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Women’s swim and dive looks forward to competing in final dual meet of the fall

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/ Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts women’s swim and dive team looks to build off a win in a close Vermont meet last weekend in an important dual meet against Boston University this Saturday at Rodgers Pool.

The dual meet will serve as a good test for the team, as it is UMass’ last dual meet before a series of invitationals.

“BU is coming in here, it is going to be a great competition,” UMass coach Bob Newcomb said. “We are looking at another meet where every race is going to be close and exciting. It’s a very good team-focused kind of event, and we just continue trying to be better, be smarter and swim better races.”

Senior diver Emma Roush looks to continue her strong start to the season, as she’s taken first in all four dive events in the team’s first two dual meets.

Mariam Labib also had a strong day last week, and Newcomb was impressed with the freshman’s attitude even after taking home first in the 200 and 50-yard freestyles, saying she looked hungry for more.

“They have gone into this as racers. Especially looking at the way they have been racing the last quarter of their swims and getting their hands to the walls first,” Newcomb said. “They have been extremely competitive. The excitement they have had for racing and competing—I’ve been really impressed.”

Expect the Minutewomen (1-1) to carry this level of competition into their meet this weekend, as they keep working toward being prepared for the longer invitationals and eventually the Atlantic 10 Championships.

One focus Newcomb has against BU, apart from competing and winning races, is having the team come together and form a bond.

“Swimming is very much an individual sport,” Newcomb said. “But it has to be a team environment. This is just a sport that is too hard to do on your own, so you have got to have the support of everyone that is there with you.”

This supportive attitude is something that already seems to be forming. Last week’s final three races ended up deciding the meet, and the cheers of teammates echoing off the walls for the entirety of the three races were deafening.

Newcomb certainly recognizes the importance of the upcoming meet and does not plan on changing his team’s preparation at all.

“I can adjust my lineups and make sure that we have the best lineup to compete with because every team is different” Newcomb said.

While he still finds these meets important, Newcomb isn’t a fan of the dual meet format.

“[A dual meet] limits the amount of events that our swimmers can swim. At this time, I really prefer the invitationals to the dual meets,” Newcomb said.

UMass will play host to the Terriers on Saturday, Nov. 4. The meet is set to begin at 1 p.m.

Noah Bortle can be reached at nbortle@umass.edu.

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