While the 2015 NCAA season will kick off Friday when Gulf Coast neighbors Alabama and Delta State face off in Cleveland Misssissippi, the LSU Tigers are still two weeks away from their competitive season, with a full month to go before their first intercollegiate competition of the 2015-2016 season.
The Tigers will welcome in home-state foes Tulane to begin their journey on October 9th, before again slipping back into three weeks of training.
After that, competition heats up in a hurry with a southwest swing as LSU’s first major meet of the season will be an October 29th dual against Arizona State and their new coach Bob Bowman in Tempe, Arizona. Bowman, the personal coach of Michael Phelps, was recently named the head coach of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swim Team.
After that, they’ll face a two-day tri against Northern Arizona and Wyoming in Flagstaff to make the most of their trip before returning home for a dual a week later against SMU.
LSU will see Arizona State again from November 19th-21st at the Texas A&M-hosted Art Adamson Invitational, which this year will also include, among others, the Stanford women.
The LSU divers, who were a big portion of their 5th-place women’s finish and 9th-place men’s finish at last year’s SEC Championships, will have a busy winter break, with USA Diving Nationals, the Auburn Diving Invitational, and the Georgia Diving Invitational while the team’s swimmers are focused on winter training.
Coming out of the break will be a two-day dual against Kentucky and Virginia Tech in Lexington, Kentucky to begin the team’s SEC schedule. That will continue into a dual against Missour on January 14th at home, backed up onto a home battle against rivals Texas A&M on January 23rd.
That A&M meet, for the Tigers’ women’s team, will potentially play host to the team’s biggest head-to-head showdowns of the regular season. Specifically, junior Kara Kopcso will see the Aggies’ star sophomore Beryl Gastaldello in the butterfly events. Kopcso has has good success against A&M in past seasons. That meet will also see school record holder Caley Oquist matched up against A&M’s Claire Brandt, Laura Norman, and Lisa Bratton in the backstroke races – all four swimmers were NCAA qualifiers last season.
LSU will face mid-major opponents Rice and Houston at the University of Houston to ease their way into the 5-day SEC Championships in Columbia, Missouri from February 16th-20th.