Men’s and women’s swimming & diving team both fall this weekend

By Nick Canelas

Jeff Bernstein/Collegian

Make it nine consecutive losses for the Massachusetts women’s swimming and diving team against Northeastern, as it fell to the Huskies, 166-134, on Saturday at Joseph Rogers Pool.

The Minutewomen claimed eight first-place finishes in the 16 events, but it was not enough as Northeastern consistently had finishers in the top three in each event, which was an accomplishment UMass could not match.

Despite the loss, Minutewoman head coach appeared satisfied with his team’s performance. “Our goal for this meet was to race,” said Newcomb. “The bottom line is, I wanted them in it no matter what event they were swimming. All I wanted was for them was to race hard, and that’s what we got.”

One bright spot for the Minutewomen was the performance of freshman Zoe Judd. The Acton native had first-place finishes in the 100-yard freestyle (52.43), 50-yard freestyle (24.29) and the 25-yard freestyle (11.38). Judd also helped lead UMass to victory in the 200-yard freestyle relay along with Amina Meho, Anna Cavanaugh and Hannah Markey.
“Zoe [Judd] is a phenomenal athlete and a great individual,” said Newcomb. “She’s getting more consistent with the way she’s swimming, and I think she’s been a good barometer for where the team is. She’s a great leader as a freshman.”
Junior diver Michaela Butler also delivered for the Minutewomen, sweeping the diving events with the top score in both the one-meter (240.07) and the three-meter (260.25).

The Huskies, however, performed even stronger.

Northeastern got things started as soon as the first horn sounded, claiming first-place in the 200-yard medley relay by edging out UMass by a mere .51 seconds. The Huskies took control in the 500-yard freestyle with the top two finishers in the event, led by Adriana Sepulveda with a time of 5:08.09.

The 50-yard backstroke was an even greater success for Northeastern, which had the top three finishers in the event, including a tie for first between Nicole Colucci and Dana Schleif with a 28.70 mark.
The Huskies continued to make their statement with the top two finishers in the 100-yard butterfly, and the top three finishers in the 100-yard backstroke.

“Northeastern is a good program, but we stayed close,” said Newcomb. “This was our last opportunity for a real competitive meet for five weeks, so this was important that they get in and have another opportunity to get on the blocks and compete against someone other than themselves.”

Men’s team falls to Yale

The men fared no better on the road against Yale, where it had one first-place finisher en route to a 176-112 defeat on Saturday afternoon.

That lone first-place finish came from senior Conner Dunn in the one-meter diving event with a score of 288.38.
The Bulldogs pulled ahead immediately in this one, capturing 11 points with a first-place finish by the team of Mike Lazris, Andrew Heymann, Alwin Firmansyah and Pat Killian in the 200-yard medley relay. Yale outscored the Minutemen 13-4 in that event alone thanks to its third-place finish as well.

The Bulldogs also had the top two finishers in the 1000-yard freestyle with senior captain Joey Sbordon finishing in third with a time of 9:53.92. Despite being the closest Minuteman, Sbordon trailed Yale’s second-place finisher by over 14 seconds.

Things only get worse in the 200-yard freestyle for UMass as the top four finishers all represented the Bulldogs, who were led by Josh Ginsborg. The freshman captured a 1:40.17 mark with Robby Harder right behind him with a score of 1:42.28.

Although Lazris led the way for Yale in the 100-yard backstroke, the Minutemen did have reason to feel confident as Colin Mulcahy and Hao Luong captured the second and third spot respectively. Mulcahy finished with a time of 52.37 with Luong right behind at 53.01.

The Bulldogs cruised from there, however, with at least the top three finishers in the next three events until Dunn finally stopped the bleeding with his victory.

Killian and Harder took the next two events respectively for Yale, followed by Danny McDermott, Ronald Tsui and Chris Luu claiming the top three spots in the 200-yard breaststroke.

Josh Ginsborg took first in the 500-yard freestyle with the closest UMass swimmer behind by over 10 seconds as the Bulldogs swam away with the win in convincing fashion.

Both squads with have a month away from the pool before heading down to San Juan, Puerto Rico for their annual training trip on Jan. 8.

Nick Canelas can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_Canelas.