WOMEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING: Cardinals to host RedHawks on senior night

Five seniors to compete at Lewellen for final time

Five members of the Ball State swimming and diving will be competing their last meet at Lewellen Pool Saturday, and they'll be doing so against some of the best competition they've faced all year.

Saturday's matchup against Mid-American Conference power Miami (OH) is the last home meet of the 2010-2011 season and doubles as senior day for swimmers Alana Bader, Katie Bylsma, Maria Gramelspacher, Catherine Ingram, and diver Jessica Elzinga.

"This is one of the best groups of seniors that I've ever had," coach Laura Seibold-Caudill said. "They are all proud to be swimmers and divers for Ball State University and that's really touching and exciting to see."

Emotions will certainly play a part in the meet at some level, but the seniors are trying downplaying the moment as "just another meet" at this point.

"It's our last meet at Lewellen so we're all excited," Gramelspacher said, "but we've all done if before. I hope it gives us some extra energy and we just have fun with it."

"It will be bittersweet since we won't ever get to swim in our own pool again, but I don't think it will hit me until after the meet because we're so focused on Miami right now," Blysma said.

The visiting RedHawks will do their best to spoil some of the senior day charm and look to improve upon their 7-1 dual meet record this year.

"This is a true test of a conference meet," Seibold-Caudill said. "I picked them to win the conference hands-down and they're putting up some of the top times in the MAC."

Miami is currently the number one ranked mid-major school in the collegeswimming.com Mid-Major Poll, but the 4-1 Cardinals are capable underdogs who have earned respect from the RedHawks' coaching staff.

"I expect that Ball State will be ready for us," RedHawks coach Dave Jennings said in an interview on muredhawks.com. "They are one of the most improved teams in the MAC. It will be a great battle on Saturday."

The Cardinals are looking for their first win against the RedHawks since the '07-'08 season.

On Sunday, the Cardinals will travel to Butler University to compete in the Butler Invitational against the host Bulldogs, Xavier University, Valparaiso University, and Hillsdale College.