BUFFALO, NY - A season chock full of firsts last year brings a new sense of confidence and optimism as the Buffalo swimming and diving teams released its schedule for the 2012-13 season Friday afternoon. After the men finished a close second place in the Mid-American Conference championships, and the women earned the highest finish in program history, both squads are ready to sweep the MAC this season.
The women have extra motivation to make this MAC Championship count, as the three-day event will be held at the Alumni Arena Natatorium.
The season starts again with the Western New York Invite, when regional rivals will converge in Buffalo on Oct. 13. Last season, the Bulls combined to win 27 of the 34 total events and will look to maintain its dominance of the region. Then on Oct. 27, Buffalo will open the dual season at home against Cornell. It will be the first official dual for the men against the Big Red, and for the women it will be the 23rd overall meeting. The women will host Akron for the start of the conference season on Nov. 3 at 1 pm, looking to extend a current streak of four straight dual wins against the Zips.
The two teams will then hit the road for the first time when they travel to Colgate for a Nov. 9 meet. After losing the first 22 matches between the two teams, the men’s squad has won the last two meets under the leadership of head coach Andy Bashor. The women’s series against the Raiders is still new, but the Bulls own a 2-0 series lead in the budding rivalry. The teams will remain on the road and head to West Point for a dual against Army on Nov. 10.
The diving team will then venture out on its own Nov. 16-18 with a meet out west with the Wildcat Invite. Following a break for Thanksgiving, the full squad will go to Akron for a three-day invitational from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2. After the invite, the team will rest up and prepare for the winter stretch, coming back on Jan. 12 with a home meet against Niagara.
On Jan. 19, both teams will face a stiff test with a tri-meet against Bowling Green and Michigan State. While the meet against the Spartans will be the first ever for both Bulls teams, the Falcons pose a stiff test in the conference season. That marks the first of three MAC opponents for the Bulls, with a meet at Miami (OH) on Jan. 20 and at home against Eastern Michigan to follow Jan. 26. The men’s dual against Eastern Michigan will be one to watch, as it will be the first meeting between the two since 2010-11. The Bulls have never defeated the Eagles in a dual meet, but the two teams have been at the top of the team scoring standings in the past two years. In 2011, the Bulls won the MAC, but last season the Eagles took home the crown in a bitterly contested meet. The women have won two straight duals against the Eagles and hope to continue the trend.
Next will be the dual season finale at home against Big Four rival St. Bonaventure. Both the men and the women have swept the Bonnies over the past four seasons and hope to end the regular season on a win.
The women’s MAC championships will be hosted by the Bulls and will run from Feb. 28 to March 2. The men’s championship will run the following Thursday, March 7-9 and will be held in Carbondale, IL. The NCAA zone diving championships will run in Piscataway, NJ from March 15-17. The NCAA women’s swimming championships in Indianapolis, IN March 21-23, with the men’s national championship running March 28-30.