Redbirds Host Ball State in Final Home Meet of the Season
Jessica Santi
Jessica Santi

Jan. 16, 2009

NORMAL, Ill. - Six Redbird swimmers will head into their final competition at Horton Pool Saturday, as the Illinois State swimming and diving team takes on the Ball State Cardinals in its last home competition of the 2008-09 season at 1 p.m. Seniors Allison Fishbein, Tiffany Rentner, Jessica Santi, Lauren Williams, Alison Wippermann and Erin Woodruff will be honored at the meet for their accomplishments as Redbirds.

The Redbirds faced Ball State earlier this season at the Dennis Stark Relays in South Bend, Ind. (Oct. 3, 2008 ), narrowly beating the Cardinals ,164-162. The `Birds enter their final home competition with a 5-1 dual-meet record.

Head swimming and diving coach Steve Paska feels the Redbirds will have to be ready to compete Saturday as they will face strong competition from Ball State.

"The Cardinals have plenty of more strengths than they have weaknesses, and they always come ready to compete," Paska said. "Ball State has strong swimmers in every event, and we will have to rise to the challenge of this competition. I believe we are ready for an exciting dual meet against Ball State come Saturday."

Fishbein, Rentner, Santi, Williams, Wippermann and Woodruff will have two more dual-meets against Illinois and Green Bay before heading to the Missouri Valley Conference Championships, however Saturday's meet will be the final home competition for the seniors.

"It is a special day to honor these six student-athletes," Paska said. "They have had tremendous careers here at Illinois State, they are tremendous student-athletes, and I believe they really exemplify the term student-athlete. A number of the girls have had solid performances for us, they have set personal-best times here and they have been extremely coachable young ladies."



The six seniors will be honored for their accomplishments prior to Saturday meet. "They have a great amount of pride to be Redbird swimmers and having this one last time to compete in Horton Pool will be a special event for the seniors and their families who have all been so supportive of the program," Paska said. "The support from the parents is very well noted and very well appreciated. These seniors are tremendous young ladies and I know whatever their future endeavors hold, they will find success as alums of Illinois State."

On the diving side, head diving coach Phil Hoffmann is looking forward to bringing competition back to Horton Pool.

"Ball State will bring their five divers who compare to the top divers in our conference," Hoffmann said. "This meet is a good tune-up before we face Illinois next weekend, and Green Bay the following weekend. It's a good match up for each of our girls to see where they are individually as well as group."