2021 ISL – Match 7 Preview: No Clear Favorite Between Toronto and Cali


  • Thursday, September 16 – Friday, September 17
  • 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm EST (8:00 pm – 10:00 pm Local Time)
  • Piscina Felice Scandone, Naples, Italy
  • Short Course Meters (25m – SCM) Format
  • ISL Season 3 Schedules, Start Times, & More
  • Teams Competing: Cali Condors, Toronto Titans, Iron, New York Breakers
  • Omega Live Results


The depth of a team’s roster is what will decide the Match 7 winner, and while 1st place is clearly a battle between the Cali Condors and the Toronto Titans, Team Iron and the New York Breakers have their parts to play, hitting each of the “co-favorite” teams in the areas they are weakest.

For example, the Cali Condors will struggle a lot in middle-distance, an area where both Toronto and the Breakers are strong. The Breakers are most likely going to place 4th in this match, but it’s highly likely they will win both the men’s and women’s 400 IM, and potentially the men’s and women’s 200 IM. Their only real competition in the IMs will come from Toronto.

Before you decide Toronto is going to run away with Match 7 just because Caeleb Dressel is out for the remainder of the regular season, remember that Cali will hit them back hard in the breaststroke, especially on the women’s side. Toronto will also be without distance star Summer McIntosh for their next three meets in Naples, including Match 7, which is a big loss for the Titans.

The New York Breakers have gotten 4th in both of their two matches so far this season, and they will most likely place 4th again in Match 7. Iron has one 3rd and one 4th place finish so far this season, though when they got their 3rd place it was the Breakers who finished in 4th, more than 125 points behind Iron.


A Dressel-less Cali Condors could give up a lot of points in the men’s fly races to the Toronto Titans and Iron. Most likely, Coleman Stewart will fill in for Dressel in the 50 and 100 fly, alongside Angel Martinez, who is also likely to swim the 200 fly. The Condors have a very strong fly crew on the women’s side with Kelsi Dahlia, Erika Brown, Katerine Savard, as well as Beata Nelson and Sherridon Dressel, if necessary. Toronto, however, brings in Louise Hansson and Lauren Stephens on the women’s side, and Marius Kusch, Grigori Pekarski, Alberto Razzetti, and Max Litchfield for the men.

Team Iron also has a good group of butterflyers with Nicholas Santos, Luiz Altamir Melo, Mikhail Vekovishchev, and Thom de Boer for the men, and Alys Thomas, Maria Ugolkova, Ranomi Kromowidjojo, and Emilie Beckmann for the women. The 50 butterfly is one of Iron’s strongest events, and they could also make noise in the 100 fly.

The New York Breakers bring in Svetlana Chimrova, Arina Surkova, Helena Bach Rosendahl, Jakub Majerski, Matt Temple, and Joe Litchfield. Of these, Chimrova and Temple represent NY’s best chance at a victory in one of the fly races this weekend.

The very first race of the meet, the women’s 100 butterfly, is going to be one of the best races of Match 7 as it will showcase Dahlia, Hansson, and Chimrova. Dahlia’s season best time is a 55.22, the ISL Record, while Hansson’s is a 55.26. Whether we see a new league record or not, the winner of the women’s 100 fly will provide huge momentum to her team for the rest of the session.

Edge: Cali Condors (women), Toronto Titans (men)


The Toronto Titans and the Cali Condors both have extremely strong backstroke rosters, though swimmers like Coleman Stewart, Justin Ress, and Beata Nelson are going to have to swim other events as well for the Condors, while Kylie Masse and Lisa Bratton can focus exclusively on backstroke and the medley relays. The Condors also have sprint specialists Olivia Smoliga and Sherridon Dressel buoying their women’s squad, while the Titans have Shane Ryan, Max Litchfield, and Cole Pratt to boost their men’s squad.

Iron isn’t totally out of it, thanks to Robert Glinta, Guilherme Basseto, and Lorenzo Mora on the men’s side. They do struggle a little on the women’s side and unless Ingeborg Loyning, Africa Zamorano, and Silvia Scalia step up, they could have some trouble in women’s backstroke.

The New York Breakers have the weakest backstroke squad, though their women’s group of Daryna Zevina, Paulina Peda, and Alicja Tchorz is arguably more competitive than Iron’s. The Breaker’s men’s group of Oleg Braunscheig, Brandonn Almeida, and Joe Litchfield will be hard-pressed just to get some top-5 finishes in any of the men’s backstroke races, based on what we’ve seen so far this season.

Edge: Toronto Titans (women & men)


The Cali Condors are the team to beat in breaststroke in Match 7. Some combination of Lilly King, Emily Escobedo, and Molly Hannis could potentially finish 1-2 in all of the women’s breaststroke events. For the men, Nic Fink, Kevin Cordes, and Oleg Kostin are not quite as competitive as the ‘Dors’ female group, but they’re all solid bets for top-4 finishes or better.

Iron probably has the second-strongest breaststroke roster in Match 7, based on what we’ve seen so far in season 3. Erik Persson has won the 200 breaststroke twice and posted some pretty impressive medley relay splits, and though Emre Sakci isn’t as on-fire as he was last season, he’s swimming alright, and Bernhard Reitshammer has been reliable as well. Ida Hulkko and Jenna Strauch are Iron’s only reliable female breaststrokers and will have to up their game a bit if they’re going to contribute any meaningful amount of points to Iron’s campaign this weekend.

The Toronto Titans have a great breaststroke crew on paper with Fabian Schwingenschlogl, Anton McKee, Kelsey Wog, Dominika Sztandera, and Tess Cieplucha, though Schwingenschlogl is the only one that’s shown much promise so far in season 3. The New York Breakers face almost the exact same problem as the Titans–great on paper, less so in season 3 competition. Molly Renshaw, Abbie Wood, Tes Schouten, Marco Koch, and Philip Heintz appear a formidable crew, though Wood is the only one to really deliver this season.

Edge: Cali Condors (women), Iron (men)


The Cali Condors might hurt a little in freestyle this match, and will need Justin Ress to step up and fill in for Dressel in the 50 and 100. Middle-distance specialists Townley Haas, Khader Baqlah, and Tom Peribonio also all need to deliver and significantly improve upon their past meet results. The Condor women have Erika Brown, Olivia Smoliga, Leoni Kullman, and Kelsie Dahlia, but again, they fall a little short of some of the other teams.

The Toronto Titans will rely on Kasia Wasick, Kayla Sanchez, Michelle Coleman, Louise Hansson, and Julia Hessler, on the women’s side, and Luc Kroon, Blake Pieroni, Shane Ryan, Brent Hayden, and Yuri Kisil on the men’s side. While it’s an impressive group overall, the women have out-performed the men thus far in season 3 and are likely to bring in significantly more points than them in Match 7.

Iron is characterized by a strong group of female sprinters while the men have struggled this season. Ranomi Kromowidjojo, Costanza Cocconcelli, Barbora Seemanova, Veronika Andusenko, and Silvia Scalia could put up huge points for Iron this weekend. Nicholas Santos, Thom de Boer, Matt Richards, and Luiz Altamir Melo need some big swims if Iron’s men are going to stand a chance.

The New York Breakers have a solid men’s sprint crew consisting of Jacob Whittle, Matt Temple, Jakub Kraska, and Stan Pijnenburg, and they could be a threat to win the 4 x 100 free relay on day 1. For the women, Marrit Steenbergen, Kornelia Fiedkiewicz, Daria Ustinova, and Arina Surkova should also contest for a top-3 finish in the women’s 4 x 100 free relay. The Breakers are weakest in the 200 and 400 freestyles, though Brendon Smith did win the 400 free by over 5 seconds in Match 3. Otherwise, the Breakers rely on Brandonn Almeida, Daryna Zevina, and Lucy Hope for their points in middle-distance, though none have proven themselves yet this season.

Edge: Toronto Titans (women), New York Breakers (men)


The Cali Condors have some fantastic IMers, but so far Dressel, Beata Nelson, Anastasia Sorokina, and Angel Martinez are the only ones that have delivered so far in season 3. Kathrin Demler, Marcin Cieslak, Mark Szaranek, and Tom Peribonio need to get on form in order to give the Condors any significant points in the IMs this weekend.

The Toronto Titans are decently-equipped in the IMs, but it’s not their best strength. Alberto Razzetti, Finlay Knox, Kayla Sanchez, Tess Cieplucha, Louise Hansson, Luc Kroon, and Max Litchfield about even-out the Condors.

Iron has one of the stronger IM groups with sprint-specialists Marco Orsi and Leonardo Santos, as well as Bernhard Reitshammer, Africa Zamorano, Costanza Cocconcelli, and Maria Ugolkova.

The IMs are the best events for the New York Breakers who have Abbie Wood, Ana Caterina Monteiro, Marrit Steenbergen, Brendon Smith, Brandonn Almeida, Joe Litchfield, and Stan Pijnenburg on their roster.

Edge: New York Breakers (women), Iron (men)


We can expect New York to be tough in the men’s freestyle relays and Iron to be tough in the women’s freestyle relays, though the teams with the greatest depth, Cali and Toronto, are likely to net the most points in all relays whether or not they win any given race.

Even without Dressel, the Condors still probably have the strongest men’s medley relay, and the Condors definitely have the strongest women’s medley relay. They can probably pull off another victory in the mixed medley relay, but Iron has been strong in that event as well and could upset. Toronto is another to watch in all three medley relays on offer, and if their breaststrokers are on, they could challenge for a win in any of the three events.

Edge: Cali Condors (women & men)

Projected Team Standings

It’s probably going to be close between the Titans and Condors, though we’ve seen that the Condors are not invincible, and they are a little diluted without Dressel. The Titans, similarly, will lack the points Summer McIntosh could earn the IMs and the 200 and 400 frees, areas where the Condors are weakest. However, with the Titans coming off their first win of the season and the Condors their first loss of the season, we’ll give the edge to the Titans.

  1. Toronto Titans
  2. Cali Condors
  3. Iron
  4. New York Breakers

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Eric the eel > Phelps
1 year ago

Rowdy when he sees a stacked field in the ISL : “it’s over 30.000” *breaks saiyajin calculator*

1 year ago

I think Toronto could pull it off but it’ll be close

Chineeese boy
Reply to  Virtus
1 year ago

Just give the trophy to the condors already

Reply to  Chineeese boy
1 year ago

Why do you post this comment everywhere?

Reply to  Chineeese boy
1 year ago

And were you watching last week? You know, when cali got beaten by a london team without Peaty and co.

Reply to  Yoo
1 year ago

London def the overall favorite imo

Reply to  Yoo
1 year ago

Only because Dressel was missing on day 2.

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

True that. London didn’t win by much, and if Dressel had been there for Day 2, the men’s 100 free, 50 fly, 100 IM and 50 skins (free) would’ve gone to the Condors. The times put up by the Roars and the others’ men weren’t very impressive; Caeleb would’ve cruised.

About Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson

Reid Carlson originally hails from Clay Center, Kansas, where he began swimming at age six.  At age 14 he began swimming club year-round and later with his high school team, making state all four years.  He was fortunate enough to draw the attention of Kalamazoo College where he went on to …

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