Illinois Women Win at Home Season Opener

Meet Facts:

  • Complete Results
  • Host: Illinois
  • Friday; October 21,2016
  • Women: Illinois 152, Michigan State 148; Michigan State 165.5, Marshall 135.5; Illinois 167  ; Marshall 133


Michigan State Press Release:

East Lansing, Mich. – The Michigan State women’s swim & dive team fell in a tight battle to Illinois and defeated Marshall at the Arc Pool on the campus of Illinois on Friday, Oct. 21. Michigan State fell to Illinois 152-148, and rolled over Marshall 165.5-135.5.

“It was a tough one because it was such a close loss,” said head coach Matt Gianiodis. “It was a little disappointing, but something we certainly can build on. We are looking to build on this and keep moving forward. We had some really good swims. Catherine Armstrong had a fantastic meet; she won two events. I though Elizabeth Roche and Ana Sortland had fantastic meets.”

Michigan State concluded the day with five first-place finishes, including two from sophomore Catherine Armstrong. She won the 100 yard backstroke on a time of 56.68, and 200 yard backstroke clocking in at 2:04.09.

The other first place finishes on the swimming side came from Haley Kornburger in the 1000 yard freestyle with a final time of 10:31.87. Ana Sortland was the other first place finisher for the Spartans in the 100 yard backstroke, tapping the wall at 1:05.10

“Our divers were just awesome,” said Gianiodis. “Morgan Wellenzohn won the three meter, which was the first time she had done that. Julia Oppedisano won the one meter, which was good and she made her own best which is cool.”

The MSU divers owned the one and three meter events. Julia Oppedisano notched a first-place finish as she rolled over the competition in the one meter dive with a final score of 281.10. Morgan Wellenzohn was the second place finisher in the one meter with a final score of 248.95. Wellenzohn also grabbed a first-place finish in the three meter dive with a final score of 276.85.

Michigan State will return to competition on November 4, when it travels to Cincinnati. The meet is set to begin at 4 p.m., and all results will be posted on the website.

Illinois Press Release:

Champaign, Ill. – The Fighting Illini swimming and diving team played host to Michigan State and Marshall on Friday, October 21, at the ARC Pool. The meet marked the start of the regular season for Illinois, as the team earned victories over both the Spartans (152-148) and the Thundering Herd (167-133).

“I saw a team fight from the start to the finish,” said head coach Sue Novitsky. “We got off to a little bit of a slow start. It was the first meet, so we had to get ourselves going. Once we got it going, there was tremendous fight throughout.”

Illinois got off to a slow start, winning just four out of the first ten events. Senior Amelia Schilling got the Illini on the board in the second event of the night, touching the wall first in the 1000 freestyle with a time of 10:20.00. Senior Gabbie Stecker followed that up by winning the 200 freestyle in a time of 1:52.36, while junior Samantha Stratford finished first in the 200 butterfly (2:02.49) a few events later.

The team picked up momentum after freshman Kristin Anderson had an impressive showing in the 100 freestyle, finishing first with a time of :51.94. Following Anderson’s first-place finish, the Illini won five out of the last seven events, highlighted by two more wins by Stratford in the 100 butterfly (:55.72) and 200 individual medley (2:02.31).

The Illini were in a close fight with Michigan State until the final event of the night, the 200 freestyle relay. The quartet of Anderson, Megan Vuong, Audrey Rodawig and Stecker helped the Illini squeeze out a narrow victory, finishing first with a time of 1:35.48.

Other first place finishers included junior Ashley Aegerter in the 200 breaststroke with a time of 2:21.15 and Stecker in the 500 freestyle with a time of 5:02.24.

On the Boards: In one-meter diving competition, sophomore Madeline Kuhn scored a 242.40, which placed her fourth overall. Freshmen Lauren LaPeter and Morgan Young made their debuts in the Orange and Blue, finishing with scores of 184.30 and 161.50, respectively.

Three-meter diving was much of the same, as Kuhn finished fifth with a score of 245.00, while LaPeter (205.90) placed seventh and Young (175.30) placed tenth.

Next Up: The Illini will have a quick turn around, as the team welcomes Illinois State and Southern Illinois on Saturday, October 22. Meet competition will begin at noon at the ARC Pool.

Marshall Press Release:

@HerdSwimDive Hold Their Own against Big 10 Opponents; Touched Out in Close Races

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A pair of wins highlighted Marshall swimming and diving’s day at a three-team meet against Big Ten Conference opponents Illinois and Michigan State on Friday evening at ARC Pool.

The Herd’s 200 medley team of Sirena Rowe, Catherine Bendziewicz, Chloe Parsemainand Gloriya Mavrova took first place in the event with a time of 1:45.00. The event win was the second of the season for the medley team, which also won the event at the West Virginia State Games.

Rowe also won the 50 freestyle with a time of 23.56 seconds, narrowly edging out Michigan State’s Racheal Bukowski by four-hundredths of a second, and finished second in the 100 backstroke. Rowe’s time in the 50 freestyle is the sixth-best in Marshall history.

Besides the two first place finishes, the Herd had multiple top-five finishers. Madi Pulfer, Anna Lynch and Savannah Reudt finished second, third and fifth in the 1000 freestyle. Pulfer and Lynch finished third and fourth in the 500 freestyle. Maddie Schaffer, Shir Wasserman and Caroline Wanner finished second, third and fourth in the 200 butterfly. Wanner and Schaffer finished second and fifth in the 200 individual medly and Wanner also finished fourth in the 200 backstroke. Bendziewicz and Mavrova finished fourth and fifth in the 100 freestyle.  Bendziewicz also finished third in the 200 breaststroke. Parsemain and Wasserman finished second and fifth in the 100 butterfly. The 200 freestyle team of Rowe, Bendziewicz, Mavrova and Lauren Cowher finished third.

On the board, Heather Lonkert and Megan Wolons finished third and fourth in the three-meter dive.

Quotes by head coach Bill Tramel

Overall thought on the meet:
I’m very happy tonight with our performance but we let this get away from us. We were winning by three points after the first half of the meet against both Big 10 teams. I’m not sure if we just started feeling too good about ourselves or what, but to beat Power 5 teams, you can’t let up. At all. We can’t get touched out. There were so many close races, and every one of them went to Illinois & Michigan State.

On expectations and facing two Big 10 schools:
We only had 57% season bests tonight. We were hoping for more. That said, we stood up and looked two Big 10 Conference teams in the eye, and we more than belonged.

On the Herd’s performance against Michigan State and Illinois:
We won eight events against Michigan State. That’s half of the events. We finished first and second in three of those events and swept the 200 Fly by placing first through third. Against Illinois, we won three events. So there is a lot of things to hang our hat on. It’s early and we identified what we can execute better.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s meet:
In less than 12 hours, we’ll stand up again in St. Louis at 10 a.m. (ET). Tomorrow is important because it will be just conference. A quick turnaround. We need to be sharp under a challenging schedule, but I know these kids are tough and they’ll handle it fine.

Illinois: 167
Marshall: 133

Michigan State: 164.5
Marshall: 135.5

For all the latest information about Marshall Swimming and Diving follow @HerdSwimDive on Twitter and Marshall University Swimming & Diving on Facebook.

Marshall returns to the pool Saturday in St. Louis. Mo. for a four-team meet with Saint Louis, Arkansas-Little Rock and McKendree University.

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About Alesha Breckon

Alesha Breckon

Alesha (Olesen) Breckon began her swimming career when her parents put a pool in the back yard. They enrolled Alesha and her brother in the local summer league in an effort to make sure they were "water safe." At the end of the summer, she joined Blue Tide Aquatics in …

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