Iowa women’s swim and dive ready for road matchup with Nebraska

The 0-2 Hawkeyes will travel to Lincoln Saturday in search of their first victory.


Jenna Galligan

Iowa’s Zoe Pawloski finishes the 100 yard butterfly against the University of Northern Iowa at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center on Friday, Oct. 1, 2021. Pawloski finished fifth with a time of 1:04.73. The Panthers defeated the Hawkeyes 159-133.

Chase Szewc, Sports Reporter

The Iowa women’s swim and dive team is set for a matchup with Nebraska in Lincoln Saturday.

The Cornhuskers are currently 1-0 on the season. The Hawkeyes are 0-2.

Iowa has never started a season 0-3.

The Iowa’s most recent loss came to Minnesota Oct. 8

Despite the lack of success to start the season, Hawkeye head coach Nathan Mundt is finding ways to keep his team positive.

“[Coach Mundt] definitely brings a positive attitude, and he focuses on the small goals that each swimmer on the team has,” junior Aleksandra Olesiak said. “Trying to take each of those goals on a personal level, as well as trying to celebrate each small victory at practice.”

Iowa only has 12 swimmers on its active roster this season — down from the 24 athletes it had on its team in 2020-21.

The Hawkeyes’ numbers are thin because a bunch of their swimmers transferred at the end of the 2020-21 season because the University of Iowa was set to cut its NCAA Division I women’s swimming team at the end of 2020-21 academic year.

A Title IX lawsuit against the UI, its athletic director Gary Barta, and its former president Bruce Harreld resulted in the full reinstatement of Iowa women’s swim and dive for at least the next seven seasons.

So, with the program resurrected, the Hawkeyes had to move forward and compete this season with about half of a full roster.

The small size of Iowa’s roster makes it difficult for the Hawkeyes to compete against and beat larger opposing teams. In their first two meets of the season, the Hawkeyes were simply overwhelmed and outnumbered by Northern Iowa and Minnesota’s deep rosters.

Because their roster is so thin, the Hawkeyes have shifted their focus from team victories to individual success this season.

“Nebraska is a very tough team,” Olesiak said. “They’re very strong. We definitely don’t have the advantage in numbers, but we have been doing two really hard weeks of training after our last meet.  We’re going into this competition on the road stronger and faster than we have been in the previous two [meets].”

In practice over the last two weeks, Olesiak has specifically been working on the little things that make a big difference when she’s competing in the pool.

“I’ve been focusing on the small technique details during practice so that they translate into the competitions,” Olesiak said. “Mainly focusing on making sure that I start fast and that my technique on the walls is pristine to make sure that I can get on and off that wall really fast.”

Olesiak has won two 200-meter individual medleys this season — one against Minnesota and another versus Northern Iowa. Olesiak’s fastest 200-meter medley time is 2:10.02.

“I have definitely found a lot of success in my 200 IM,” Olesiak said. “The times that I’ve been swimming for that, especially while physically tired, is very motivating for me towards bigger competition and every season meet.”

Action between the Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers will begin at 11 a.m. in the Devaney Center Natatorium. Live meet results will be available at

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