MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, January 25. FOUR different members of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's swimming & diving team won two events each to pace the squad to an easy 173-68 victory over Western Illinois Saturday afternoon at the Klotsche Natatorium.
The win marked the 13th-straight in dual meets this season, tying the program record-win streak and upping the season victory record in the process – which they set at 12 Friday. The Panthers, now 13-2 on the season, have not lost since October 31st, and also won for the seventh-straight time against the Westerwinds in the series.
"It's exciting … it's good for the girls," UWM head coach Erica Janssen said. "They have been doing really well. We don't always know what to expect out of the women but it is nice to always improve the way they have this season."
Senior Ashley Hall, sophomores Danielle Wenger and Ellie Gross and freshman Sarah Wardecke all claimed a pair of wins, as Milwaukee won 11 of 13 events on the day. In the two events that the team did not win, WIU claimed touch-out victories by four-hundredths in the 200 medley relay and by six-hundredths in the 200 butterfly.
In addition to the double-winners, juniors Bailey Nennig and Kerry Rossow and the 200 freestyle relay team also posted victories on the afternoon.
Hall claimed victories in both diving events, earning an NCAA Zone cut on the three-meter with her point total of 293.10 while winning the one-meter with 248.03 points. In came down to the last dive on the one-meter, as Hall edged out sophomore Kelsey George (244.80) for the win. Junior Rachel Grimm placed second on the three-meter board with 262.80 points.
Wenger was at it again, topping the field in the 1000 freestyle in 10:29.19 while also claiming first place in the 200 backstroke in a time of 2:10.11. Wenger led a 1-2-3 finish in the 1000, with juniors Alex Nelson (second in 10:45.41) and Jenny Westfall (third in 10:56.91) following.
Gross had a nice day, winning the 200 free in a time of 1:55.76 before adding a victory in the 500 free in 5:14.80.
"Ellie Gross is always solid … we can always count on her," Janssen said. "If we put her in an event and say `win' then she goes out and does it. She is always going to pull it out – just a tough competitor."
Wardecke continues her impressive freshman campaign, adding two more wins to her resume. She topped the field in the 50 free in 24.78 and also won the 100 free in 53.04.
Nennig won the 400 IM, touching the wall in 4:38.83, while Rossow was tops in the 200 breaststroke in 2:27.49.
Lastly, the 200 free relay team of Nennig, sophomore Rachel Rebitski, Gross and senior Kristina Hansen closed out the meet with a win in 1:41.23.
"We have to pick the team that will be going with us to the conference meet (at the end of February) and I told the team that people will have to come out and make a statement on who we should pick," Janssen said. "Jennifer Schober did a nice job of that … Rachel Rebitski swam very well. Obviously, Danielle Wenger was good all weekend. Not quite as good today, but that is tough to do with a turnaround of basically 15 hours."
Milwaukee is off for the rest of the month before heading to Green Bay for the final dual meet of the regular season Feb. 7.
Special thanks to UW-Milwaukee for contributing this report.