Oct. 19, 2013
FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Despite a strong showing on the boards, the Colorado State Rams fell to the Denver Pioneers in their home opener on Saturday, 181-119, at Moby Pool. CSU had a strong showing during the season's opening weekend, but the momentum was not enough.
“I think we competed very well against Denver,” Head Coach Christopher Woodard said. “I think we fought very hard and we’re slowly bridging the gap from previous seasons against DU. At the same time, it was very hard not to see the missed opportunities that we had. We definitely made some mistakes, and looked a little bit better last weekend. If we had some of those performances again we would have definitely made it a very close meet.”
The Rams' strongest events of the day were undoubtedly 1- and 3-meter diving. Of the three teams CSU has faced this season, none have toppled the Rams from first place in diving. CSU swept the placements on the 1-meter boards with Ariana Milone leading the effort in first (288.08), followed by Paige Greely (268.73) and Mary Kate Hardy (267.60). In the 3-meter diving event Milone (299.25) and Greely (283.80) again clamed first and second, respectively. Milone’s score in the 3-meter was her lifetime best and ranks her as the fourth-highest scorer in CSU history.
“They all did great; they had a really good meet,” head diving coach Kevin Witt said. “I’m seeing more consistency than we had last year at this point, but we’re still not as consistent as we need to be. I think they look good and they’ll occasionally have some really good things that happen in meets, but we’re still not quite where we need to be by the end of the year, but for October I think we’re doing really well.”
All four of the divers who placed earned NCAA-qualifying scores. Milone qualified in both events; Greely made a qualifying score in 1-meter, and was just a few points off qualifying in 3-meter; and Hardy, earning her lifetime best, qualified in 1-meter for the first time in her collegiate career.
“The last two years Mary Kate has probably been within about five points of qualifying in 1-meter 15 times and she got it today, so that was great,” Kevin Witt said.
The stars in the pool were underclassmen Cristina Bassani and Megan Lloyd. Lloyd, a freshman, pulled her fastest time of the season with her first-place finish in the 200 Butterfly (2:09.28). Sophomore Bassani fought out a close finish for first in the 100 Breaststroke, earning a time of 1:05.84.
“Both had great swims,” Woodard said. “Megan is learning a lot, and I don’t think we really knew exactly how tough she was. She can swim a multitude of events, but to come into an event that’s not necessarily her primary event, win it and just stay tough through the whole swim, that was pretty impressive. Cristina just continues to impress in her sprint breaststroke. She’s really developing into someone that we’re going to count on in the short breast, as well as our relays.”
CSU has two weeks before its next competition, which will be held at home at Moby Pool on Saturday, Nov. 9. The Rams will have the chance to break their back-to-back losses of the past two seasons against Northern Arizona. Competition will begin at noon and admission is free.
“We’ve got two weeks of solid work between now and then and we do need to do a lot of work,” Woodard said. “We need to focus on a good amount of technical, but we also need to boost our volume a little bit and really prepare for this push towards NAU and Las Vegas. But again, I think given where we’re at in the season, I feel pretty good.”
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