Knights welcome pair of in-state foes to RU
There is a different feeling around the Sonny Werblin Recreation Center for the Rutgers swimming and diving team’s second home meet.
“The team has been working extremely hard this week,” said head coach Phil Spiniello. “The energy level is high, and you can tell they are definitely gearing up to have a great meet at home.”
The Scarlet Knights look to use that energy today, when they face off against in-state rivals Seton Hall and St. Peter’s, as well as Texas Christian.
For the Knights, the quad meet presents the biggest challenge to their unblemished record.
“We have some great competition coming to town this weekend,” Spiniello said. “TCU and Seton Hall are very good teams, and it is going to be a great challenge for our program to see where we are at.”
The Pirates enter the two-day event with an undefeated record. The cross-state rival comes off of last weekend’s 154-122 victory against Providence in which it finished first in 11 events.
TCU visits Piscataway as a one-time prospective member of the Big East conference. But after accepting an invitation to compete in the league, TCU opted instead to join the Big 12.
The Horn Frogs feature junior swimmer Sabine Rasch, who won four individual titles this past weekend, including the 50-yard and 100-yard events against Rice. The reigning Mountain West Conference Swimmer of the Week helped her team win seven events.
She looks to aid the Horn Frogs improve upon their 4-1 record.
St. Peter’s, who competed on campus earlier this season, also swims in the weekend’s two-day event.
“I think that we’ve prepared to do really well [for tomorrow],” said junior diver Katie Kearney. “Over the past couple of weeks we have been working on focusing on finishing, and it has been coming together. We’ve been working really hard this week.”
The Knights come off of their meet against Wagner, in which they won 11 of the 16 events and beat the Seahawks, 165-121, to capture their fourth team win.
Junior diver Carissa Santora and sophomore Nicole Scott enter today with success in the 1- and 3-meter dives. Santora tied with Scott in the 1-meter event and took home the 3-meter crown during the Knights’ win.
In the pool, Rutgers relies on sophomore Chelsea Rolin and seniors Jacquelyn Ward and Brianne Lindblad to bring the team success. Both seniors captured individual titles for the Knights in their last meet, and Rolin finished first in the 100-yard backstroke and 100-yard freestyle.
With success evident throughout the program, Spiniello is happy with the way the team started, and hopes it can continue on the same path.
“It’s good to see some of their hard work come to fruition,” Spiniello said. “I think it is a sign of good things to come, and we are still laying the foundation for what this program is all about. I think we want to put on a good performance for our home crowd.”