Rutgers travels to Yale for duel meet
The Rutgers swimming and diving team travels to Yale this weekend to take on Boston University.
Yale is not involved in the meet, but its facilities nearby in New Haven, Connecticut, serve as the host site.
The Scarlet Knights lost to Boston last season, but the team considers that fact as motivation rather than revenge.
The meet is Rutgers’ first since the Frank Elm Invite that was held Nov. 21-23 at the Rutgers Aquatic Center, where the team achieved a third-place finish among 13 competing teams.
Unlike the Invite, this meet will be between two teams spanning just one day. That allows the Knights to concentrate on finishing everything in one day and not having to deal with the mental and physical draining of a three-day meet at different times of the day.
According to head coach Phil Spiniello, it eases the preparation for his team.
“I think any time you concentrate on one task at hand, it makes it easier to prepare for,” Spiniello said. “And that will be trying to beat Boston University this week.”
Spiniello gave the team five days off during Thanksgiving break, but he doesn’t think that it will affect the team’s performance for this upcoming meet.
“It was a natural break,” Spiniello said. “They had been working really hard in September and October. A couple days break probably did everyone good. We’ve come back and have been training really hard this week and getting back to where we need to be. I don’t think it will have any effect on what we do this week.”
There was a bit of an adjustment coming back for sophomore diver Alyssa Black, but she doesn’t think it will have much affect, either.
“I don’t think it will affect us that much,” Black said. “It was five days and, yes, it takes a while to get back in the gist of everything, but I’m excited to get back on the board and travel.”
The dual meet marks the first time of the season that Rutgers will hit the road.
“It adds a whole different element,” Spiniello said. “We have some good leadership on this team that will help the underclassman understand what goes into traveling and being prepared to race well.”
Hitting the road changes a team’s preparation because it may not get that extra day of practice like it would if it was a home meet, but the Knights think that they are ready for the challenge.
“I think we have to prepared to swim in a different pool,” Spiniello said. “Understanding where the walls are and getting off the blocks [are things] we don’t know but that’s all things we figure out when we get there.”
Since most members of the team have been in many different pools from club events that they’ve had, they believe the change shouldn’t make a big difference.
“Swimming in so many different pools in my life makes it just another pool,” said senior swimmer Greta Leberfinger. “It gets me excited because everything is new.”
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