March 5, 2015

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UMass heads to Stony Brook

Collegian Staff, Maxwell Sparr

The Massachusetts swimming and diving teams are heading to Stony Brook to face the Seawolves on Oct. 30. Both squads are coming off home victories against Army.

However, both teams have yet to win on the road, and SBU might prove to be an important test because it will be UMass’ second road meet in just three weeks.

The meet against the Black Knights was at home in the Joseph Rogers Pool, and UMass swept the opposing team. However, in the first meet of the season, the Minutemen were at Boston University, and were swept by both Terrier squads.

If both teams hope to contend for an Atlantic 10 crown, they will have to win the meets on the road, and that starts this weekend against SBU.

The Seawolves are also coming off a big victory, but unlike UMass, their victory came on the road.

On Oct. 23, the Seawolves faced off against the Saint Francis. Both SBU teams recorded their first victories of the early season. The men’s team won, 119–85, while the women’s team won, 154–50.

The meet at SBU’s Pool on Saturday opens the Seawolves home schedule, and poses obstacle to the UMass’ squads. If the Maroon and White hope to prove the preseason polls right, it must win on the road this coming week to avoid opening the season with two losses on the road.

If it is any consolation, the team that beat Stony Brook was the Black Knights, who UMass faced, and swept, last weekend.

In order to secure UMass’ .500 mark, the squads will have to rely on veteran leadership, as well as young talent. In the sweep against Army, it was this young talent that proved to be an important factor for both the Minutemen and the Minutewomen.

For the Minutemen, the young talent comes from Derek Hursch. The freshman earned the A-10 Performer of the Week after the match at BU.

Hursch swam in six individual meets this season and has come out victorious in all six of them, winning three against the Terriers, and three at home in the Joseph Rogers Pool against the Black Knights.

The Minutewomen expect a push from freshman Anna Cavanaugh who picked up her first collegiate victory against the Black Knights. Cavanaugh showed that the first win was all she needed to propel her early season, posting an impressive 3-0 record on the day.

Even with the young talent stepping up to help secure the victories, it is still up the veteran leadership of Tri-Captains Dan Backler, Adam Duffield and Brian Schmidt to anchor the men’s squad down, and secure their first road victory.

Nick Bellofatto can be reached at nbellofa@student.umass.edu.

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