Penn State Swimming Splits With Virginia Tech at Home

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Photo Courtesy: Penn State Athletics

Penn State swimming split with Virginia Tech at home as the women won 183-114, while the men lost 178.5-118.5.

Penn State Press Release:

Led by a pair of event wins by Melissa Rodriguez (Chihuahua, Mexico) the Penn State women’s swimming and diving team improved to 4-0 with a 183-114 victory over Virginia Tech Friday in the team’s home opener in McCoy Natatorium.

Rodriguez turned in her best performance in the 200 breaststroke, swimming an NCAA ‘B’-cut time of 2 minutes, 13.81 seconds to touch first, while fellow countryman Monika Gonzalez-Hermosillo (Mexico City) touched third in 2:18.60 in the same race. Earlier in the meet, Rodriguez won the 100 breast in 1:02.75, while Haley Sinatro touched third (1:04.32).

“I think the win was important, but I liked the way we swam,” said Penn State head coach Tim Murphy. “We talked about being tougher than we’ve been, and I think we saw some of that. There were a lot of close races, whether it was for first place … or whether it was for fifth place. The women swam tough, so we made some progress in that area.”

The Lions swept the podium in the 50 freestyle, led by Katie Saloky (Bloomsburg, Pa.) in 23.14. She was followed by Kaitlin Jones (Midlothian, Va.) (23.36) and Katrina Kuhn (Piscataway, N.J.) (23.80) in order. Jones also earned gold in the 100 free (50.27).

Alyson Ackman (Montreal, Quebec) earned silver twice, trailing Jones in the 100 free (50.67) and helping the Lions yield only a point in the 200 free, placing second in 1:49.40, while teammates Megan Wujciak (Livingston, N.J.) (1:49.72) and Niki Price (Manchester, Pa.) (1:51.54) claimed third and fourth, respectively.

Casey Fazio (Washington Township, N.J.) (56.18) and Allie Penetti (Wexford, Pa.) (56.28) led a 1-2 Penn State finish in the 100 backstroke, while Fazio also placed runner-up in the 200 back (2:00.76). Sinatro (2:02.09) and Gonzalez-Hermosillo (2:02.48) also led 1-2 finish in the 200 individual medley.

Katie Rowe (Glenville, N.Y.) swam the 200 butterfly in 1:59.72 to win the event, while Gonzalez-Hermosillo (2:00.82) picked up her second bronze. Rowe was the runner-up in the 100 fly (55.48) and was followed by Saloky in third (55.76).

The Nittany Lion distance duo of Casey Francis (East Meadow, N.Y.) and Katelyn Sowinski (Severna Park, Md.) had a strong outing. In the meet’s second race, Sowinski won the 1000 free in 9:58.37 while Francis touched less than a second later (9:59.30) in second. Francis then won the 500 free in 4:51.92 and was followed by Sowinski in third (4:54.46).

Mackenzie Cornell (Germantown, Md.) led the Lions in the diving events, placing second in both the 1-meter (261.97) and 3-meter (309.75).

Penn State held a comfortable lead from the start, as the team of Pennetti, Sinatro, Saloky and Jones led a 1-2 Penn State finish in the 200 medley relay in 1:41.21 in the meet’s first race. Jones, Ackman, Saloky and Kuhn closed the meet on a winning note, claiming the 400 free relay in 3:24.17.

Virginia Tech fell to 0-1, as the meet was its season-opener.

Penn State will next travel to Michigan to face both the Wolverines and Virginia in a tri-meet Oct. 31-Nov. 1.

The Penn State men’s swimming & diving team hung in tough with Virginia Tech Friday in the team’s home opener in McCoy Natatorium, but the Hokies ultimately prevailed, 178.5-118.5.

Freshman Rory Lewis (Kensington, Md.), the season’s inaugural Big Ten Freshman of the Week, continued his strong collegiate debut. He led a 1-2 Penn State (1-2) finish in the 200 butterfly, followed by captain Jon Seiferth (Allison Park, Pa.) (1:51.88). Lewis also led the Lions in the 100 butterfly, touching the wall second in 50.52 while being followed by classmate Tomer Zamir (Gesher Haziv, Israel) (51.02) and Andrew Schueler (Camden, N.J.) (51.17) in third and fourth, respectively.

The Nittany Lions were able to sweep second, third and fourth in two other instances. Grillo led the feat in the 50 free (20.94), followed by Zamir and Kantz (21.03), and the 100 free (45.66), followed by O’Neill (49.98) and Kantz (46.21).

Penn State closed the meet on a winning note, winning the 400 freestyle relay with the team of Zach Kantz (Mount Bethel, Pa.), Matt Stasiunas (Avondale, Pa.), Ryan O’Neill (Howell, N.J.) and Matt Grillo (Montreal, Quebec) finishing in 3:02.03.

“I told the team at the end, if they take what came out of the relays … then we’re making progress,” said head coach Tim Murphy. “There were a lot of close races, and we beat some people to the wall. I think we took a good step forward.”

O’Neill was the only other Nittany Lion to win an individual swimming event, doing so in the 200 freestyle (1:39.40).

Another freshman, Hector Garcia, continued to lead Penn State in the diving events, winning the 1-meter (349.20) and placing second in the 3-meter (376.95).

Additionally, Stasiunas earned a pair of runner-up finishes, doing so in the 1000 freestyle (9:21.56) and the 500 free (4:30.88), in which John Nunez trailed in third (4:36.03). Schueler added a runner-up finish 56.80 in the 100 breast, while Guenther Cassell (Long Island, N.Y.) followed in third (57.98). Tim Maurer (Hershey, Pa.) placed third in the 200 IM.

“We had some breakthroughs, so we got a lot out of this meet,” said Murphy.

The meet was the season opener for Virginia Tech (1-0).

Penn State will next travel to Michigan to face both the Wolverines and Virginia in a tri-meet Oct. 31-Nov. 1.

Virginia Tech Press Release:

The Virginia Tech swimming and diving teams opened up the 2015-16 season on Friday afternoon with a dual meet at Penn State University.

The Hokie men took a 178.5-118.5 victory over the Nittany Lions while the women fell 183-114.

The men picked up all 16 points from the 100-yard backstroke as Robert Owen, Zach Switzer and Brent Benedict placed in that order. Owen had the winning time of 50.66 seconds while Switzer and Benedict were 50.72 seconds and 51.49 seconds, respectively.

The men also took home first place in the 200-yard medley relay as Zach Switzer, Brandon Fiala, Drake Becksted and Ian Ho swam a time of 1:30.42. In the long distance, Michal Szuba won the 1,000-yard free with a time of 9:17.38 and the 500-yard free style in 4:29.44. In the 1,000-yard freestyle, Tech took three of the top four places in the event.

The men also took the top three places in the 200-yard backstroke as Owen, Workman and Switzer combined to give the Hokies 16 points in that event as well. Owen had a winning time of 1:48.14.

Michael Craddock took home a victory in his debut with a 2:06.02 time in the 200-yard breaststroke as Eric Delmonte finished just behind with a time of 2:06.28.

Fiala was able to bring home three more victories with one in the 100-yrd breaststroke with a time of 56.62 seconds. His second came in the 50-yard free with a time of 20.87 seconds and his third was in the 200-yard IM where he swam a 1:50.91. Lucas Bureau won the 100-yard free with a time of 45.33 seconds and the 100-yard butterfly in 49.58 seconds.

On the women’s side, Jessica Hespeler won the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:48.75. Klaudia Nazieblo also had a first place finish in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:59.11. Nazieblo wasn’t done yet as she also won the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:59.14. Maggie Gruber won the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 54.72.

In diving, Ashlynn Peters made her collegiate debut and won the 1-meter and 3-meter. She took the title in the 1-meter with a score of 301.72, well in front of second place which finished with 261.97. In the 3-meter, she scored 325.58. The men got nine points from Logan Stevens as he scored a 388.80 in the 3-meter.

The H2Okies will be back in the pool tomorrow as they head south to Morgantown, West Virginia at 4 p.m. to take on the Mountaineers of West Virginia University.