FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Arkansas women’s swimming and diving program has announced its schedule for the 2017-18 season.
The slate offers many familiar non-conference foes, but also some fresh competition. The Razorbacks are scheduled to face at least one team from three of the other four high-major conferences. From the Pac-12, Arkansas will travel to Los Angeles on Saturday, Oct. 28 to square off against UCLA and Washington State. UC Davis will also participate in the quad meet.
“I really wanted to test our team this year with some traditional rivals but also new opponents and teams that were better than us last year,” said head coach Neil Harper. “Traveling to UCLA will be a great opportunity to compete on the road against another top 20 program. I am also glad we are re-establishing our rivalry with SMU who was the runner-up in the American Conference last season.”
Following the red-white inter-squad meet on Friday, Sept. 8, the Razorbacks will open the regular season looking to extend their 26 meet non-conference winning streak by welcoming SMU to Fayetteville on Saturday, Sept. 16 for Arkansas’ first of three home meets next season.
Five of Arkansas’ 12 dual-meet opponents advanced to the 2017 NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships, with three ranking in the final College Swimming Coaches Association of America top-25 poll.
Arkansas will jump into conference play by traveling to Columbia, Missouri, on Saturday, Oct. 14 to face the Missouri Tigers and the South Carolina Gamecocks. “We have set up a huge “Battle Line Rivalry” meet against Missouri who was another top 15 team last season. Swimming against them and South Carolina in Columbia, Missouri, will be a great test, especially since our meet last season with the Gamecocks was a close one at home.“
The Razorbacks will host the Nebraska Cornhuskers from the Big Ten Conference on Friday, Nov. 3 for the 15th meeting between the two programs.
The Razorbacks will have a quick turnaround following their Nebraska meet, traveling to Vanderbilt to face the Commodores on Saturday, Nov. 4. The meet marks the first of two against Vandy on the season, as they will meet again as part of a tri-meet hosted by Houston on Friday, Jan. 19-20.
Arkansas will participate in two invites with the first being the Art Adamson Invitational in College Station, Texas, on Thursday, Nov. 16-18. The invite is an annual event hosted by Texas A&M that memorializes legendary Aggie coach Art Adamson.
“Our biggest test will be the mid-season invite at Texas A&M. The SEC Championships will be in College Station, so competing at the Art Adamson Invite will be a great experience and prepare us well for the conference championship. With Stanford winning the National Championship last season and the SEC Champion and host school Texas A&M finishing third, there will be two of the top 3 teams in the country at the invite, providing the toughest competition.
The second invite of the year is the Tennessee Diving Invite from Wednesday, Jan. 3-5 in Knoxville.
For the final home meet of the year, Arkansas will host the Tennessee Volunteers for a showdown on Saturday, Jan. 13. The match-up will be the first meeting between the schools since the Razorbacks defeated the 10th-ranked Volunteers during the 2015-16 season, for its only win over Tennessee in program history.
Arkansas will close out the regular season against its most familiar opponent in school history, the Kansas Jayhawks of the Big-12 Conference. The Razorbacks have defeated Kansas nine consecutive times, dating back to the 2007-08 season.
“We will compete against quality opponents that will test our swimmers and divers throughout the season. Our goal of moving up in the SEC and NCAA will be bolstered each meet with the challenges and tests of competing against teams who were very successful last year and that return great athletes this year.”
For more information on Arkansas Swimming and Diving, follow @RazorbackSD on Twitter.