The University of Connecticut swimming and diving team defeated Southern Connecticut State University at the Wolff-Zackin Natatorium in Storrs on Dec. 3 by a score of 157-122. The victory brought the Huskies to 4-2 overall for the season, while dropping the Owls to 0-4-1, leaving the other state school without a victory this year.
One of the most impressive stats of the meet was UConn’s four clean sweeps in their 16 events. They dominated the podium in the 200-yard freestyle, the 50-yard backstroke, the 100-yard butterfly and the 50-yard freestyle, racking up 64 of their 157 points in the process. The Huskies also defeated all of SCSU’s swimmers in three other events: the 200-yard medley relay, the 50-yard breaststroke and the 100-yard breaststroke. This dominance earned the Huskies another 41 points, putting them well ahead of the Owls in the contest, a deficit SCSU would never be able to overcome.
After team dominance in the first event of the day, the 200-yard medley relay, the first person to achieve personal glory was freshman Amelia Schafer, who placed first in the 1000-yard freestyle event. Fellow freshman Maggie Donlevy followed that with a first place of her own in the 200-yard freestyle, continuing her dominance in the event throughout this season. During the very same event, sophomore Kayla Mendonca finished second, just three-tenths of a second behind Donlevy. For the first section of the meet, it was coming up all underclasswomen.
An upperclasswoman did not top of the podium until the 10th event of the meet, which was yet another Huskies sweep. That honor went to junior Anna Wenman, who won the 100-yard butterfly by finishing ahead of sophomore Melissa Lowry and sophomore Nicole Burg. Then, the juniors and seniors couldn’t stop winning, as they swept the 50-yard freestyle event and took the gold in the 100-yard freestyle. Senior Catherine Fazio and junior Caitlin Spencer led the charge, with freshman Paige Sugra not far behind.
To finally put a bow on the day, Schafer and Donlevy went one-two in the 100-yard breaststroke and sealed the deal as the stars of the weekend. Those two swimmers encapsulated why this team has a really bright future: the younger women are putting the team on their back and winning their share of events. With their improvement, these freshmen and sophomores could be mentoring groups of swimmers down the line, possibly leading to a ranked team in the future.
The Huskies now have a lengthy break ahead of them. After a holiday reprieve, they’ll be back in the pool on Jan. 14, taking on the University of Rhode Island away from home in Kingston, Rhode Island.