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For first-year students, the adjustment period from high school
to college is not always a smooth process. But freshman diver
Nicole Honey’s transition was made easier by the way her teammates
embraced her from the moment she joined the Rutgers women’s
swimming and diving team. “I think I really found my niche on the
team,” Honey said. “It’s really great and I love it. The team is
great, and they support me as a freshman, so I’m having a
Every time junior diver Katie Kearney jumps off the board,
Rutgers diving coach Fred Woodruff winces as she cuts her way
through the water. He does not cringe because of the way the dive
looks. He reacts accordingly because he knows with each dive, his
captain hits the pool with pain. “She dives in pain every day,”
Woodruff said. “She’s having a hard time with her injuries.”
It is 1:30 p.m. during a regular day of diving practice.
Skrillex echoes off the walls of the Sonny Werblin Recreation
Center as Rutgers diver Victoria Gordon makes her way up a set of
stairs to the diving platform. The sophomore steps onto the board,
closes her eyes, takes a deep breath and springs into the air. She
makes a faint splash moments later as water spills onto the pool
Junior diver Katie Kearney hits the water at the Sonny Werblin
Recreation?Center during a practice dive, which causes pain after
she dislocated her shoulder earlier in the season.
Junior diver Carissa Santora completes a practice dive from a
3-meter spring board. Santora is in her first season with the
Scarlet Knights after transferring from Virginia Tech.?Diving
coach?Fred Woodruff orginially recruited Santora out of Mainland
Regional?High School, but she chose Virginia Tech instead of
Sophomore divers Nicole Scott, above, and Victoria Gordon dive
from a 5-meter platform board during practice at the Sonny Werblin
No matter what sport, every team wants to begin the season with
a victory. But six straight wins to kick off the year have Rutgers
head swimming and diving coach Phil Spiniello excited for what lies
ahead for the program. “This is a special group of women,”
Spiniello said. “These swimmers and divers are motivated, have
goals and every day, put those goals in front of them in trying to
get better in the pool.”
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.”
Junior captain?Katie Kearney is battling a shoulder injury, but
she finished third last week in the 1-meter dive against
High school seniors face the difficult decision every year of
either staying home to earn their college educations or venturing
away from everything they know to school in a different state.
Rutgers junior diver Carissa Santora chose the latter three years
ago. But it took only a two-year stint at Virginia Tech for Santora
to realize how much she missed home, and the first-year Scarlet
Knight believes she made the right choice by returning to New
Junior diver Carissa Santora won both the 1-meter and 3-meter
Junior diver Carissa Santora transferred to Rutgers after
spending two seasons at Virginia Tech. The move reunited Santora
with diving coach Fred Woodruff, who initially recruited her at
Mainland Regional High School.
The one objective Rutgers head swimming and diving coach Phil
Spiniello wanted to accomplish at last Friday’s home meet was to
get a full team effort. The Scarlet Knights responded by capturing
a 165-121 win against Wagner en route to their fourth victory of
the season. The team now boasts an undefeated record with four
wins, including three in the Big East, and took first in 11 out of
Sophomore Chelsea Rolin led the Scarlet Knights with two
individual titles Friday in a home victory against Wagner. Rolin
also capured as a member of the Rutgers 200-yard medley relay.
As the Rutgers women’s swimming and diving team comes off its
season-opening sweep, Scarlet Knights head coach Phil Spiniello
knows his team still needs to work hard to take advantage of the
momentum generated by last weekend’s quad-meet victory. “We have
been making improvements from last weekend and have been working on
things that will make us successful down the road,” Spiniello
The Big?East named junior Trisha Averill its Female Swimmer of
the Week after she won four individual races and two relays at
Rutgers’ Big?East quad-meet sweep.
While the East Coast could not escape Saturday’s snowstorm, the
Rutgers swimming and diving team managed to make the best of it.
The Scarlet Knights swept all three participating schools in this
weekend’s Big East quad meet in Storrs, Conn. “I thought it was a
great start to our season,” said head coach Phil Spiniello. “We had
a lot of good swimming and diving for the month of October.
Senior Trisha Averill led the Scarlet Knights with four
first-place finishes in their quad meet at Connecticut. She
captured the top spot in the 100-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard
IM on Day 1, while she took two more first-place efforts on the
meet’s second day.