Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass swimming and diving teams split meet against Fordham as Atlantic 10 tournament approaches

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(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts swimming and diving team took the final stop on its journey to the Atlantic 10 tournament as it visited Fordham on Saturday.

UMass split the meet with the Rams as the Minutemen prevailed 172.15-115.5 and improved to 20-0 against Fordham all time in dual competitions. The Minutewomen were unable to keep up with the Rams in a 176-119 loss.

The men’s team overcame a slow start which was partially due to poor exchanges in its relays. According to coach Russ Yarworth, UMass was then able to rally behind impressive individual performances from Owen Wright and Michael Glenn.

“Our exchanges were not very good but after that we rallied and basically had a freshman and a senior carry the day,” Yarworth said. “Owen Wright won his three individual events and Michael Glenn won his three individual events. Owen and Michael were certainly the guys that we relied on today.”

While Wright took gold in the 50-yard, 100-yard and 200-yard freestyle races, Glenn finished first in the 100-yard and 200-yard breaststrokes and 200-yard individual medley.

According to Yarworth, Fordham posed a challenge for UMass in distance events.

“They had a little bit more depth and a little more front line talent in the longer swimming events,” Yarworth said.

Yarworth added that the Minutemen’s distance team was a little bit off.

“We are starting our major rest for the end of the year tournament, so the kids feel a little bit funky because they are out of routine,” Yarworth said. “The start of classes also always gets them out of their comfort zone because they’ve just been training for a month and now have a different schedule. Additionally, they spent three hours on the bus.”

Minutewomen fall to Rams

While the men’s team was able to rally and take down Fordham, the UMass women’s swimming and diving team could not close its regular season with a win against Fordham.

“We got beaten by a very good team and it is not unusual for us to not swim exceptionally well on this particular weekend,” coach Bob Newcomb said. “And the reality of it is that we are 18 days (from) the tournament and we didn’t swim that well against Fordham.”

Despite the loss, Molly Smyth and Katie Arnott swam well for the Minutewomen. Smyth won the 1,000-yard freestyle and added a second place finish in the 500-yard freestyle. Meanwhile, Arnott won gold in the 200-yard breaststroke event.

“I think that those are the two that stick out for us from the meet,” Newcomb said. “They were good, they weren’t great, and I don’t expect them to be great right now.”

Newcomb explained that the meet against the Rams was simply not his team’s day.

“I don’t know if it was specific events where we struggled, but we had people that were swimming hard, but not swimming really fast in just about every event,” Newcomb said. “This team did not give up or do anything like that, it just was not a good day for us.”

With the A-10 championships approaching in mid-February, Newcomb made it clear that Saturday’s meet had no negative effect on the Minutewomen’s confidence and excitement for the tournament.

“Wins and losses mean absolutely nothing because every school gets to bring a team to A-10s,” Newcomb said. “There is no seeding, you just go and swim. It’s all about what you do on that weekend.”

Matthew Zackman can be reached at [email protected]

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