Buffalo Bulls End Akron’s Seven-Year Winning Streak to Win 2021 Mid-American Conference Title For First in Program History

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Photo Courtesy: @UBSwimDiveTeam

The Buffalo Bulls ended Akron’s seven-year winning streak on Saturday night at the 2021 Mid-American Conference women’s swimming and diving championships in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Buffalo won with 773 points, seven points ahead of Akron (766) who has won every title since 2014. This is Buffalo’s first MAC team title in school history since first being in the conference in 1999.

Full Results

Women - Team Rankings - Through Event 20                     
 
  1. University at Buffalo             773 
  2. Akron, University of              766
  3. Miami University (Ohio)           436.5 
  4. Ohio University                   390
  5. Ball State University             320
  6. Eastern Michigan University       305
  7. University of Toledo              262  
  8. Bowling Green State University    252.5

The Bulls held a one point lead after the 200 fly, finishing off the competition with three A-finalists in 3m diving, and a win in the 400 free relay. Buffalo’s Tori Franz finished runner-up in the 3m (313.85) to Eastern Michigan’s Bethany Berger (329.70), while the Bulls’ 400 free relay celebrated their first Mid-American Conference title in program history with the best way to go out. Buffalo won with a 3:17.76 with Akron in second at 3:19.01.

The team of Jillian Lawton (49.44), Ellie Duley (49.79), Jenna Krull (50.07) and Toni Naccarella (48.46) won the Bulls’ fourth relay of the weekend.

Naccarella also won her third individual title of the weekend with a 48.70 in the 100 freestyle in a 1-2 finish with Lawton (49.18) as the Bulls placed four in the top eight.

Akron answered right back with a 1-2-3 finish in the 200 breast, led by Andrea Fischer (2:10.86), who was a 2:10.5 already this season. She led the sweep with teammates Paula Garcia (2:12.89) and Giovanna Cappabianca (2:14.92). Sarah Watson followed with a win in the 200 butterfly at 1:55.98 ahead of two-time weekend champ Nicole Maier (1:57.54) of Miami. Watson’s time put her 29th nationally this season.

But it was not enough for Akron, who was up-ended for the first time since Miami won back in 2013.

Ball State had its highest finish since 2005 with a fifth place team effort as the Cardinals celebrated an individual champ on Saturday night in Marcella Ribeiro in the 1650 with a 16:32.61 ahead of Toledo’s Jovana Duric (16:33.01).

Bowling Green’s Daisy Platts swept the backstroke finals with a 1:53.67 in the 200, following up her win in the 100, as she improved on her season best and put herself tied for 26th this season. Platts swam at NCAAs and placed 24th. 1:53.67 was what it took to reach the B-Final at NCAAs this year.

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