This Saturday the Penn men’s and women’s swim teams each captured victories against Villanova on the road. The men’s team (2-1) easily handled the Wildcats (1-2), defeating them 176.5-118.5 and winning 10 events.
The women’s meet was a much closer competition, with the Quakers (3-0) edging Villanova (3-1), a scholarship-funded program, by a score of 160-140 thanks to a strong comeback performance in the final two events. With the positive result on Saturday, the Red and Blue continued their winning streak and handed their Big East rival their first loss of the season.
The Quakers’ established momentum early on the men’s side, as junior Alex Peterson led the Penn distance group to a four-person sweep in the 1,000-yard freestyle in a time of 9:30.20. Senior captain Kevin Su followed up Penn’s endurance with speed in the 200-yard free, winning in a time of 1:39.51. The Red and Blue tallied eight one-two finishes in the first 11 events before scratching the final four events.
The men’s diving team swept both boards, with freshman John Michael Diveris taking first on one-meter and sophomore Andrew Bologna winning three-meter. On the women’s side, the trio of junior Maggie Heller and seniors Cassidy Golden and Sivan Mills took second through fourth place on each board.
The women built a slight lead over Villanova with a win in the 200-yard medley relay from the team of sophomore Libby Jardaleza, senior Haley Wickham, freshman Wendy Yang and senior Rochelle Dong. The Red and Blue’s lead built after the 1,000 with freshman Grace Ferry’s winning time of 10:14.15.
The Quakers were buoyed by strong breaststroke performances throughout the afternoon. Wickham and freshman Linda Zhang packed a one-two punch in the 100-yard breaststroke with times of 1:05.56 and 1:06.30, respectively, while freshman Serena Xue and senior captain Ellie Grimes mimicked the result in the 200-yard breaststroke in times of 2:23.04 and 2:23.80, respectively.
Villanova’s effort was led by a pair of sophomores: Alexa Fabbri, who touched first in the 200, and second in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles; and Darby Goodwin, who tallied decisive victories in both backstrokes. The Wildcats also made up ground on the Quakers in the 200 fly and threatened to win the meet on the eve of the 200-yard individual medley. Thanks to gutsy performances by Zhang, junior Carolyn Yang, and sophomore Carter Orth - taking second, third and fifth, respectively - Penn retained firm control over the lead and solidified their victory with a first-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay.
Both teams will be in action next on Saturday in their first Ivy League Tri-Meet against Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y.
All comments eligible for publication in Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. publications.