The Seton Hall swimming and diving teams won 18 of their 28 events against Rider at a home meet Friday evening.
The women’s team won 11 of its 14 events with a winning score of 188-107, while the men’s team won seven of its 14 events with a losing score of 171-123.
The dominance from the women was palpable from the first lap to the last. With the event starting and ending on a medley relay, the women’s relay team of Aitana Robinson, Magen Mallon, Tessa Lindner and Courtney McCardle brought wins on both ends with at least a two-second margin in both.
McCardle not only contributed to the medley, but she also brought the heat individually with wins in the 50-yard freestyle, with a time of 25.13, and the 100-yard freestyle, with a time of 55.29.
The most exciting moment of the evening came in a Pirate sweep of the men’s 200-yard butterfly. Sophomore Matthew Zebrowski led the way with a winning time of 1:53.34, and cheers rang from the stands for the second- and third-place finishers that secured the sweep in the final, thrilling lap.
Even in the winning effort, Seton Hall did not underestimate what Rider can accomplish.
“Going into it, we knew it was going to be a really close meet,” freshman David Rowe said after the meet.
Rowe’s determination was seen in the results with his first-place finishes in the 100-yard backstroke, with a time of 51.32, and the 100-yard butterfly, with a time of 51.02.
On the women’s end, junior Erica Naumann surprised herself with dominant winning times of 10:48.17 in the 1000-yard freestyle and 5:19.62 in the 500-yard freestyle.
“I wasn’t expecting to feel that great, and just being able to do that at this point in the season is a really big deal,” Naumann said.
Other big contributions came from freshman Lior Grubert—who won the 1000-yard freestyle, the 500-yard freestyle and the 200-yard IM—and Kylene Ronayne, winner of the 200-yard freestyle and the 200-yard backstroke.
These performances for the Hall only sharpens the teams’ focus.
“As a team, especially, these kind of meets that boost our confidence and keep the momentum going are great meets that help us get to into Big East,” Naumann said.
Seton Hall swimming and diving teams next hit the pools at an away meet against Marist on Jan. 23 at 1 p.m.
Elizabeth Swinton can be reached at Elizabeth.firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @eswint22.