Jan. 26, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova got their conference vengeance when they defeated Pittsburgh for the first time in four years Saturday afternoon 180 to 171. The meet came down to the final relay event where the Wildcats out swam the Panthers by almost two seconds to take home the victory.
The meet marked the final home meet for eight graduating seniors. Summer Cook (Thornton, Colo.), Hayley Edwards (Pilesgrove, N.J.), Natalie Elphick (Durban, South Africa), Lindsey Hagens (Westboro, Mass.), Erin Malone (Sydney, Australia), Laura McGlaughlin (West Chester, Pa.), Leigh Anne Patterson (Cherry Hill, N.J.) and Roxy Tammadge(Durban, South Africa) were honored for their dedication to Villanova swimming over the past four years. This powerful senior class posted a combined 14 top-finishes during the two day event to lead the Wildcats in the win over Pitt.
Roxy Tammadge notched first place in the 1650 yard freestyle (16:49.11) as well as the 500 yard freestyle (4:56.28). She also earned third in the 200 yard freestyle (1:37.07). Fellow senior Laura McGlaughlinalso recorded two victories during the meet in both the 200 yard breaststroke (2:18.34) and the 100 yard backstroke (1:03.73).
Hayley Edwards had a strong performance as she took home first in the 200 yard butterfly (2:02.82) and teammate Leigh Anne Pattersonfinished right behind her in third (2:07.19). Edwards also swam to a third-place finishes in the 100 yard butterfly (57.16), the 1650 yard freestyle (17:00.01) as well as in the 500 yard freestyle (5:02.50).
Senior Lindsey Hagens recorded two second-place finishes in both the 400 yard individual medley (4:29.98) and the 200 yard backstroke (2:06.69). Lastly, Erin Malonecompleted her last Villanova-home meet with a strong second-place finish in the 200 yard breaststroke (2:18.96) as well as the 100 yard backstroke (1:04.25).
Freshman Kaisla Kollanus (Hyvinkaa, Finland) notched three victories during the meet in the 50 yard freestyle (24.14), the 100 yard butterfly (56.76) and the 100 yard freestyle (51.68). Villanova swept the 100 yard freestyle as Sara Jurek (Gilbert, Az.) and Katrin Heider(Bergisch, Germany) finished second (52.38) and third (52.47), respectively.
The Wildcats also came up big in the event's relays. Mikah Schlesinger (Herzliya, Israel), Erin Malone, Fiona Hardie and Katrin Heider posted first place in the 200 yard medley relay, finishing at 1:46.82. In the 200 yard freestyle relay, Fiona Hardie (Hampshire, England), Katrin Heider, Natalie Elphick, and Kaisla Kollanustook home first place with a time of 1:36.62. Villanova's 200 yard freestyle relay also earned a first-place finish (1:36.62) featuring Fiona Hardie, Katrin Heider, Natalie Elphick and Kaisla Kollanus.
Villanova led the meet by 20 points after Friday night, but Pitt came back at them on Saturday. The race was so close that the final result came down to the last event of the afternoon. Again, the Wildcats' strong relay squad pulled ahead in the final laps of the 400 yard freestyle relay to finish almost two seconds before the Panthers at 3:25.56 to win the event and take the first win over Pittsburgh in four years.
Head Coach Rick Simpsonexpressed his happiness over defeating Pitt after losing to them three years in a row, "We swam great Friday night. I think we were a little flat on Saturday morning when we started session two. Pitt's coaching staff did a great job of getting their squad to bounce back for session two. They came out real sharp and within three events, we lost the 20 point lead we had built on Friday night. But, I think the win shows our team's resiliency. They managed to crawl right back in and then pulled off the spectacular relay victory at the end to win the meet."
Simpson also recognized the senior class who truly capped the weekend victory over the Panthers saying, ""I was thrilled for our seniors today. They have fallen short in three consecutive dual meets against Pitt for their first three years. But their senior year, they got it done! Even falling to Pitt during the in-season in the past, we always managed to bounce back and go race-for-race with them at the Big East Championship. But pulling off an in-season victory over Pitt is huge."
The Wildcat women will travel to Richmond on Friday, February 1st to compete in a non-conference dual meet.