish in the event.

Although Texas didn’t make school history by opening the Championships with victories in the first three events, the Longhorns more than made up for it by making NCAA history.

The last time Texas won the 400-medley relay, it was with four future Olympic gold medalists. Last night, the Longhorns won with Darmody, freshman Joseph Schooling, Conger and Licon to set an NCAA record with a time of 3:01.23.

At the end of Thursday night’s sold-out NCAA Championship finals, Texas stood tall in first place with 171 points. The Longhorns will look to hold their standing until the end of the NCAA Championship on Saturday night.

The No. 6 women’s swimming and diving team enter this week’s Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championship at the Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center as both the defending champions and this year’s favorite for the win. Texas has proven to be a perennial power at this meet, coming out on top in 12 of the 18 meets since the conference began and collecting 128 individual titles, 59 relays titles and 37 diving championships in the process.

A slew of individual Longhorns come into this week as defending champs, including senior swimmer Gretchen Jaques. Jaques will look to repeat in the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke and to contribute to repeat relay titles in the 200-meter and 400-meter free relays and the 200-meter and 400-meter medleys. Jacques holds the 2nd fastest 100-yard breaststroke in the nation, as well the No. 5 spot in the 200-yard breaststroke. 

Fellow senior Kelsey LeNeave also comes into the meet as a defending champion in two individual events, the 500-meter and 1,650-meter freestyle. LeNeave has had a strong senior season, with times good enough to rank her in the top 15 nationally in the 100-meter and 200-meter butterfly.

A trio of sophomores, swimmers Madisyn Cox and Tasija Karosas and diver Murphy Bromberg, look to build on its success at the 2014 meet. Cox is the defending champ in the 200 IM and has turned in a strong sophomore season to complement her breakout freshman year in which she was named Newcomer of the Meet at the 2014 Big 12 Championships. 

Karosas won the 200-meter backstroke last year and will be a key piece in the 800-meter relay. Karosas also hopes to medal in the 200-meter freestyle this week. 

Bromberg is the defending champion in platform diving and, along with senior diver Emma Ivory-Ganja, looks to dominate all three boards this week.

Senior swimmer Kaitlin Pawlowicz is ranked in the top 25 nationally in four different events, including the 500-meter, 100-meter and 1,650-meter freestyle. Pawlowicz currently holds the 3rd best time in Longhorn history in the 1,650-meter freestyle and is the favorite to win each race at the Big 12 Championships after placing in the top 3 in two races at last years championships.

The 2015 Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships will be held in Austin from Wednesday until Saturday. 

For the ninth time in conference history, the 10-time NCAA champion Texas (9–1) will host the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Championships.

The regular season is over, and the Big 12 Championships will be nothing out of the ordinary for the No. 2 Longhorns. In the past 37 years, head coach Eddie Reese has led Texas to 35 consecutive conference titles. Since the Big 12 Conference was formed in 1996, the Longhorns have won all 18 championships.

However, it won’t be a traditional Big 12 Conference. Only TCU, Texas and West Virginia sponsor men’s swimming and diving teams. Since the pickings are so slim, it is shaping up to be a race for second place.

Five Longhorns — freshman Joseph Schooling, sophomores Clark Smith, Will Licon and Jack Conger, and junior John Murray — finished the regular season with some of the nation’s top times in individual events. 

The 100-yard butterfly will be absolutely no contest as four Longhorns were ranked among the country’s top 17 in the event this season.

The Longhorns held the No. 1 position in the CSCAA NCAA rankings for the previous two poll releases but recently dropped down to the number two spot behind Florida. Meanwhile, neither the Horned Frogs nor the Mountaineers are ranked in the top 25, and neither school has even received votes to be placed there.

Prelims begin at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center on Wednesday and the meet continues into Saturday night.

Men's swimming

Last weekend, sophomore Jack Conger dove into the national spotlight as he set a school record in the 200-yard butterfly. 

Conger’s time of 1:40.34 put him ahead of the previous record holder, freshman teammate Joseph Schooling, and simultaneously earned him the title of NCAA’s fourth best performer ever in the event. 

Conger kept his reaction simple.

“It was really nice,” he said.

Head coach Eddie Reese was more visibly excited.

“It was totally surprising to all of us,” Reese said. “He got out there real strong, and his last three 50’s were 25.9, 25.9, 26 flat.  You just don’t see that in butterfly.”

Conger, usually a backstroke specialist, appreciated being recognized for accomplishments in another field.

“The last few days leading up to the meet, we were really narrowed in on one or two events to focus on, and the 200 fly was that for me,” he said. “It’s not necessarily an off event, but it’s something besides backstroke, which is nice to do to get my mind off of something I enjoy and love doing so much.”

Conger will try to continue his success this weekend as the No. 1 ranked Longhorns face off against TCU at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center in their Senior Day contest. 

The last time these two schools faced off was in 2013, when the Longhorns had a decisive 133-88 win in Fort Worth.

Men's tennis

Following their hard fought 4-2 victory against the SMU Mustangs on Saturday, the undefeated Texas men’s tennis team will face two ranked opponents this weekend.

Friday, the No. 62 Washington Huskies are coming to Austin, and Sunday, the Longhorns will face off against the No. 75 Rice Owls at the Weller Indoor Tennis Center. 

The Huskies, the tougher of the two matchups, are currently undefeated with three consecutive shutout victories. Meanwhile, the Owls are recovering from three straight losses, two of which came against unranked opponents Old Dominion and Mississippi State. 

The Longhorns come into the weekend on the back of very strong singles play, especially from senior All-Americans Søren Hess-Olesen and Lloyd Glasspool. Texas boasts one of the most experienced rosters in the Big 12, with five seniors and seven upperclassmen in all.

However, the Longhorns’ toughest test this season will come in Chicago at the ITA National Indoor Championship next weekend. If Texas can win both matches to sweep the weekend, it looks to continue its strong momentum heading into the ITA contest on Feb. 13.

Track and field

Coming off the heels of a strong weekend, Texas’ track and field will split up once again this weekend.

The Longhorns’ distance runners will travel to South Bend, Indiana, for the Meyo Invitational at Notre Dame. The meet, known for attracting some of the top talent in the country, will provide a mid-season test for Texas.

Meanwhile, the rest of Texas’ team will head out west to the New Mexico Collegiate Classic in Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

In the sprints, junior and Bowerman hopeful Courtney Okolo will be running her first 400 meters of the year, looking to gear up for the outdoor season.

This weekend also provides junior Kaitlin Petrillose, who joins Okolo on the Bowerman preseason watch list, another stepping stone on her quest to once again gain recognition as the NCAA Indoor Pole Vault champion. The Albuquerque Convention Center, home to the New Mexico Collegiate Classic, has provided four of the top-20 marks for pole vault this season, giving Petrillose an opportunity at setting her season-high mark.

Junior Ryan Crouser, No. 1 shot-putter in the world, also looks to continue his success this weekend coming off a world-leading mark of 20.95 meters (68–9.00) at the UW Invitational. 

Texas currently ranks No. 11 in the country on the men’s side and No. 7 on the women’s.

Women's swimming and diving

No. 6 ranked Texas women’s swimming and diving team will host TCU Friday in its final meet until the Big 12 Championships at the end of the month.

All-American sophomore swimmer Madisyn Cox will look to continue her stellar 2015, coming off a three-win outing in a dual-meet against Arizona and SMU last week. Cox’s accomplishments were enough to claim honors as the Big 12 Conference’s Swimmer of the Week, her first such recognition as a Longhorn.

Senior swimmer Gretchen Jaques expects to continue her success as the nation’s No. 2 swimmer in the 100-yard breaststroke.

In the diving events, platform diving duo senior Emma Ivory-Ganja and sophomore Murphy Bromberg hope to build on their performance from the dual meet last week, where they placed first and second, respectively.

Today’s home meet will serve as Senior Day for Texas, and the Longhorns will honor eight graduating seniors. 

The meet begins at 4 p.m. at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swimming Center.

Men's cross country

Texas men’s cross country closed its season with a No. 26 finish at the NCAA Championships this Saturday in Terre Haute, Indiana. 

After securing one of just 31 spots at the championship, Texas struggled to run its best race.

All-American senior Craig Lutz fell around 4,000 meters into the race after getting bumped. Texas got caught behind the lead pack and struggled to gain any headway during the remainder of the competition.

“It was really disappointing [when] Lutz went down, but he got up and finished 51st,” said Brad Herbster, assistant coach for cross country/distance. “Was it what he wanted? No. But he didn’t quit. He very easily could have thrown in the towel and just said, ‘It’s not my day,’ but he kept fighting..”

Colorado won the men’s title, with Oklahoma State representing the Big 12 in ninth.

Regardless of the disappointing performance, Herbster said the race showed positive notes.

“They just kept fighting all the way through,” Herbster said. “Not a great performance, but they fought. That’s the one thing we can take away from this. They kept moving up, but it just wasn’t the Longhorns’ day today. We’re the No. 26 team in the country, but we’re a lot better than that.”

Men's swimming and diving

As the Texas Diving Invitational came to a close Saturday afternoon, the men’s swimming and diving team walked away with plenty to brag about.

On Thursday, the first day of the meet, the Big 12 Conference announced All-American sophomore Mark Anderson as the league’s Men’s Diver of the Week. Anderson, who received the title for the first time, lived up to the honor through the weekend competition.

Anderson was the only Longhorn competing in the platform event, and he was the only one Texas needed.

After the first round, Hawaii’s Amund Gismervik stood tall on the platform, boasting his lead in the event — but first place wasn’t his for long. Anderson climbed the stairs to the top of the platform and took his place for his second dive. Leaping off the concrete to perform his four-and-a-half somersaults almost flawlessly, Anderson garnered 77.7 points for the dive. Gismervik couldn’t do enough to catch up. Anderson finished with 441.75 points, securing victory in the event Saturday, the final day of the invitational.

While Anderson made a splash at the meet, junior Cory Bowersox and Gismervik competed in the invitational’s closest event, the 3-meter finals.

Gismervik took the lead halfway through the event, but Bowersox earned 91.2 points on a dive for a late spark to narrow Gismervik’s lead. Bowersox continued to gain ground, as the event came to a close, but his slow start came back to haunt him, as Gismervik won with 440.30 points — less than a point ahead of Bowersox’s 439.50.

Men’s diving will compete at the USA Diving Nationals next on Dec. 16.

Women's swimming and diving

Texas women’s swimming and diving swept the Texas Diving Invitational this past weekend at the Lee and Joe Jamail Swimming Center.

The Longhorns continued to win by large margins against strong teams, such as Cal and Arizona State, which were also present in every round of finals for the 3-meter, 1-meter and platform dives.

Senior All-American Emma Ivory-Ganja placed first in a 1-2 Texas finish Thursday in the 3-meter dive with 395.40 points — a new personal best. Junior Meghan Houston placed behind Ivory-Ganja by a 57.5-point difference.

On Friday, Houston was back on the board in the finals. After trailing for the first three rounds, she came in first with 304.25 points, a slim 6-point advantage over University of Houston’s Danielle Shedd’s 298.25 points. This was the closest event of the weekend, as the top-three 1-meter finalists all scored within 10 points of each other.

The final day of diving resulted in another 1-2 Texas win, wrapping up the invitational with three straight victories for the Longhorns. Sophomore All-American Murphy Bromburg gained a large margin over competitors with her third, fourth and fifth dives, earning 80-plus points each. Bromburg stole the platform with 360.70 points, a 50.20 lead over second place winner Ivory-Ganja.

Ivory-Ganja earned honors as Big 12 Diver of the Week this past Thursday.

The diving season will continue Dec. 16-21 at the USA Diving Winter Nationals in Columbus, Ohio.

Thursday and Friday, the Texas women’s swimming and diving team heads to California to race in its first two dual meets of the season. The team will take up the challenge of swimming against two of the Top 4 teams in the NCAA, No. 1 California and No. 4 Stanford.

Last time Texas met with Stanford and Cal, Texas lost to both. Stanford won by a narrow margin of 154-146, and Cal, by a 172-128 count.

This 2014 Texas schedule is anything but easy. Thursday, Stanford (2-0), who conquered Oregon and Utah State in its first meet, will host Texas (3-0) at 4 p.m. Not only does the Stanford women’s swimming and diving team have big talent overall, but their freshman are stealing the show. This season, Stanford’s freshmen alone have acquired 15 individual wins.

Other than the swimming on Thursday, Stanford will also be hosting a “Pink Out” to raise awareness for cancer, in which both teams will swim in pink caps, and both coaches have vowed to donate.

Stanford head coach Gregg Meehan, will donate $1 for every fan who wears pink to the meet. In response, Texas head coach Carol Capitani tweeted:

“@Stanford_W_Swim: I will be donating $1 for every fan in PINK.

I will match Greg’s donation, 100% to Komen Austin. Be there!”

Capitani takes her team to the Spieker Aquatic Complex on Friday to swim against her alma mater, Cal, at 1 p.m. Both teams have been held to high esteem in college swimming. Though Texas has won more championships than Cal overall, Cal has been at the forefront of the competition in the NCAA in recent years.

This meet will be especially interesting for senior diver, Emma Ivory-Ganja, who transferred from Cal to Texas her sophomore year.

Men's swimming and diving

In a quad meet characterized by electric times and tight finishes — including one touch separated by one one-hundredth of a second — the men’s swimming and diving team defeated Indiana and Louisville comfortably, but was narrowly edged out by Michigan.

The Longhorns took down the Hoosiers by a 91-point margin and the Cardinals by 81 points. Long before the final event — the 400-yard freestyle relay — Texas had secured its win over the two teams, but the overall victor of the meet remained uncertain.

All-American sophomore Will Licon captured first in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:57.11, good for the nation’s top time to date in that event.

Sophomore Jack Conger also got national recognition, earning the second-fastest time in the country this season with a dominating win in the 200-yard individual backstroke with a time of 1:45.18. Freshman Jonathan Roberts also hopped on the record train with the nation’s top mark in the 500 freestyle.

Michigan held the lead, but Texas kicked up a rally that narrowed its deficit, thanks to sophomore Mark Anderson’s and senior Will Chandler’s second- and  third-place finishes in the 3-meter diving event.

However, Texas couldn’t catch up and was closely defeated by Michigan, 183-170.

Softball

Texas softball won its third fall scrimmage against Galveston Community College in a 10-3 blowout this weekend. 

Galveston scored all three of its runs in the top of the third off a fielder’s choice, an illegal pitch by sophomore pitcher Lauren Slatten and an RBI groundout. To revive Texas’ pitching, freshman pitcher Erica Wright retired six hitters in order.

“Once you get on the mound, adrenaline takes over you, and you just get in the moment,” Wright said. “Erin [Shireman], the catcher, made some
really nice calls.”

The Longhorns scored scored one run in the bottom of the third and three in the fourth before blowing the game open in the fifth with six runs.

Texas faces St. Edward’s at McCombs Field at 5 p.m.  Thursday.

Women's rowing

The women’s rowing team grabbed three first-place finishes Saturday at the Austin Rowing Club’s Head of the Colorado Regatta. Although it’s traditionally a 5,000-meter course, this year’s races were limited to 4,000 meters because of an infestation of cabomba weeds in Lady Bird Lake.

The first top finish came early in the day for the Longhorns, with Texas’ boats claiming the top seven spots in the open pair race at 8:10 a.m. The first-place boat finished with a time of 16:23.5.

Success continued in the open 8+ race, taking the top three spots.

Texas edged out a boat from Big 12 rival Oklahoma to place second in the first novice 8+ race with a time of 15:50.1.

The Longhorns also grabbed first place in the open 4+ race with a time of 15:34.3, which was good enough to beat out teams from SMU, Texas A&M and Rice.

Texas finished the day with 10 top-three finishes and will look to carry that momentum into next weekend when it competes at the Head of the Hooch in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Women's soccer

Although Texas soccer entered the weekend barely hanging on to the final spot in the Big 12 Championship tournament, wins Friday and Sunday over Oklahoma and Baylor punched Texas’ ticket to the postseason.

It took only 45 seconds for the Longhorns to generate enough offense to knock off conference rival Oklahoma on Friday night.

Less than one minute into regulation, senior defender Whitney Jaynes gained possession along the left flank and chipped a cross into the 6-yard box where leaping freshman forward Morgan Murphy nodded the ball in for her first career goal.

Murphy’s header was Texas’ only shot on goal, but a stifling Longhorn defense held the Sooners to just six shots all game, with only two of those
on goal.

“Anytime you can get a ‘W,’ you’ll take that opportunity,” Texas head coach Angela Kelly said. “Credit to Oklahoma, this match was a back-and-forth battle. I’m just really pleased with the win.”

Texas took much longer to get the offense clicking Sunday against Baylor, but late heroics by sophomore midfielder Julia Dyche allowed the Longhorns to leave Waco with a 2-1 victory.

Junior midfielder Lindsey Meyer equalized with a goal in the 75th minute, and Dyche put Texas in the winner’s column when she blasted a rebound into the back of the net with just 30 seconds to go in regulation.

The Longhorns’ next action will take place in the regular season finale at home against Oklahoma State at 7 p.m. Friday.

Women's swimming and diving

Texas’ women’s swimming and diving team kicked off its season with a 3-0 start after a two-day quad meet this weekend against Michigan, Louisville and Indiana. Texas beat Michigan by a 199-154 margin, Indiana by a 204.5-148.5 margin and Louisville by a 243.5-109.5 margin.

Michigan and Indiana battled for a few wins in the pool and proved to be tough competitors, but by the conclusion of day one, Texas led after winning three events.

Sophomore Tasija Karosas, senior Gretchen Jaques, sophomore Brynne Wong and senior Sarah Denninghoff started off the meet with a 400 medley relay victory in 3:38.87. Jaques won again, leading a 1-2 Texas finish with a split of 1:01.37 in the 100 breaststroke, just in front of freshman Bethany Leap, who finished in 1:02.36.

It wasn’t until later in the day that sophomore Madisyn Cox solidified the third win for Texas, winning the 200 IM with a mark of 1:58.56. Cox also came out with a win in the 400 IM with a time of 4:14.51, due to the in-race disqualification of Louisville senior Tanja Kylliainen. 

Day two began with a swift comeback by freshman Rebecca Millard, who closed the gap to gain yet another win for the Longhorns in the 200 freestyle relay. Jaques, Millard, Wong and Denninghoff clocked in at 1:32.24.

All-American senior diver Emma Ivory-Ganja placed first in Texas’ big 1-2-3 finish in the one-meter dive with 301.85 points, alongside teammates junior Meghan Houston and sophomore Murphy Bromberg.

Women’s swimming and diving preview

This weekend, the women’s swimming and diving team will fly to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to swim at the Canham Natatorium in its first intercollegiate competition of the season.

The No. 6 Longhorns have their work cut out for them in this two-day quad meet. Although the 2014-2015 rankings have yet to be posted, three fellow top-20 2014 NCAA Championship teams will be competing: No. 11 Indiana, No. 20 Michigan and No. 13 Louisville.

Though Louisville is new to the mix this year, this trip will be familiar for the Longhorns. Last year, the women crushed their competition with eight victories, beating Indiana by a 155-141 count and Michigan by a margin of 210-90.

Head coach Carol Capitani desires more success this season, and hopes Texas can be a top competitor alongside Cal, Georgia and Stanford.

“Coming in ninth every year, it’s getting a little old,” said Capitani. “In swimming life, if you’re staying the same, you’re getting worse.”

The team will be led by seniors such as Gretchen Jaques, who won the 50 and 100 freestyle last year at this meet, and diver Emma Ivory-Ganja, who placed first in the three-meter event. 

Women's golf to Travel to San Antonio for Alamo Invitational

Following an eighth place finish at their home course in the Betsy Rawls Invitational, the women’s golf team will travel to San Antonio for the Alamo Invitational being held Sunday through Tuesday. 

The invitational will be hosted by UTSA at the Briggs Ranch Golf Club (par 72, 6,428 yards).

Texas will tee off for its first round at 11:40 a.m. Sunday, matched with Florida State and Tulane.

The invitational will host 15 teams, two of which are ranked in Golfweek’s Top 20: No. 7 Arkansas and No. 19 Auburn. The Longhorns have fallen four places to 44th since their last performance at the Betsy Rawls Invitational.

Other Texas teams will be in attendance, including SMU, TCU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Houston.

Softball looks to win third fall scrimmage

The softball team will host Galveston College at 7 p.m. Friday in the third fall scrimmage at Red and Charline McCombs Field. 

The Longhorns have played well through the first two games, with a 5-0 win against McLennan Community College and an 11-0 victory over the University of Incarnate Word.

Through two games, sophomore infielder Kelli Hanzel is 4-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs. Junior infielder Erin Shireman is also hot at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs.

If Texas continues to play the way its are playing, expect to see dominating performances from the pitching staff. In the first two scrimmages, the pitching staff has not allowed a run and has combined for a whopping 24 strikeouts.

Soccer to take on Baylor, OU in tough rivalry road trip

Texas soccer has another tough pair of conference games this weekend. The Longhorns will take on Oklahoma (8-5-3, 2-2-1 Big 12) in Norman, Oklahoma, Friday at 7 p.m., and then turn around and head to Waco for a 6 p.m. Sunday tilt against a physical Baylor squad (8-5-2, 2-2-1 Big 12).

Oklahoma was ranked as high as 15th in early September, but the Sooners have dropped off since then and are winless in their last three contests.

This season, Baylor’s offense has excelled where the Longhorns have struggled. The Bears have made the most of their opportunities, seeing just over half of their shots this season come on goal, while Texas has hit just 41.9 percent of its shots on target.

Junior goalkeeper Abby Smith will have her hands full against the pair of Big 12 offenses, but she should be fresher since head coach Angela Kelly gave her the night off against Arkansas-Little Rock.

Oklahoma and Baylor are hardly the elite of the Big 12, but the Longhorns have not made much of an impact since knocking off a then No. 6 Texas Tech team back in September. A 2-3-0 conference record puts Texas in a tie with TCU for the last spot in the Big 12 tournament, but wins this weekend could bring the Longhorns some much needed insurance in the closing weeks of the season.

Rowing team to kick off season

The rowing team will race in its first regatta of the fall season on Saturday at the Head of the Colorado, a 5,000-meter course on Lady Bird Lake. 

The regatta, which is hosted by the Austin Rowing Club, will be new head coach Dave O’Neill’s first opportunity to see his team in competition.

“I really won’t worry about the results from an outside perspective,” O’Neill said. “It’s going to be about, ‘Are we getting stronger physically? Are we rowing better? Is the team culture improving?’”

In past races at the Head of the Colorado, Texas has competed against schools such as Texas A&M, Baylor and Louisiana State University, all of which are club rowing teams. The Longhorns will face their true Division I competition later in the spring, using this weekend’s race to get all NCAA-eligible rowers, including walk-ons, practice in competition. 

“I’ll take a look at how hard they raced and how well they raced against each other,” O’Neill said. 

Men's swimming and diving faces first true test of season

In the men’s swimming and diving season opener last week, No. 6 Texas handily defeated the Aggies, winning all 15 individual and relay events. With a sweep over a rival fresh on their minds, the Longhorns will travel to Michigan for a quad meet with Michigan, Indiana and Louisville from Friday until Saturday.

At the NCAA Championships in March, all four programs finished in the top 11. Texas took second, Michigan took fourth, Indiana took 10th and Louisville took 11th.

It will be a showdown between some of the best teams in the country. At their last meeting, Texas dominated Indiana with a 204-96 win, but fell to Michigan, by a smaller margin. The Longhorns and the Cardinals have never competed against one another in a dual meet.

Texas has eight swimmers ranked in the top 20 nationally for their perspective events.