Oct. 25, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's swimming and diving team hosted a tri-meet on Friday evening against Big Ten foe Illinois and Liberty. Despite several season-best times and a dominating performance on the boards, the Spartans lost a hard-fought meet against Illinois (122-178) and Liberty (133-166).
"When we first got started, we won a couple of close races and I thought that we would pick up on that momentum and we just didn't," said head coach Matt Gianiodis. "I think in the end, we ran out of gas. I'm really proud of Summer (Strickler); I thought she swam exceptionally well. Becca (Berman) in the 1,000 did a nice job. I was amazed at the fact that even our kids swimming for points swam so well. We had season-bests all over the place. Sarah Love continues to really impress. Based on what we did throughout the course of the week, I thought we worked really hard and I think we swam pretty well. It was good for us. I thought we did a nice job. It's tough to lose, but if you're going to lose, lose performing well and that's the most important thing."
On the boards, Michigan State swept first through third-place on both the 1 and 3-meter events. Earning her first collegiate win, Madeline Sewell took first-place honors on the 1-meter with a NCAA Zone Championship-qualifying score of 268.50. She also qualified for the Championships with a third-place score of 289.88 on the 3-meter.
Christee Cordes finished second in both the 1 and 3-meter with Zone-qualifying scores of 267.67 and 292.05, respectively. Recording a career-best score of 314.63, Alison Menzies won the 3-meter event en route to punching her ticket to the Championships. She also place third on the 1-meter with a score of 259.95.
"Well it's always great when we can get our NCAA Zone cut done this early in the season, especially for Maddie as a freshman," said assistant coach Eric Best. "So it was really good. Now we don't have to worry about it for the rest of the season and we can focus on more of our training, not worry about what meet's next and turn our focus to the Big Ten Championships."
In the longest, yet most exciting race of the meet, Becca Berman just beat out competition to win first-place honors in the 1,000 freestyle with a season-best time of 10:18.84. Chelsea Abbott picked up third-place points with a season-best time of 10:22.19.
Summer Strickler earned herself an individual win in the 200 freestyle, hitting the wall in a season-best time of 1:52.37. She later finished third overall in the 100 freestyle, clocking another season-best time of 51.61. In the 100 breaststroke, Lacy finished second overall with her season-best time of 1:06.17. In the 200 breaststroke, Marina Borri clocked her season-best time of 2:22.32 to finish third. Also stepping up for the Spartans was freshman Sarah Love who picked up third-place points in the 100 butterfly as she finished with a season-best time of 56.38.
"My heart goes out to Kathleen and her family," said Gianiodis on the absence of assistant coach Kathleen Milloy. "I just went through it. We've worked together for almost 12 years, so I feel badly for her family."
MSU will be back in action next weekend as the women host Ball State on Friday, Nov. 1 at 5 p.m.