Swim and Dive: Minutewomen fall to 4-2 after 141-140 loss to URI

URI pulls out the win in final race

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Swim and Dive: Minutewomen fall to 4-2 after 141-140 loss to URI

Nina Walat

Nina Walat

Nina Walat

By Joseph Aliberti, Collegian Staff

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The Massachusetts women’s swim and dive team fell to Rhode Island in a meet that came down to the last race, with the Rams coming away with a 141-140 victory.

URI took the lead early in the meet, with a 67-45 lead after the first six events.

“In the first half of the meet, we did not swim well at all,” coach Bob Newcomb said. “But then we turned around and challenged the team to find a way to make things work, and we swam a lot better in the second half.”

Although UMass (4-2, 0-1 A-10) lost a meet that it could’ve won, Newcomb was more focused on where the Minutewomen shined, including finishing the meet on a 95-74 run.

“It’s one of those things where you learn a lot about the character of the team,” said Newcomb. “I was really impressed with the attitude and the character that this team showed. They rallied, they woke up, and they did what they needed to do. They could’ve just rolled over… I’m very proud of this team.”

The Minutewomen won seven out of 15 races, led by senior diver Maja Boric, who posted a score of 297 in the one-meter dive and a 285.37 in the three-meter dive, making her 12-0 on the year heading into the WVU diving invitational in Morgantown.

“She’s amazingly solid,” said Newcomb.

Although Boric was the only Minutewoman with multiple wins, others stood out. Senior Stephanie Judge finished third in the 50-yard freestyle and second in the 100-yard freestyle, two races that she doesn’t usually participate in. At the end of the day, she was back in the pool on short rest.

“Stephanie Judge had an awesome day,” Newcomb said. “She swam the 50 and 100 freestyle which are two different events for her, and she placed in both of those. Then the 200 fly was two events later when there was an open spot, and she said, ‘I’m swimming in it.’ She was the one that stepped up.”

Getting just one race off is very unorthodox, as the swimmer usually needs more cooldown time before racing again.

Sophomore Emily Rudiman, who won the 100-yard freestyle and was the runner-up in the 50-yard freestyle, also did well under poor conditions.

“Emily Rudiman has been sick this whole week,” Newcomb said. “But she just came out and lit things up, she had a great day.”

Rams freshman Aimee Garcia had a very impressive day against UMass. Garcia won the 500-yard freestyle and the 200-yard breaststroke and was also the first swimmer for the 800-yard freestyle relay team that beat out the Minutewomen by .48 seconds in the final event to clinch victory for URI. Along with the three wins, she also finished second in the 100-yard individual medley.

Fellow URI freshman Julia Renna had wins in the 100-yard and 200-yard backstroke, along with also being the first swimmer in the Rams’ 400-yard medley relay team, which earned URI its first win of the meet.

The Minutewomen have gotten the better of their A-10 rival in the past, winning 27 out of their 29 matchups. Although no team ever wants to lose, especially by one point in a conference match, UMass is looking ahead to the next event, the Terrier Invitational.

“We’re in a very high point of training right now,” Newcomb said. “Sometimes being able to get up in the middle of this period is really hard to do.”

The Minutewomen have next weekend off before the swimmers have to head to BU for the Terrier Invitational, while the divers will head to their own diving invitational in West Virginia.

Joseph Aliberti can be reached through email via [email protected] and followed on Twitter @JosephAliberti1.