DURHAM, N.H. – The University of New Hampshire women's swimming & diving team competes in its last home meet of the season, hosting the Yale University Bulldogs on Friday, Jan. 24 (5 p.m.) at Swasey Pool on Senior Night.
SENIOR SALUTE: The Wildcat coaching staff will honor five seniors as they compete in their final home meet of their collegiate careers. New Hampshire's senior class consists of: Jenna Bull (Woodstock, New Brunswick), Bernadette Byrne (Braintree, Mass.), Katie Keefer (Waynesboro, Va.), Lauren McCandless (Macungie, Pa.) and Jenni Roberts (Springvale, Maine).
THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE: Winners of their last seven dual meets, the Wildcats come back home after an upset at Dartmouth (166-134) on Jan. 17 to remain unblemished in head-to-head meets. Entering the match up against the Big Green, Dartmouth was ranked 15th in the Division I mid major poll. Junior Katie Mann (Prince George, B.C.) set a new pool record in the 200-yard breaststroke, touching the wall at 2 minutes, 16.65 seconds. Furthermore, the time was the best by an America East swimmer this season. Mann also placed first in two other individual events, which included the 100-yard breaststroke (1:04.61) and the 200-yard IM (2:06.34).
McCandless and Roberts each added two individual wins apiece in the win over Dartmouth. In the 500-yard and 1,000-yard freestyle events, McCandless headlined the races with marks of 5:02.55 and 10:17.52 respectively. Roberts was featured in the 100-yard backstroke and butterfly events. The senior earned times of 56.25 in the backstroke and 56.60 in the butterfly.
In the 200-yard medley relay, the quartet of Bull, Roberts, Mann and Allison Morales (Santa Clarita, Calif.) also came away with a top finish, collectively earning a time of 1:48.00.
SCOUTING YALE: Yale enters the meet after a week off from competition. The Bulldogs were victorious at home over Ivy League foes Dartmouth (223-77) and Penn (162.5-137.5) on Jan. 11. The only loss Yale has conceded in a dual meet this season, came against Ancient Eight member Columbia, 185-115 (Nov. 15). Overall, Yale is 5-1 on the season.
AMERICA EAST ACCOLADES: Four different UNH swimmers have garnered weekly honors from the conference during the 2013-14 campaign. Bull, McCandless, Roberts and Oneida Cooper (Johannesburg, South Africa) have all claimed America East Swimmer of the Week honors. On the boards, junior diver Nicole Zahka (Medway, Mass.) has been named America East Diver of the Week twice this season. Here is the complete list of award winners for the 2013-14 season:
|Oct. 15, 2013||Jenna Bull||America East Swimmer of the Week|
|Oct. 15, 2013||Nicole Zahka||America East Diver of the Week|
|Oct. 22, 2013||Lauren McCandless||America East Swimmer of the Week|
|Oct. 29, 2013||Jenni Roberts||America East Swimmer of the Week|
|Oct. 29, 2013||Nicole Zahka||America East Diver of the Week|
|Nov. 26, 2013||Oneida Cooper||America East Swimmer of the Week|
BROKEN RECORDS: The UNH swimming & diving team have snapped a myriad of records this season. McCandless claimed a Swasey Pool record against Vermont on Oct. 19 in the 200-yard butterfly, touching the wall at 2:02.03 seconds. In the ensuing meet against Northeastern (Oct. 26), a trio of Swasey Pool records fell to current members of the Wildcats. Roberts recorded her historical mark in the 200-yard IM, touching the wall at 2 minutes 4.53 seconds, trumping a 17-year mark set by Oyster River High School and Stanford standout Jessica Tucker-Mohl. McCandless broke her own record that she set against Vermont (Oct. 19) in the 200-yard butterfly, clocking in at 2:01.92 seconds. Mann improved her 2:18.17 record against Maine (Feb. 1, 2013), powering her way to a 2:18.10 time in the 200-yard breaststroke. Roberts rewrote two individual records at Jack Suydam Natatorium in a tri-meet against Central Connecticut and Bryant (Nov. 2). The senior set marks in the 200-yard butterfly (2:02.41 seconds) and 400-yard individual medley (4:22.62). In addition, Roberts was a part of the record setting quartet of Bull, Mann and McCandless in the 400-yard medley relay, clocking in at 3:54.85. Most recently, Mann set a new pool record in the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:16.65 at Dartmouth on Jan. 17.
THE WILLMAN FILE: A 1984 graduate of the University of Miami (FL), head coach Josh Willman began his coaching career just after graduation at the YMCA and U.S.A. Swimming level. Willman entered the collegiate coaching arena as the assistant coach for New Hampshire in 1991 taking over the program the following season when he earned his first coaching honor as the Men's Coach of the Year. Since then, New Hampshire's success has not gone unnoticed, as Willman has become the America East Conference's most highly decorated coach. He has been selected America East Coach of the Year 12 times in the past 20 years (1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013) and ECAC Coach of the Year three times (2003, 2011 and 2013).
DUE NEXT: New Hampshire visits conference rival Maine for its last dual meet of the regular season on Friday, Jan. 31 (5 p.m.). The Wildcats will enter postseason play at the America East Championships starting Thursday, Feb. 13 at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Sports & Recreation Center. For the latest news and information on the UNH women's swimming & diving team, log onto www.unhwildcats.com.