PULLMAN, Wash.– The Washington State University women’s swim team erased a 22-point deficit in the last four events of the day to defeat the University of Nevada 139-123 at Gibb Pool, Saturday.
Washington State trailed 105-83 after the 200 breaststroke, but won the final four events, including an impressive one-two-three finish in the 100 butterfly to take the lead 114-112. The meet still was not decided until the final event of the day, when the Cougar 400 freestyle relay team of Nicole Chinn, Rachel Dong, Lindsay Henahan and Andree-Anne LeRoy claimed victory in the race in a pool-record time of 3:29.19, assuring a WSU victory in the meet.
Co-captain Melissa Hubley led the Cougar effort, winning two events. The junior from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, won the both the 100 and 200 butterfly, clocking times of 56.82 and 2:04.02, respectively.
“We really did a good job of pulling together and getting the best effort out of everyone today,” Hubley said. “When it came down to the end, we knew we could win.”
Another key for the Cougars was the performance of the sophomore LeRoy. As well as anchoring the 400 freestyle relay to victory, the native of Nanaimo, British Columbia swam on the victorious 200 medley relay, and won the 200 individual medley with a 2:08.51.
“Our team came in very excited and wanted to win today,” LeRoy said. “We needed to prove to ourselves that we were good and build self confidence after a tough meet last week.”
Washington State started off well, clocking a pool record time of 1:45.34 and winning the 200 medley relay with the very same team of swimmers that closed out the meet by winning the 400 free relay.
Semah Zavareh, a sophomore from Houston, Texas, added another crucial victory for WSU with a mark of 5:06.46 in the 500 freestyle, and was followed by Jill Olson in second. That same Cougar pair swapped places in the 1,000 freestyle, with Olson, a junior from Seattle, winning the race, and Zavareh placing second.
In addition to the late 22-point deficit, WSU had to overcome being without top-sprinter and team co-captain Taryn Ternent for the second week in a row due to illness.
“Rebounding from our last meet was definitely the focus today,” WSU head coach Rocco Aceto said. “I can’t describe with adjectives the team’s turnaround from last week to this week. I’m glad we were at home, because we really had to get together and come back after we began getting out-touched in the middle of the meet. I feel fortunate to have our first win over a Mike Schrader-coached Nevada team.”
Leticia Cunha, Alyssa Chin and Ashley Clendenin each won two events for the Wolf Pack, who falls to 8-2 this season. WSU moves to 6-3 in dual meets this season and is now 2-8 all-time versus Nevada.
Washington State wraps up its dual meet season next week with a pair of contests against Pac-10 rival Oregon State, 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1 and 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2 at Gibb Pool in Pullman.