UPCOMING HOME GAMES/MATCHES
Swimming & Diving -- Friday vs. Rice, 4 p.m.
Swimming & Diving -- Saturday vs. FAU, 10 a.m.
Swimming & Diving -- Saturday vs. University of Miami, 4 p.m.
Men's Soccer -- Saturday vs. Old Dominion, 7 p.m.
Buried in this report out of Massachusetts is the report of another UMass-FIU game, in 2016. It'll replace the previously scheduled UMass-UConn game.
In the postgame notebook off FIU's Oct. 3 loss to the Minutemen, the first of a two-game deal that'll see UMass come south in 2018, I wrote that UMass and FIU were signing up for two more games. FIU's got room on their 2017 and 2019 schedules. UMass comes to The Cage in 2018.
SWIMMING & DIVING
I'm never one to kvetch about a trip to Nashville, one of the funnest cities in the nation. But this weekend's trip to Murfreesboro (translation: stay in Nashville, drive the 45 for the game) means missing the unusual series of dual meets between defending Conference USA champion FIU, Conference USA runner-up Rice, FAU and the Hurricanes.
Races won't always conform to NCAA norms as far as length. It's early in the season, too, so projecting February based on results here would be premature speculation.
Also, FIU's somewhere between "rebuilding" and "reloading." They lost several seniors including Klara Andersson and FIU's greatest swimmer, Johanna Gustafsdottir (although you'll still see Johanna around FIU sports events as a sports marketing intern). Silvia Scalia, Gustafsdottir's heir apparent as FIU's top all-around swimmer, decided not to come back to FIU for reasons unknown. Karin Tomeckova, second to Scalia in the 100 backstroke at the Conference USA meet, is skipping this year at FIU to go for a spot on Slovakia's Olympic team.
That said, the program's in a much stronger position, both in the pool and in recruiting, than it was when last year's seniors were brought into the program. That showed in last year's depth.
FIU's ranked 16th among the mid-majors by CollegeSwimming.com, and the Hurricanes ranked 21st in all of Division I. Rice would like a piece of FIU after getting dusted in last year's Conference USA meet. The other two schools are natural rivals and FIU beat UM by a blink to complete an undefeated dual meet season last year.
Should be fun.