Milly Routledge, Freestyle Depth Lead Villanova Past UConn in Big East Showdown

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Photo Courtesy: Villanova Athletics

Milly Routledge, Freestyle Depth Lead Villanova Past UConn in Big East Showdown

Milly Routledge and Kelly Montesi won three times each, and Villanova swept the freestyle races as the reigning Big East champs downed the University of Connecticut, 166.5-133.5, in women’s swimming action Saturday.

Routledge, a graduate student, led the way at Wolff-Zackin Natatorium in Storrs. She started by pacing a 1-2-3 finish in the 200 free in 1:52.51, followed by teammates Nicole Welch and Abbey Berloco. She and Berloco then went 1-2 in the 50 and 100 free, the latter with Berloco tying UConn’s Mia Galat.

Welch won the 500 free and 100 free. Berloco, Routledge, Perri Stahl and Kelly Montesi claimed the 400 free relay.

Montesi was at the center of the Wildcats’ climb to win 12 races on the day. She won the 100 backstroke, 200 back and 100 fly. Montesi’s win in the 100 back put the Wildcats (1-0) up for good in their season opener, the first meet since clinching an eighth straight conference title last spring.

Kaitlin Gravell claimed the 200 breaststroke and 200 individual medley, and Elizabeth Bailey, in her first meet as a grad transfer from California, won the 200 butterfly.

The Huskies (2-1) started the meet strong with a 1-2 finish in the 200 medley relay, the winning foursome of Kayla Mendonca, Katelyn Walsh, Linnea Anderson and Maggie Donlevy in 1:45.79. But they couldn’t sustain the momentum. Their only other win in the pool came via Angela Gambardella in the 100 breast, edging out Walsh to the victory. Walsh was also second in the 200 breast.

The Huskies made up ground with a 30-8 scoring advantage in diving. Julia Pioso scored 247.95 points to win the one-meter event; second at one-meter was three-meter champ Analaura Faoro. UConn led through eight events, thanks to the points from the one-meter event.

Mendonca was twice second to Montesi in the backstroke events, and Niamh Hofland was second in the 500 free, 1,000 free and 200 IM.

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