They’re coming home. The Maroons will compete this weekend in Hyde Park for the first time since November 14. After a string of meets in Wisconsin, Colorado, and other locations in Illinois, Chicago hopes to make a successful return.
The South Siders will take on Augustana at Henry Crown tonight. The two teams enter the meet in the midst of vastly different seasons. The Vikings have had a much busier schedule than the Maroons and already have 13 wins under their belts. The matchup against Augustana will be Chicago’s ninth of the season, which boasts four wins.
Both teams participated in the Wheaton Invitational last weekend. Chicago finished 15th, while the Vikings came in at 19th.
Tonight will be the second showdown between the two teams this season. At last month’s Knox Duals, Augustana came out with a 25–15 victory.
These two teams are expecting to be fairly matched.
“Our last match against Augustana earlier this year was a close one,” second-year Mario Palmisano said, “and though we ended up on the losing side, I am confident that we can step it up and win this time around.”
This meet is also the Maroons’ last matchup before the UAA Championship on February 16.
“I think that as a team, we like to take things one week at a time,” Palmisano said. “We are definitely aware that UAAs is only in a week, however, we all understand the importance of not looking too far ahead and taking care of each competition one at a time.”
“As the season is winding down we are peaking as a team and becoming more excited to compete in the more important matches—UAAs and Regionals,” second-year Ryley Hankenson said. “The overall level of enthusiasm is better I think, which definitely changes the circumstances for tomorrow’s meet.”
Palmisano says the team has been adequately preparing for the tough competition that the end of the season brings with it. The development process will continue as the season advances.
“We have made some really great strides so far this season,” he said. “All year long we have been building on our skill sets and hopefully that will continue into the remaining weeks.”
Before UAAs or Regionals, though, Chicago must take care of business with Augustana.
The meet begins at 7 p.m. tonight at the Henry Crown Field House.