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RU falls after Mountaineer comeback

Morgantown, W.Va., felt a lot more like "Heartbreak City" for the Rutgers swimming and diving team this weekend, when it fell to West Virginia, 148-146.

The Scarlet Knights (1-3, 1-3) took first place in eight of the 16 events and held the lead for most of the day including a mark of 144-133 going into the final event.

"The meet will reflect a loss in our record, although a lot of positives came out of it for our program," said head coach Phil Spiniello. "The women did an excellent job of stepping up and racing event after event throughout the whole meet."

The highlight on the swimming side for the Knights' –– and a bright spot in the early going this season –– was the performance of junior Brianne Lindblad in the backstroke.

Lindblad took first place in the 100- and 200-yard backstrokes with times of 57.65 and 2:07.38, respectively. She has not been defeated in either event thus far this season. The junior also paced the Knights as they defeated West Virginia (2-3, 1-2) in two relays.

In the 400-yard medley relay, the team of Lindblad, freshman Emilie Kaufmann, sophomore Taylor Curado and junior Jacquelyn Ward won with a time of 3:54.01 — more than 10 seconds ahead of its closest competitor. The 200-yard freestyle relay team of Lindblad, Kaufmann, Curado and freshman Mary Moser completed its race in 1:38.46, also enough for first place.

Curado added an individual victory in the 100-yard butterfly by touching the wall in 56.55. Ward grabbed a win in the 200-yard breaststroke with 2:22.32, followed closely by freshman teammate Trisha Averill, who came in second with 2:23.90.

In one of the most exciting finishes on the day, Averil took the top spot. She finished first in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1.07.16, narrowly edging out Breanna McCann of West Virginia and Kaufmann, who both finished within 0.18 seconds of her time.

The diving results were a bit of a shock to the Rutgers faithful, as freshman Nicole Scott swept the meet with victories in both the one-meter and three-meter competitions.

Conventional wisdom would have suggested that if any Rutgers diver were going to win both events, it would have been senior captain Jen Betz, who had been on a tear of late, especially in the three-meter dive.

It was Scott though, who registered scores of 284.17 in the one-meter and 278.02 in the three-meter good for first place in both events.

A combination of Scott, Betz and sophomore Katie Kearney placed first through third in both diving events as the Knights did not allow West Virginia to gain a single point in diving.

"Congratulations to our divers on a phenomenal performance on the boards," Spiniello said. "We are laying the foundation for what should be an exciting Big East Championship in February."

The Knights will try to right the ship next weekend as they come home to the Banks for the Frank Elm Invitational at the RU Aquatic Center.

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