Matt Dougherty | Staff Writer
On Jan. 19, the Duquesne swimming & diving team traveled to Akron, Ohio, for its last dual meet and suffered its first loss of the season at Oliver J. Ocasek Natatorium by a score of 197-101. This marks the close of a very successful 8-1 dual meet record for the Dukes, while the Zips improved to 5-1 on their season.
The lone first-place individual finish for the Dukes was posted by junior Abigail Stauffer in the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:04.48 as she beat out the Zips’ Anne Lochridge, who finished with a time of 1:05.61.
Senior Lexi Santer chipped in for two of the Dukes’ seven second-place finishes in the 400-yard IM along with the 100-yard freestyle with times of 4:34.55 and :52.99, respectively.
Adding to Duquesne’s list of top-two finishes was sophomore Summer Svitavasky in the 1000-yard freestyle (10:30.46), junior Kristen McKnight, who posted a time of :58.81 in the 100-yard butterfly, sophomore Carson Gross, who touched in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:54.65, and senior Michelle Heim, who captured second place in her last dual meet with a speedy :23.95 in the 50-yard freestyle.
Duquesne head coach Dave Sheets explained in a press release that “our main goal today was to get up and race and focus on what we were able to control. The ladies did a great job of competing throughout the meet and swimming with blinders on.”
In the relay portion of the meet, the 200-yard freestyle relay team consisting of McKnight, senior Kayla Owens, Gross and Heim were able to capture a second-place finish with a time of 1:36.76, just behind the first place Zips time of 1:35.02.
On the diving board for the Dukes, freshman diver Peyton Joiner was able to secure a second-place finish in the 3-meter dive with a score of 200.10, while fellow freshman Colleen Rodrigues competed in the 1-meter dive and secured a third-place podium appearance with a score of 215.70. Paige Aley, another freshman diver, also competed in the 1- and 3-meter dives, posting scores of 163.10 and 146.10, respectively.
Head diving coach Charlie Hauser cited the meet in a release as “an excellent day on the boards” in which “all three divers debuted some new dives and did them well.” With improvement in consistency and confidence, the ladies hope to perform their best yet as “all of this is just where we want to be as we approach Conferences,” Hauser said.
The 2018 Atlantic 10 Championship will be hosted in Geneva, Ohio, from Feb. 14-17.
The addition of the diving team for the 2017-18 season has aided the Dukes in securing more points in their meets, which will help the team’s efforts as they compete in upcoming A-10 Championships early next month.
The team will return to action in its upcoming Western PA Invite at Trees Pool on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh at its next meet on Jan. 26-27.