Standing on the deck of Lewellen Pool this weekend, coach Laura Seibold-Caudill had some modest expectations for her team during its first two meets.
Expectations that were thrown to the wayside quickly after the start of Friday's meet against the University of Toledo.
"Many of the girls swam extraordinarily faster than what I expected and I feel like they all really rose to the occasion and just did a really great job," Seibold-Caudill said. "I think this is the base standard for the season. I expect more good things to happen as the year progresses."
Last season, Ball State lost to the University of Toledo by 43 points. This season, the Cardinals fell only 12 points short of victory, 155-143. Seibold-Caudill was surprised by the results that her team posted.
"The meet was much closer than I ever expected," Seibold-Caudill said. "I hate to measure everything in terms of wins and losses because there are days like today where you can lose and still feel really good about your performance."
Strong performances continued into Saturday as Ball State was able to beat Bowling Green State University 153-141.
"We did well. A win is a good way to showcase our season and I'm really happy with the way we all performed and stepped up," sophomore Sara Hostetler said. "It's very nice to have a conference win under our belt after the first weekend."
Hostetler led the way for the Cardinals on the weekend, winning the 200-yard backstroke and 100-yard butterfly both days.
"I'm happy with my results," Hostetler said. "I think the work that I put in this summer is paying off."
Hostetler wasn't the only Cardinal to win multiple events during the weekend. Senior Lisa Maertin won three of the four diving events during the two meets. Teammate sophomore Christina Riordan bettered Maertin in the 1-meter diving event in Friday's meet.
Seibold-Caudill said the addition of graduate assistant Ryan Fillmann has helped strengthen the diving team.
"Our divers are doing amazing," Seibold-Cuadill said. "I think Ryan is doing a tremendous job with them. A lot of them are learning new things and trying new dives."
Seibold-Caudill said that the team has been more motivated and is closer than in years past.
"Everyone did well this weekend," Seibold-Caudill said. "Our team really came together this weekend and I am excited about our results. They really came together this year. I think that is what is pushing us over the edge, the real tightening of the team. This is turning into a great environment and I think the seniors have done a great job of leading it."
The Cardinals will look to build upon this weekend's success as they travel Friday to the University of Akron and Saturday to the University at Buffalo.