Rutgers wins in return to home pool
It was all smiles for the Rutgers swimming and diving team following its meet Saturday afternoon at the RU Aquatics Center.
Despite going winless in their last two road contests, the Scarlet Knights hardly looked like a team lacking in confidence.
The Knights dominated their races and dives, winning 11 of the 16 events on the day and collecting wins against Fordham (6-3), 169-128, and Rider (1-8-1), 211-79.
Following their tough road meets against nationally ranked opposition, the Knights (7-4-1) appeared to shift into another gear as two quality programs challenged them.
With the AAC Championships less than a month away, adding a couple victories is exactly what head coach Phil Spiniello hoped for.
“You always want to come away with some wins and we came away with two today, which is great to add to our dual meet record,” Spiniello said. “We also had really good season times, lowered some of our best season times, which is great. And we have some momentum going into the AAC Championship meets, which is the goal.”
Junior Greta Leberfinger and sophomore Joanna Wu led the Knights, finishing with two individual wins along with being part of the first-place 200-medley relay team.
Wu claimed first in the 100 and 200 backstroke by nearly three seconds in both races, while Leberfinger won both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events.
Some strong performances from both their seniors and underclassmen also helped the Knights.
Seniors Mary Moser and Brittany Guinee both won individually for the team. Moser placed first in the 50 and 200 freestyle, while Guinee added a first-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly.
Sophomore Morgan Pfaff and freshman Rachel Stoddard also performed strongly. Pfaff captured a first-place finish in the 400 individual medley, and Stoddard placed second in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke events.
With three weeks until the conference championships, having such a strong team performance could calm some nerves.
“We just need to trust our training, relax and just have fun and get each other psyched up,” Leberfinger said.
The diving team was also successful. Senior Nicole Scott led the way with two wins.
The Toronto, Canada, native placed first in both the 1-meter and 3-meter dives with scores of 263.70 and 302.00, respectively.
Freshman diver Rebecca Gross placed second in both events to cap off a strong showing for the diving team.
“We’ve been really working on the details and the kind of things that were missing a little bit last year [on dives],” Scott said. “I’m really confident about the stuff that we’re doing.”
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