Match 7, Day 1 Recap: Teams Show Their Depth in Fight to Make the Play-Offs



  1. Toronto Titans – 292 points
  2. Cali Condors – 283 points
  3. Iron – 171 points
  4. New York Breakers – 158 points

Though the meet is far from over, the biggest question viewers are left with at the conclusion of day 1 of Match 7 is: can the Toronto Titans be a top-4 team?

The Titans have already beaten the LA Current once this season, and they might be able to beat the Cali Condors tomorrow, though day 2 is arguably a better day for the Condors. Regardless, that they hold the lead at the half-way point of the match is a huge sign that the Titans might also be competitive with London Roar or Energy Standard. Fortunately for fans, Energy, London, Toronto, and DC will square off in Match 9 next week, so no one has to speculate too long.

Roster Depth On Display

The absence of Caeleb Dressel didn’t seem to cause too many problems for the Condors. For instance, Justin Ress and Jesse Puts still placed 1st and 3rd in the 50 freestyle, and the Condors still won the men’s 4 x 100 medley relay, and placed 2nd in the men’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay. Maybe Dressel would have made up the 0.79 deficit that Toronto beat them by, and Dressel probably would have won the 100 butterfly, which was instead won by Toronto’s Marius Kusch. Toronto, for their part, was also missing one of their biggest stars of season 3: Summer McIntosh.

Toronto also got along pretty well without McIntosh, who was one of their highest scorers in their first two matches. Most notably, Julia Hassler won the women’s 400 freestyle in 4:01.30, two seconds ahead of the runner-up, Iron’s Barbora Seemanova. Hassler turned in 2nd at the 100-meter checkpoint, earning herself an additional 4 points, and then took over the lead for the remainder of the race, earning 16 points overall (9 for winning, 4 for checkpoint, 3 for jackpot). Toronto’s substitute, Kaersten Meitz, placed 4th in the race in 4:04.93, earning 8 points.

The New York Breakers and Team Iron did not win very many races, but they each recorded enough top-5 finishes to get some decent points on the board. Often, the two teams served to cancel each other out, which is why at multiple moments in the meet they were within 1 point of each other. For example, Iron placed 2nd and 3rd in the women’s 400 freestyle, earning 20 points. New York, on the other hand, lost two points in the women’s 400 freestyle as neither swimmer met the minimum time standard, creating a 22-point gap between Iron and NY. Then, in the men’s 400 freestyle, New York placed 1st and 6th for a total of 18 points while it was the two swimmers from Iron who placed 7th and 8th and not only had their points stolen, but failed to meet the time standard resulting in a 2-point deduction and a difference of 20 points.

Likely Candidates for Match 11

In order for a team to make the play-offs they must be among the top-8 in the league, though in order to automatically qualify for the play-offs they must be among the top-6 ranked teams after Match 10. What that means is, each of the bottom-4 teams at the conclusion of Match 10 must compete in the “play-in” match, Match 11. (Match 10, which will feature Team Iron, the Tokyo Frog Kings, the New York Breakers, and the Aqua Centurions will be a preview of what that match could look like.)

So, who are we most likely to see in Match 11?

The New York Breakers are definitely swimming in that match, regardless of how they place in Match 7. The Breakers had a strong first day and have managed to keep the fight for 3rd really close with Iron, but even if they do manage to get 3rd it won’t be enough to put them in the top-6. The only other team we know for sure will be in Match 11 is the DC Trident, who is likely to place 4th in Match 9 against Energy Standard, London Roar, and Toronto.

The Tokyo Frog Kings, the Aqua Centurions, and Iron are the other three teams vying for 6th-place and a lifeline out of Match 11. Aqua currently sits in 6th-place and could very well win Match 10, where they will compete against Iron, Tokyo, and New York. Tokyo is still a question mark though since we’ve only seen them twice–they’ll be in the water this weekend taking on Energy Standard, London, and LA.

Women’s Skins Selection

  • Iron eliminates backstroke
  • Toronto eliminates breaststroke
  • Cali chooses butterfly

Men’s Skins Selection

  • Toronto eliminates breaststroke
  • Iron eliminates freestyle
  • Cali chooses backstroke


In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of

oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Is there season standings anywhere?

Reply to  Ben Dornan
1 year ago

Thanks. You would think the standings would be easily available on the ISL website …

Reply to  Troyy
1 year ago

They are on the home page of the ISL website..

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 …

Read More »