USC Women Defeat UCLA 164-136, Make School History With First Undefeated Regular Season

by Sean Griffin 2

February 10th, 2024 College, News, Pac-12, Previews & Recaps

USC vs. UCLA (Women Only)

  • February 9, 2024
  • Spieker Aquatics Center
    • Los Angeles, California
  • SCY (25 yards)
  • PDF Results 
  • Results also available on Meet Mobile: “2024 UCLA vs USC”
  • Team Scores
    • USC 164 – UCLA 136

The USC women’s swimming history books are filled with achievements: a pile of Olympic gold medals, a 2016 PAC-12 title, a 1997 NCAA team title, and so much history from swimmers like Janet Evans, Rebecca Soni, and Kaitlin Sandeno. But on Friday, the 2023-2024 USC women’s team did something that no other Trojan women’s team had done before them: finish the regular season undefeated.

The USC women made the quick drive across town for a dual meet with UCLA on Friday. The USC women secured a 164 – 136 victory over UCLA, setting them up well heading into the PAC-12 Championships, which begin on February 28th. While UCLA fell to USC today, they posted several best times in a multitude of events. Per social media posts, it appears both teams wore technical suits.

USC Women in Dual Meets, 2023-2024 Regular Season:

  • November 3 – USC 159 vs. Arizona 139
  • November 4 – USC 189 vs. ASU 111
  • January 6 – USC 168 vs. UNLV 89
  • January 12 – USC 185 vs. UC San Diego 69
  • January 12 – USC 172.5 vs. Utah 84.5
  • January 20 – USC 133.5 vs. Washington State 104.5
  • February 3 – USC 152 vs. Cal 148
  • February 4 – USC 155.5 vs. Stanford 142.5
  • February 9 – USC 164 vs. UCLA 136

Action kicked off with the 200 medley relay, where the Trojans touched the wall in 1:36.36 for a decisive win. Caroline Famous (24.10), Kaitlyn Dobler (27.15), Anicka Delgado (22.93), and Vasilissa Buinaia (22.18) featured on the victorious relay. UCLA touched in 1:37.97 for 2nd place, just off their season best (1:37.96) by 0.01 from the Art Adamson Invitational.

Notably, UCLA senior Maya Wilson split 21.89 anchoring their ‘B’ relay, the fastest split of the field. Her best flat start time rests at 23.02, which she posted in November.

The first individual event of the day was the 1000 free, where USC’s Sophia Kudryashova stopped the clock in 9:46.98 for the win. She led a 1-2-3 finish for the Trojans, as Claire Tuggle (9:49.74) and Marlene Kahler (9:55.02) rounded out the top three. The time from Kudryashova represents a new personal best, undercutting her previous mark of 9:51.32 from last week.

Tuggle would walk away with a win later in the day, touching in 4:42.94 to win the 500 free. She had a close battle with UCLA’s Paige Maceachern the whole way, who touched in 4:43.23. Tuggle took the race out much stronger through the first half, splitting 1:51.74 at the 200 to Macheachern’s 1:53.01. Macheachern had the strong back half, but it wasn’t enough to overtake Tuggle.

Freshman Minna Abraham claimed victory in the 200 free, touching in 1:44.99 for the win. The UCLA duo of Gizem Guvenc (1:46.04) and Maya Wilson (1:46.47) touched for 2nd and 3rd, with Wilson breaking the 1:47-barrier for the first time.

Abraham would add a second individual win later in the meet, winning the 100 free (48.45) ahead of teammate Vasilissa Buinaia (48.62). UCLA’s Wilson would add another best time, touching in 3rd (48.84).

USC senior Caroline Famous continued her momentum from last week, winning today’s 100 back in 51.82. She cracked the 51-second barrier in the 100 back for the first time last week, clocking 50.78 and 50.83 against Cal. UCLA took the next four slots in today’s heat, with Amy Zhang (53.35) leading the way ahead of teammates Fay Lustris (53.44), Rosie Murphy (53.90), and Mila Chang (55.01).

Famous would later win the 100 fly, too, touching in 51.93 to take down her previous best of 52.62.

2022 NCAA Champion Kaitlyn Dobler led the way in the 100 breast, securing another USC victory on the day. She hit the wall as the sole swimmer under the 1:00-minute barrier, finishing in 59.46.

A trio of UCLA teammates hit the wall just behind, with Ana Jih-Schiff (1:00.17) touching ahead of teammates Sarah Bennetts (1:00.46) and Eva Carlson (1:00.60). Jih-Schiff’s time checks-in as a new personal best, eclipsing her previous mark of 1:00.43. Three swimmers close to the 1:00-minute mark just a few weeks from the PAC-12 Championships is a great sign for UCLA, and could be foreshadowing a significant presence in the breaststroke finals there.

Dobler clocked 2:09.42 to win the 200 breast later in the day, sweeping the breast events. UCLA’s Jih-Schiff clocked 2:09.81 for 2nd, her second breast best time of the day.

UCLA grabbed their first win of the day in the 200 fly, posting a 1-2 finish. Paige Maceachern (1:57.10) led the way, with Ashley Kolessar (1:58.26) finishing just over a second behind. Maceachern was just 0.02 shy of her best time from this past November.

USC immediately responded with a 1-2 finish of their own in the very next event, the 50 free, with Anicka Delgado (22.19) leading the way over teammate Caroline Famous (22.41). It was a quick turnaround for Famous, who won the 100 back about ten minutes prior to this event.

UCLA would have a pair of additional 1-2 finishes later in the day, with the first being the 200 back. Rosie Murphy (1:53.25) led the way ahead of Mia Chang (1:57.57), with USC’s Alice Waldow touching in 1:58.33 for 3rd place. The swim from Murphy was significant, a massive best time and puts her in contention for an ‘A’ final appearance at the PAC-12 Championships. She finished 12th last year at that meet.

Murphy (1:57.45) would add the 200 IM win to her resume to end the session, with teammate Jih-Schiff (1:58.53) touching for 2nd. Both swimmers once again posted new best times, with Jih-Schiff’s being her third of the day.

Perhaps the most exciting event of the day occurred last, where USC and UCLA touched just 0.05 apart at the finish. It was the Trojans who touched 1st, with Vasilissa Buinaia (22.94), Anicka Delgado (21.97), Claire Tuggle (22.66), and Minna Abraham (21.59) touching in 1:29.16. UCLA’s quartet of Brooke Schaffer (22.83), Maya Wilson (22.17), Madeleine Wright (22.03), and Joanie Cash (22.18) finished in 1:29.21.

UCLA led by over half a second at the 150-yard mark, but Abraham’s scorching anchor of 21.59 secured the narrow victory.

USC’s Nike Agunbiade (320.03 points) scored victory in the 1 mtr diving event, while UCLA’s Savana Trueb (323.55 points) claimed the 3 mtr win.

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whoisthis
23 days ago

did not expect usc to do this well, good for them

Johnson Swim school
Reply to  whoisthis
22 days ago

Without salo