Despite gold finishes, Broncs sink in first meet

Senior Priscilla Modrov claimed first place in the 200-yard fly, 100-yard fly and 200-yard individual medley during the Broncs’ 161-137 loss to UMBC last weekend. The Broncs won first-place efforts in 19 out of 32 events.By Paul Mullin

Despite first place efforts in 19 out of 32 events and a dominant performance by the diving team, the Rider men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams fell in their first meet of the season to UMBC by identical scores, 161-137.

After spending the last six weeks training in pools all over the county while the Coppola Pool in the Maurer Center was being repainted, the team was placed under a considerable amount of physical and mental strain before this match, said senior Josh Rosenbluth.

“The team did well for how early it is in the season,” Rosenbluth said. “Having consistent training in our home pool will help us along and swimming harder and faster in training will get us where we need to be in February for the MAAC Championships.”

Although the Broncs won over half of the events, the events they lost were lost big. In 11 out of the 13 events Rider did not win, UMBC filled both the first- and second-place slots, accumulating more points.

Rosenbluth — who finished first in the 100- and 200-yard backstroke and the 200-yard individual medley (IM) — was one of three Broncs to win three events. The other two were senior Priscilla Modrov (100- and 200-yard butterfly and 200-yard IM) and sophomore Kellyanne Tomasula (100-yard backstroke and 50- and 100-yard freestyle).

“They will be challenged by our schedule every week, and they definitely performed [at UMBC],” said Head Coach Steve Fletcher. “And they are upperclassmen so they are experienced racers, and we rely on them to do those types of things each week.”

The diving teams took UMBC to task, winning all four diving events. Senior Amanda Burke posted 51.23- and 95.7-point victories over the nearest UMBC diver in the 1- and 3-meter dives, respectively.

“So far this year I am feeling a lot stronger,” Burke said. “I’ve been lifting all summer long and focusing on goals that I would like to accomplish. I would really hope for this season to be a consistent one, meaning fixing my mistakes and keeping myself from making them over again.”

She was backed up by sophomore Aisley Carter, who finished second in the 3-meter and third in the 1-meter, and freshman Allie Corey, who placed fourth both times.

Junior Paul Apostolakis won both events for the men, finishing 30 points ahead in the 1-meter and being supported nicely by Rider runners-up in the 3-meter. Freshman Brendan Cavallaro finished second in the 3-meter and fourth in the 1-meter while sophomore Tom Smallwood placed third twice.

Even with such performances, the work is never over, said Diving Coach Dennis Ceppa.

“None of the divers did particularly well in both of their events but they remained focused enough to still be competitive when it was needed,” he said. “I think as most diving coaches might tell you, the team needs to continue to improve the consistency with which they perform their dives.”

The women will take on nationally ranked Rutgers and both teams will face Seton Hall in Piscataway today at 4 p.m.

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