The UConn women’s swim and dive team is back in action after two weeks off. They will travel to Boston for the first away meet of the season against Northeastern on Saturday at 1 p.m.
The Huskies are coming off a close loss against Big East rival Villanova on Oct. 21. The deciding factor was the 1.56 second loss to the Wildcats in the 200-yard freestyle relay that secured a 154-146 victory for Villanova. Villanova picked up right where they left off last season where they defeated UConn–and the rest of the conference– in the Big East Championships to claim the women’s title.
UConn has had a solid start to the 2023-24 season thus far, with its only blemish being the loss to Villanova. In the first two wins over Southern Connecticut and Georgetown, there were some impressive performances. In the meet against Southern Connecticut, the Huskies scored big points in several events, most notably sweeping the top three in the 200-yard freestyle. UConn’s Meghan Byrne, Claire Lippert and Niamh Hofland all finished 4.23 seconds or faster ahead of the first Owl competitor, contributing 16 points to the team’s 163 point total.
The trio of Alexis Martino, Ella Epes and Haley Schmitt also combined for 16 points in the 100-yard freestyle. All three competitors bested the first Owl finisher by 3.26 seconds or better.
Northeastern is coming off a solid season in 2022-23 that saw the team earn a 6-2 record and a third place finish in the CAA Championships. Prior to those championships, they strung together a three-meet winning streak. All three meets were won convincingly by 30 points or more.
Northeastern is searching for their first win after coming off a 159-138 loss to MIT in the first scored meet of the season. Despite the loss, there were several notable performances. One of those was junior Hannah Seward taking home two individual wins in the 100 fly and 200 fly with times of 56.16 and 2:09.32. Northeastern will need her production if they want to compete with UConn’s talent.
In the same meet against MIT, Northeastern’s sophomore Jodi Au took home the win in the 3-meter dive with a score of 238.65. Finishing behind her in third was senior Lizzie Meschisen with a score of 235.30. Similar to the meet against the Engineers, those two will have to replicate that performance against Connecticut.
UConn will have to become comfortable competing on the road as it won’t host another home meet until Feb. 2. It will be a six-game stretch at opponent pools, a good test of performance in other environments. The Huskies aim to emulate a similar performance against Northeastern as last year where they won their only matchup in a convincing 190.5-161.5 score.
UConn will need to regain the momentum it had going before suffering its first loss of the season to take down the other Huskies. All eyes will be focused toward the Big East Championships in February to improve on their second-place finish last season.