Williamstown, Mass.-- In the 2013 home opener at Muir-Samuelson pool women's swimming and diving came away with an emphatic win over archrival Amherst 187-107.The win was the fifth straight by the Eph women over Amherst and improved their overall record against Amherst to 32-4.
Behind strong performances from the entire roster the Ephs were able to capture ten out of sixteen event wins to outlast their opponents both in the pool and on the diving boards. With the win Williams moves to 4-1 on the season, while Amherst suffers their first loss to match the Ephs at 4-1.
Williams set the tone early in capturing a win in the opening medley relay. Moving onto the individual events the Ephs were able to keep up the pressure behind a series of impressive performances. First year Katie Bennett led the way in the backstroke events for the Ephs, capturing first place in both the 100 yd and 200 yd distances. In the 100 Bennett touched first in a time of 59.21, just ahead of her teammate, junior Stephanie Nguyen (59.68). In the 200 Bennett would increase her margin of victory to over three seconds, finishing in 2:07.16. Nguyen would place second (2:10.28) while sophomore Tess Vorselen completed the Williams sweep in 2:11.11.
Senior Caroline Wilson also turned in a series of strong swims, winning both the 200 yd freestyle (1:50.12) and 200 yd breaststroke (2:23.40). In the freestyle Wilson was locked in a tight race with sophomore Sarah Thompson until the very end, just outstretching her teammate at the wall to finish a scant 15 hundredths ahead of the charging Thompson. Not kept down for long, Thompson would bounce back with an event win of her own in the 500 yd freestyle, finishing over 12 seconds ahead of her nearest competitor in 5:01.18.
Williams got contributions from all portions of their roster, veterans and rookies alike. Senior Kelsey Roggensack took charge in the 200 yd butterfly, winning the event with a time of 2:08.14. First year Paige Haller would place second in the event (2:09.07). Fellow rookie Breanna Nguyen earned a win in the 100 yd breaststroke, surging ahead in the final fifty yards to finish first in 1:06.19. In the 1000 yd freestyle senior Kate O'Leary came into the wall just ahead of classmate Rebecca Maher in a 1-2 finish for the Ephs. Leary completed the grueling distance with a time of 10:38.50 while Maher was not far behind in 10:39.84. O'Leary followed up this performance with a second place finish in the 200 yd individual medley (2:09.30), just 23 hundredths behind the eventual winner.
While unable to pick up any individual victories, the Williams sprinters performed extremely well in both the 50 and 100 yd freestyle. First year Emma Nuzzo took second place in both events, finishing in 24.55 and 53.39 respectively. Senior Bryn Dunbar placed 4th in the 50 (24.74) and 3rd in the 100 (53.46) while first year Faye Sultan took 3rd the 50 (24.60) and turned in a time of 54.85 in the 100. Breanna Nguyen would just outpace Sultan in the 100 to take 5th (54.09).
In the diving events junior McKenzie Murdoch bounced back from a tough loss in the 1m springboard to earn an convincing victory on the 3m board. Murdoch scored 275.5 in the 3m competition, over 15 points better than her 1m score (259.35). Sophomore Michelle Higgins placed second in the 3m (257.55) and third in the 1m (247.80).
Head coach Steve Kuster was pleased with the result of the meet, stating that "The women swam very well tonight." Still, however, he also notes that there is a lot of work left to be done over the course of the season. "I think one thing that showed up here is that although we have a small team, it's a small team of people who can all make big impacts in a meet. It's a great win and the team has all been swimming and diving really well. The challenge with a small team like this though is that there's little room for error, so we've got to maintain this strong mentality for the rest of the season." The women will next travel to MIT to take on the Engineers on Friday January 11th, looking to continue their impressive run of form this season against the perennial NEWMAC powerhouse.