by Jason Bellamy
TEMPE, Ariz., Jan. 21. IN the final home meet of the season for Arizona State's No. 17-ranked women's swimming and diving team, four Sun Devil seniors waved good-bye to Mona Plummer Aquatic Center while picking up a 186-107 win over Northern Arizona and a 195-103 triumph of San Diego.
The pair of wins moved ASU to 6-5 in dual meets this season. In addition to the ASU dual meets, San Diego went down to the final event before defeating Northern Arizona, 152-146.
Like many of the Sun Devils competing Sunday, senior Lauren Morelli, ASU's school record holder in the 100 yard backstroke, performed away from her strengths. In the 100y butterfly, Morelli settled for seventh in 1:01.21, while ASU freshman Brianna Patterson won the event in 56.99.
Anna Ericson, a senior sprint freestyler by trade, found her encore event to be the 200y fly, in which she finished fourth in 2:09.17. San Diego's Carolyn Gorrick won the event in 2:04.71, while ASU sophomore Lyndsay Devaney turned in the second-fastest time of 2:07.60.
Kelli Sasada, a senior strongest in the backstroke, tried her hand in the 100y freestyle and finished seventh in 55.76. Ellen Erick of Northern Arizona won the event in 52.88. Freshman Florence Mauro led the way for ASU with a time of 53.15.
The Sun Devils' only senior diver, Trish Malatesta, who would have preferred to be performing on the platform where she is ASU's school record holder, capped off her home career with a fourth-place finish in the 3-meter dive. Malatesta totaled 229.35 in the event, a score that topped all except NAU's Maryann Wagener (236.10) and Nicole Kotchka (232.02), and ASU teammate Natalie Burgess, who won with a final of 296.30.
Burgess was also victorious in the 1-meter dive. Accumulating 236.60 points, Burgess topped Sun Devil freshman Jessica Stenson's 236.30 by a mere three-tenths of a point.
Among ASU's other event-winners was junior Alicia Wheelock. Wheelock completed the 100y back in 58.80, edging NAU's Chelsey Urban by a tenth-of-a-second.
Next up, the ASU women will travel north to battle the University of British Columbia and the University of Calgary in Vancouver, B.C., Feb. 2-3. Then, the Sun Devils will make the short trip south to engage in the swimming and diving version of the Duel in the Desert against Arizona, Feb. 10. After that, ASU encounters the post-season schedule that begins with the Pacific-10 Conference Championships, Feb. 22-24 in Federal Way, Wash.