The 2016-17 Ball State men's swim and dive season begins this weekend at the Indiana Intercollegiate at Purdue.

Last season, the Cardinals finished with a 5-16 regular season record and 0-3 in the Mid-American Conference. Head coach Bob Thomas said he's tinkered with his coaching style to get better results this year.

"Every year has been different," he said. "This year, I'm dividing up the groups a little more.  I have gotten help from my assistant David Costill. Costill will be giving his time and energy working with the sprint group."

Home Meets

Oct. 28 vs. Albion College 6 p.m.

Nov. 5 vs. Tiffin 1 p.m.

Jan. 28 vs. Evansville 1 p.m.

Feb. 4 vs. Notre Dame 1 p.m.

A positive sign for the Cardinals is that freshmen Logan Ackley and Chase Jackson made an impression on Thomas at the Red vs. White intrasquad meet last weekend.

"With Ackley's versatility, he is going to be very valuable in many events," Thomas said. "[Jackson] had a great lead off in the 200 medley relay and a decent time in the 100 backstroke. I think we are going to see him stepping up as time goes on."

Returning for the team are senior captains Tanner Barton and Jacob Eckert, senior Bradley Ridge, junior Isaac Walling and sophomore Zach Reichle. Last season, Reichle, Barton and Ridge each scored at the MAC Championships.

The diving team also brings back a lot of experience, head coach Nick Gayes said.

“Our biggest difference on the diving end is having some experience now and being able to focus on development more than just learning," Gayes said. "We also have some changes in our training format that I think will really benefit the divers in the long run and position them to be more competitive this year."

The returning divers for this year are sophomores Gabe Dean, Lane Sawyer, and junior Jeremy Taylor.  Last season, Sawyer marked season bests with a mark of 232.58 in one-meter action and a mark of 214.88 in three-meter action.

“Sawyer has made great strides over the last year and is working his way into being more competitive in the conference,” Gayes said.

The team kicks off the regular season in West Lafayette at the Indiana Intercollegiate meet on Oct. 22.