Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass overwhelms Holy Cross

By Adam McGillen, Collegian Staff

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CourtesyUMass Media Relations

With the Connecticut River flooding, the Massachusetts women’s rowing team took to the calmer waters of Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass., where it overwhelmed Holy Cross, winning every race on Sunday.

The regatta had been scheduled to take place on the Connecticut River, where the Minutewomen typically race, but the rainy weather that has recently plagued the New England area forced the move to the more favorable conditions on Lake Quinsigamond.

The Minutewomen crew was unfazed.

The varsity-8 won the first race of the day by a slim margin, finishing with a time of 6 minutes, 56 seconds. Holy Cross finished two seconds behind.

In the bow seat of the first boat was senior Erin Kelly, who was honored with the Senior Leadership Award on Wednesday. Kelly helped row the team to two Atlantic 10 Championships in her first two seasons and earned National Scholar-Athlete recognition from the Collegiate Rowers Coaches Association as a sophomore and again as a junior.

The Crusaders kept the first race close but could not catch the Minutewomen.

UMass extended its margin of victory in every race after that, taking the second varsity-8 race by five seconds and the third varsity-8 race by 26.70 seconds. The novice eight matched the second varsity’s time of 7:09 in their race, dominating the novice Holy Cross rowers who finished in 7:57.

Senior Haley Fitzgerald replaced freshman Julia Richter in the first varsity boat for the event. Richter injured her knee while training over the week.

A team marked by youth, with two freshmen in the first varsity-8 boat, UMass coach Jim Dietz emphasized the importance of consistent victories.

‘Every weekend you get another race, they get a little bit more confident as to what they’re doing,’ Dietz said.

‘We’re going to train hard and race hard right through the Knecht Cup this coming weekend, in hopes of tapering just before the A-10s to get up to speed,’ Dietz said.

The Knecht Cup takes place next weekend in Camden, N.J. The UMass women will face off against more than 30 teams in a series of events on Friday and Saturday.

‘Everybody who goes down to Camden will be racing at least three to four times,’ Dietz said. ‘That’s a heavy load, but we tend to learn a lot from that.’

Despite their youth, UMass boasts a roster with great depth. The ability to adjust the roster and remain competitive allowed the Minutewomen to complete their sweep of Holy Cross. Entering the heart of their season, depth will prove pivotal for the team as it advances through two weekends of tough competition.

After winning 12 consecutive A-10 championships, UMass finished second to Rhode Island last year. The Minutewomen defeated the Rams last weekend by one point to take the Yankee Cup.

UMass will compete against Rhode Island again next weekend for the Knecht Cup.

Adam McGillen can be reached at [email protected].

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