RU seeks revenge against Wildcats

The Rutgers swimming and diving team prepared to exact some revenge against a familiar foe.

The Scarlet Knights host former Big East rivals Villanova, Georgetown and Seton Hall today and Saturday at the Rutgers Aquatic Center.

Rutgers fell just short of winning the quad meet last year, as the Knights defeated the Hoyas (1-3) and Pirates (3-2) but fell just short to the Wildcats (1-4), 179-173.

Rutgers finished just behind Villanova at the Big East Championships, where the Wildcats edged the Knights by four points.

“We’re looking to win all three meets,” said head coach Phil Spiniello. “Last year we lost to Villanova … and I think that’s not sitting well with the team and we are ready to change that this weekend.”

The Knights enter the quad meet with early-season momentum. They earned several top-five finishes in their first meet Oct. 19 at the Sonny Werblin Invitational.

Then Rutgers captured 12 of 16 events in its first dual meet of the season to defeat Wagner (7-1).

While the early-season success is promising, senior swim captain Allyson Perrotti admits the upcoming quad meet will be more intense.

“With the mentality of the Villanova meet versus the Wagner meet, we are more mentally prepared and ready to go,” Perrotti said. “Wagner was more of a race-prep meet and this meet we all really want to win so there should be some much faster times than in the last meet.”

The Knights took the two weeks off between meets to work on race details to sharpen up their starts, turns and finishes, which Spiniello believes cost the team in some of their close races against the Seahawks.

Senior Brittany Guinee believes the squad can still pull out some nice times. Guinee, who set a school record in the 200 butterfly, captured a first-place finish in the 100 butterfly at last year’s quad meet.

“I feel pretty confident,” Guinee said. “I will most likely be doing my three best events at this meet. And I know it’s still early in the season, but I already feel pretty prepared to do well in my events and it should be a really emotional and intense meet.”   

The Knights’ history against Villanova will certainly increase intensity. The Knights’ main goal is to finish well at the AAC championships and NCAA championships, but a matchup against the Wildcats is viewed as one of their most important meets of the season.

“Everyone really wants revenge over last year,” Perrotti said. “Ever since my freshmen year, we have gone back and forth with Villanova, and this year I think our stronger swimmers outweigh their stronger swimmers.”

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

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