Huskies look to sink Black Knights
Published: Friday, October 26, 2012
Updated: Friday, October 26, 2012 00:10
The UConn women’s swimming and diving team has had great success so far this season. In their first meet, they opened with a win over Fordham and Bucknell. Senior diver Danielle Cecco set both a pool record and a school record in the one-meter event.
“She had a great first meet,” head diving coach John Bransfield said. “I feel very fortunate and the university is very fortunate in having a kid that is so self-motivated. I just try to be a guide. I don’t have to inspire her; she likes to compete. She treats her practices accordingly.”
Veteran swimmers Jordan Bowen and Chineyte Pigot also started out the season with great success, both winning two events each.
“The team performed well – not spectacular but solid,” head swimming coach Bob Goldberg said. “Their weakness was racing technique.”
The Huskies are exactly where they want to be at this point in the season. They are improving their skills steadily as they look ahead to tough competitions.
“The weaknesses are the trenches that they are working through,” Bransfield said. “They are still working very hard and trying to make subtle changes. Sometimes when they are working really hard, you tend to be working with a lot more gross muscular movement versus refined ones. So they are not feeling very good right now, they aren’t feeling that sweet spot, that X factor yet. But I think they are making great strides. I’m pleased with where they are in pursuit of a championship next month.”
Unlike any other sport, the women’s swimming and diving team has nine away meets out of a total 13 competitions.
“Four weeks in a row on the road is very adverse,” Bransfield said. “Going to different facilities and traveling on Fridays gives up a day of training each week. Getting back late on Saturday night, they are spent on Sunday, so it’s tough.”
Despite the extensive road schedule, the Huskies seem to overcome this obstacle and shine in their meets.
“Our team bonds really well when we travel,” Goldberg said. “As long as the pool is adequate, traveling is not a problem.”
Kicking off their first of many away meets, UConn will travel to West Point, New York this Friday to take on the Army.
“There is a certain machismo that the military academy likes to flex their muscles so to speak,” Bransfield said. “They treat their fields of friendly strife, as General MacArthur put it, as their way of becoming better soldiers. You are going into a situation where you have to be confident, you have to be centered and you have to believe in your own game. Anytime somebody is competing against the army for the first time at their facility, it’s an eye opener [because] it’s an intense environment.”
Although the Army brings a different atmosphere to the table, the coaches have the upmost confidence in their team. Freshman swimmer Laura Hyland is a strong newcomer to the already powerful team.
“Laura swam well for her first meet, but her times will need to be faster to be more competitive in the conference,” Goldberg said. “My hope is to gain more strength and assertiveness in her swimming.”
Diver Nicole Borriello came in a close second in both one-meter and three-meter events last meet, and has proved to be a dominant force on the team.
“She’s a strong willed individual, works as hard as anybody in practice,” Bransfield said. “Everyday she constantly does extra. She picks my mind on what she can do differently to make things better. She’s a veteran.”
Along with Borriello and Hyland, swimming captains Bowen, Kate O’Leary and Mary deMarrais provide great leadership for the team. The Huskies show great potential for a successful 2012 season both home and away.