UConn drops 4 of 5 to UMass
In its second and last home race of the season last Friday, the UConn women's rowing team dropped four out of five races to Massachusetts. The novice eight crew provided the sole win for the Huskies.
Though the team got only one victory, the squads did continue to improve their times given the rough conditions on Coventry Lake early Friday morning. The varsity eight finished in 6:53.9 to UMass' 6:47.5, achieving a goal of getting under seven minutes, but was not able to beat its opponent. The second varsity posted 7:02.3, with UMass finishing in 6:56.1. Varsity four finished in 7:56.8, with UMass winning in 7:33.2. UMass won second varsity four in 7:57.3 to 8:07.9. UConn's novice eight won with a time of 7.14.1, beating UMass by four seconds. The second novice eight finished in 7:44 to UMass' 7:25.
Coach Jen Sanford-Wendry said the crews were obviously disappointed with the results, but took some positive things out of the matchup. "The varsity eight had consistent power and felt the row was strong," she said, adding that "the conditions were rough."
A lineup change was made this week due to an injury. Sophomore Natalie Carlone said, "the varsity eight from this weekend feel optimistic towards future races to come due to the amount of power this lineup produces." She added that sometimes "progress is just as important as beating the other boat."
Sanford-Wendry praised the novice eight, the morning's only winner, in their strong effort to come from behind. "The novice eight did a fantastic job because in rough conditions, they actually came from behind to win, which is really hard to do when it is rough. It showed not only their physical toughness, but mental toughness in that they didn't give up and believed they could come back and win," she said.
Amanda Litty, a freshman on that boat, said practicing in rough conditions had prepared the team for such a race. "Knowing that we can come out from behind a team like UMass in rough water has really helped our confidence," she said. "That will really help us going into the rest of the season."
Next weekend the team will travel back to the Cooper River in New Jersey to race in the Knecht Cup, where UMass and some of UConn's other previous opponents will also be competitive be entered. "Both [varsity] crews are anxious to see UMass again this weekend at the Knecht Cup because they both feel like there was a lot of room for improvement," Sanford-Wendry said.
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