After a two-week hiatus, the UConn swimming and diving team will take on Central Connecticut State University on Friday at 6 p.m. in a home meet at the Wolff-Zackin Natatorium in Storrs, Connecticut. Both Connecticut squads have been on a roll, and would like to keep up that momentum as the swimming season comes closer and closer to wrapping up before championships begin.
The Huskies come into the weekend with a flawless 5-0 record, two wins of which came against Big East opponents. They’ve cruised for most of the season without much of a challenge, winning meets by some ludicrous scores. Just to name a couple examples, their October meet with the University of Rhode Island ended in a final of 282-70, which is impressive, but they followed that up two weeks later with another smackdown, this time with Villanova, 180.5-119.5. Their most recent win came against Seton Hall, 164-128, but the match that is worth taking a closer look at was against Georgetown at the nation’s capital. There, they narrowly beat the Hoyas in Washington, D.C. by a score of 158-142 thanks to key first place finishes from usual suspects: Niamh Hofland in the 1000 and 500 freestyles, Robyn Edwards in the 100 backstroke, the diving team sweeping their events, and Alexis Martino in the 100 freestyle. That win shows just how resilient these Huskies are – and how much they’re capable of when times get tough.
The CCSU Blue Devils have had a similarly interesting year, as they’ve been nearly as good as UConn, totaling a 4-1 overall record. They’ve also had their fair share of dominant wins, like the trouncing of 245.5-107.5 against New Hampshire and 166-73 against Stony Brook away from home, but their most impressive victory of the year has to be their top-of-the-podium finish at the Connecticut Cup. At the state-wide event (in which UConn did not enter), the Blue Devils managed to eke out a close victory over Wesleyan, taking the weekend by a single point. Katie Czulewicz earned CCSU their first victory of the weekend in the 500 freestyle and later followed it up with another gold in the 200 freestyle. Jewelle Maziarz won the 1-meter and 3-meter dives, and Gabi Wroblewski captured the top podium spot in the 400 individual medley, leading the way for the rest of the Blue Devils. Though CCSU may be in an inferior conference to the Big East, they are still a force to be reckoned with in the pool.
The Huskies will be tested once again on Friday, and challenged to show their mettle. With the Blue Devils as skilled a foe as they’ve met all season, UConn will need to prove that they can win meets like this and continue to carry the momentum they’ve garnered through January and carry it into February, their last month of regular season meets.