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RU pushes for AAC spots in last meet

<p>Senior Mary Moser had two first-place finishes the last time RU faced Georgetown. The Knights will honor six seniors Saturday.</p>

Senior Mary Moser had two first-place finishes the last time RU faced Georgetown. The Knights will honor six seniors Saturday.

As if senior day was not enough motivation, spots on the Rutgers swimming and diving teams conference championship roster could also be decided this Saturday.

The Scarlet Knights (7-4-1) face two former Big East rivals in Georgetown (3-10) and Providence (4-7) at the RU Aquatics Center in the final regular season meet of the season.

With everything that is at stake in this final quad meet, head coach Phil Spiniello is expecting impressive performances.

“I would really like to see our times continue to drop as they have throughout January and get us really ready to go both physically and mentally for the AAC meet in a couple of weeks,” Spiniello said. “There are still a few spots to be earned on our AAC Championship team. So we’re going to need to swim to our capability … and also come out with a couple victories.”

The Knights faced Georgetown earlier in the season Nov. 9, beating the Hoyas, 251-97. Senior Mary Moser and sophomore Joanna Wu’s strong performances led the way.

Both had a few first-place finishes and were members of the winning 200-medley relay team.

Rutgers has not faced Providence this season but should be familiar with the Friars from their time in the Big East.

The last time both teams met was during last year’s Big East Championships, where the Knights finished fifth and the Friars finished 10th.

While past results are sure to favor the Knights, the added pressure the final meet entails will require a strong mindset.

“Mentally we just have to keep our confidence up because that’s really important,” Moser said. “Physically we’ve done all the work already throughout the first few months of the season, so now it’s more preparation on concentrating on the little details.”

Some of those details include sharpening up their starts and turns. Given how close races can get, minor details could be the difference between first and second place.

Since the season is winding down, the Knights have begun to taper down their workouts. Practices have primarily focused on speed work and are much shorter, allowing the team to rest up for the conference championships.  

Since the team will be in the middle of its taper come Saturday’s meet, time drops are expected for most of the swimmers.

Since practices are shorter and endurance work is over, many teams might tend to drop off in intensity.

But for the Knights, shorter practices are as intense, if not higher, than earlier in the season.

With more rest and the AAC championships a couple of weeks away, practices are as lively as ever.

“You can definitely tell that we’re more excited at practice,” said senior swim captain Allyson Perrotti. “We’re not as worn down as we were at the beginning of the year … and it’s exciting. That’s why we love swimming and you can definitely see the energy getting higher as we prepare for the conference meet.”

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

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