Villanova Spoils Rutgers Senior Night With Narrow Win

Villanova vs. Rutgers

  • January 17th, 2021
  • Piscataway, New Jersey
  • SCY dual meet
  • Team Scores
    • Villanova 133 Rutgers 108
  • Full results

The Villanova Wildcats traveled across the Delaware River on Monday to challenge Rutgers and ended up playing spoiler the Scarlet Knights’ senior night, heading back to Philadelphia with a 133-108 victory. The meet featured a unique event lineup, with the 100s of stroke missing and the teams competing in the 400 medley relay as opposed to the 200 medley relay.

Villanova was led by a trio of swimmers who won both of their individual events. Distance swimmer Nicole Welch started off the day with a narrow win in the 1000, touching in 10:25.09, two seconds ahead of hard-charging Rutgers senior Cathryn Salladin. The two went head to head again in the 500 free, with Welch, a senior from Beverly, Massachusetts coming out on top again, 5:04.79 to Salladin’s 5:06.67. Welch’s season best in the 1000 sits at 10:07.05, while her season best 500 sits at 4:53.90, both from the West Virginia Invitational in November. 

Also winning two events for the Wildcats was senior Kelly Montesi, who won the 200 IM and 200 back. The Greenwich, Connecticut native started her day with a dominant win in the 200 IM, posting a 2:04.00 to win by over four seconds. Montesi then posted an even more impressive win in the 200 back, touching the wall first in 1:59.13 to win by over 5 and a half seconds. Montesi’s season bests in both events came at the West Virginia Invitational, where she swam a 2:00.72 in the 200 IM and a 1:54.95 in the 200 back.

The final double winner for Villanova was fifth year senior Milly Routledge. The British native swept the sprint freestyles, winning the 50 free in 23.68 and touching first in the 100 free in 51.38. Routledge’s season bests also came in West Virginia in November, where she swam a 23.31 in the 50 and 51.12 in the 100 free. 

Rutgers was led by senior Alice Scarabelli, who won the 200 free in 1:51.03. Scarabelli, a native of Italy, also finished second in the 200 back behind Montesi in a season-best 2:04.77. Scarabelli’s season best in the 200 free came at Rutgers’ dual with Army, where she swam a 1:49.30.

Rutgers graduate transfer diver Abigail Knapton was dominant once again, sweeping both the 1 and 3 meter diving events. In the 3 meter, Knapton, who was a 6-time All American while at Nebraska, posted a score of 328.10. She later returned to win the 1 meter with a score of 279.85. 

Other individual event winners:

  • 200 fly: Sofia Chichaikina (Rutgers): 2:01.04
  • 200 breast: Kaitlin Gravell (Villanova): 2:20.81

Villanova returns to action on Thursday when they travel west to take on Pittsburgh, while Rutgers will have their final dual meet of the season on January 28th and 29th when they travel to Lincoln to take on Big 10 rival Nebraska. 

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