Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass men’s and women’s swimming and diving fall to Ivy schools in tri-match, show improvement in loss

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(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/ Daily Collegian)

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/ Daily Collegian)

The Massachusetts swimming and diving team put together a list of impressive performances against Brown and Yale in a tri-meet in Providence over the weekend as it prepares for the Terrier Invitational later this month.

Although both teams fell facing the Ivy League competition Saturday, swimmers and divers on both squads showed great progress in their outings.

For the Minutemen (1-1), the meet resulted in two dual-meet scores which found them losing 244-76 and 225-75, to the Bears and Bulldogs respectively.

“[The team] did what [they] needed to do – get there and race hard,” UMass coach Russ Yarworth said.

On the diving boards,  junior Trent Kindvall placed first in two events.

In the three-meter dive, the Minutemen swarmed the leader boards and placed in each of the top three spots. Led by Kindvall with a score of 277.60, Nolan Burns placed second in the event followed by Robert Barry (249.15) in third.

UMass divers controlled the top spots in the one-meter as well, with Kindvall coming out on top once again with a score a 267.55. Freshman Reece Donohue placed third for the Minutemen with a score of 240.30.

In the water, a cluster of personal records led UMass. Sophomore Tyler Sjahfiedin swam personal-bests in the 100-yard freestyle and 200-yard freestyle, which earned him top-10 finishes.

In the 200 free, Sjahfiedin swam a 1:44.30, placing him seventh. In the 100 free, a 47.35 yielded him the ninth spot.

After an injury led to Sjahfiedin redshirting last season, Yarworth has been impressed with the sophomore.

“[He has] really taken it to heart to put his training level up and has had a really good response with what he’s done in the pool through the first eight weeks of the season,” Yarworth said.

It was a big day for junior Chris DiGiacomo as well, who set a personal record in the 100-yard backstroke at 51.51, earning him eighth place in the event.

DiGiacomo just missed achieving a personal record in the 200-yard backstroke by four-hundredths of a second, but he did finish fifth in both the 200-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley.

Yarworth praised DiGiacomo’s efforts against the Ivy league competition.

“[He] swam tremendously and has really starting to make himself a potential impact swimmer in the conference,” Yarsworth said.       

The Minutemen now look ahead to the Terrier Invitational on Nov. 18 through Nov. 20. With a big gap between meets dedicated to training, recovery and rest, Yarworth pointed out that in “two weeks [they’ll] be a different team.”

Boric qualifies for NCAA zone meet

For the Minutewomen (0-2), impressive showings on the diving boards and trios of top-10 finishes in the water highlighted Saturday’s action.

Although UMass dropped both dual meet scores to Brown (228-72) and Yale (246-54), Minutewomen coach Bob Newcomb explained the benefit of the meet.

“It was really good for the team to get in and race against phenomenal competition,” Newcomb said.

After qualifying for the NCAA zone meet in the one-meter dive earlier this year, freshman Maja Boric put herself back in the conversation once again.

On Saturday, the Croatian native added another qualification to her career, placing second in the three-meter dive with a score of 302.15.

Sophomore Katie Polk also had a good showing on the boards, placing third in the one-meter dive and fifth in the three-meter event.

In the water, trios of top-10 finishes from freshman Olga Egkorova and senior Meriza Werenski led UMass.

Egkorova placed eighth in the 200-yard butterfly, ninth in the 200-yard freestyle and 10th in the 100-yard butterfly. Newcomb said the freshman is learning what she can do and racing well in the early stages of her career.

“[Werenski is] a consistent, phenomenal athlete who’s swimming with a lot of confidence,” Newcomb said.

Werenski placed eighth in both the 200-yard individual medley and 100-yard breaststroke, while finishing ninth in the 500-yard freestyle.

Haley Masi rounded out the team’s top performers in the pool, placing ninth and eighth in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle sprints, respectively.

The team now has two weeks before they compete in the highly anticipated Terrier Invitational at Boston University.

After losing a handful of athletes to illness and injury, Newcomb is focused on preparing for the next meet while also trying to get everyone back.

“The big thing is to have a good week and a half of training, let them rest a little bit and try to get some people back,” Newcomb said.

Liam Flaherty can be reached at [email protected]

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