Nov. 1, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. – In the first dual-meet of the season, the Michigan State women’s swimming and diving team defeated Ball State on Friday night at McCaffree Pool in IM West. Posting several season-best performances and continuing their domination on the boards, the Spartans scored 182 points, while the Cardinals posted a score of 118.
“I thought we performed well,” said head coach Matt Gianiodis. “We’ve got to learn how to finish meets, though. We were ok and then coming off the break, I felt like we kind of let our guard down a little bit. Some of those swims we should not have lost. We didn’t really perform as well as we did the first half of the meet. It’s almost like they heard the score and they took a big sigh of relief. It took us a while to get back. But it’s very important to get the win, because the last time we swam this team, they beat up on us down there.”
For the second-straight meet, the Spartans swept the 1- and 3-meter events as they earned first through fourth-place points for MSU. After earning her first collegiate win last week against Illinois and Liberty, Maddie Sewell took another individual win against Ball State in the 3-meter with a score of 292.50. Cristee Cordes finished second (291.38), followed by Alison Menzies (246.38) and Taylor Mullahy (234.67). Menzies took the win in the 1-meter event with a score of 260.69, followed by Sewell (255.97), Cordes (254.55) and Mullahy (236.55).
“We took care of business,” said diving coach Eric Best. “We weren’t quite as sharp as we were last weekend against Illinois and Liberty. Not only did we go one through four which is nice and Taylor Mullahy had a really nice meet, but I’m kind of in a situation this year that I haven’t been in for a while where we go into a meet and I’ve got three divers that can win and I never know who it’s going to be. It’s a nice luxury. If one of the kids is falling off, I know another one is going to pick it up. That also relaxes the kids a little bit, too, because they know they’re teammates are going to be there to help them out.”
To kick off the meet in the lanes, the group of Brooke Telander, Shelby Lacy, Sarah Love and Emily Parsons finished third overall in the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:46.27.
In the 1,000 freestyle, the Spartans finished over 20 seconds ahead of the competition as Becca Berman won the event in 10:19.85 and Chelsea Abbott placed second with a time of 10:22.77. It is the second-straight win in the event for Berman. She later posted the top finish for the Spartans in the 500 freestyle with a second-place time of 5:12.42, followed by Whitney Woodbridge in third with a time of 5:14.44.
Summer Strickler earned her third-straight individual win in the 200 freestyle, hitting the wall in 1:54.15. She later finished second in the 100 freestyle with a time of 52.08, followed by Emily Parson (53.27) in third.
Earning a win in the 100 backstroke, Brooke Telander clocked a season-best time of 59.30 to pick up first-place points for the Spartans. Freshman Claire Pilarski finished third overall with a season-best time of 1:00.54. She also scored third-place points in the 200 backstroke, posting another season-best time of 2:13.68. In the 100 breaststroke, Lacy clocked a season-best time of 1:06.16 to also place third.
Freshman Sarah Love picked up an individual win in the 50 freestyle, hitting the wall in a season-best time of 23.87. Winning her second event of the night, she posted a time of 57.21 to score first-place points in the 100 butterfly. Marcella Kupraszewicz finished third in the event, clocking a season-best time of 57.91.
In the 200 breaststroke, Marina Borri (2:25.28) and Lacy (2:26.22) picked up second- and third-place points, respectively.
The Spartans didn’t let up, earning first- through third-place points in the 400 individual medley, led by an all-time top-10 performance by Brown with a time of 4:29.19. She was followed by Pugh (4:31.90) in second and Abbott (4:32.67) in third.
MSU closed out the night with a close race in the 400 freestyle relay as the team of Strickler, Love, Folkertsma and Parsons clocked a time of 3:32.39 to finish second.
“We had a top-10 swim from Lizzy (Elizabeth Brown) in the 400 individual medley, which I thought was a nice swim,” said Gianiodis. “The freshmen swam really well. We had some girls who were in exhibition heats that I thought swam well and came really close to their cut times to get to the second semester. So there were a lot of positives. But the thing that’s holding us up is that we’ve got to put together a whole meet. We came off the break, then we lost the backstroke, the breaststroke, the 500 free, we gutted out the 100 fly, but that’s four races in a row that we probably should’ve won at least two of them. We’ll get it fixed and see what happens.”
The women will re-join the men next weekend as the Spartans host a co-ed dual meet against Grand Valley State University on Friday, Nov. 8 at 5 p.m.