July 16, 2018 | ° F

Rutgers turns frustration into motivation for matchup against New Hampshire

Coming off a blowout loss to a No. 17 Penn State, the Rutgers swimming and diving team looks to get back on track with its second-to-last meet of the season against New Hampshire.

“I think we are still fired up knowing … what to expect from the Big Ten,” senior Greta Leberfinger said. “We just need to remain positive. If you put up a great time regardless of the score, that’s something we want through our training.”

Junior Joanna Wu described the result of the meet as deriving from frustration.

“We were frustrated in a good way and we were ready for the meet, [but] we knew it would be a tough opponent,” Wu said. “I was happy with the teams performance and we tried our best. “

It is a one-day duel meet this week, so it enables the Scarlet Knights to better concentrate on their priorities.

“The one team competition allows them to focus in on what needs to be done in order to walk away with a victory at UNH,” said head coach Phil Spiniello. “UNH has NCAA qualifiers on their team. As the season is set up, we have to focus on every opponent, and this is the next step to get to that peak level.”

Rutgers saw UNH when it came to the Rutgers Aquatic Center in the Frank Elm Invite. 

Wu feels the Wildcats are not a team to be underestimated just because they are not in the Big Ten. 

With a loss to Penn State stunting Rutgers’ hot streak, the team has to reevaluate its performance — a beneficial process that can result in improved techniques and mindsets.

First-year diver Addison Walkowiak earned the fourth Big Ten Freshman of the week on the season this past weekend after her performance at Penn State, winning the 1-meter dive yet again. 

With this meet and one more left against Providence and Georgetown before the Big Ten Championships, it is getting closer to a time of year when the Knights might overlook their opponents and what they’ve been working toward all year. 

But senior captain Greta Leberfinger feels otherwise, believing it is all about the approach going into the meet.

“We try to take it one week at time,” she said. “This weekend we have a meet and we have to stay focused on the task at hand. Take each weekend, each day and each practice as it comes.”

For updates on the Rutgers swimming and diving team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

Ryan Moran

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