The Georgetown swimming and diving team will participate in its last regular season meet this weekend when it travels to Piscataway, N.J., to face Providence and Rutgers. The Hoyas will look to turn in strong performances before they head to the Big East Championships on Feb. 18.
In the Hoyas’ last meet, the men and women were both outmatched by Drexel. Despite the losses, however, the Hoyas had some promising performances. The men’s team, which was defeated 191-109, received a great performance from sophomore diver Jared Cooper-Vespa, who won the men’s 1-meter and 3-meter diving events.
Meanwhile the women, who lost 160-140, were paced by junior Erica Fabbri, who finished in the top two in four events, and freshman Madeleine Quinn, who won the women’s 1000-yard freestyle and 400-yard individual medley races.
“I felt like it was a close race. We were winning it, so that’s a good sign for this weekend and more importantly the Big East,” Head Coach Jamie Holder said.
Cooper-Vespa, too, saw positivity in the Hoyas’ last matchup. He pointed out the hard work that he and his teammates have been putting in since the loss to get the best results and highlighted the team’s mentality moving forward.
“We know the end is near so we’re trying to finish strong,” Cooper-Vespa said. “Rutgers has a great pool, so it’s got that championship atmosphere [and we] treat it like the championship itself.”
Not only will the atmosphere help the Blue and Gray prepare for the Big East championships, but the team will also benefit from the tough competition. Providence is coming off of men’s and women’s wins over Holy Cross in its last meet, while Rutgers defeated Miami, Tulane and New Hampshire in January.
Holder showed confidence in his team’s ability to keep up with its opponents, but also mentioned the tremendous effort his swimmers and divers will have to put in to bring home wins.
“I think we’ll match up pretty well against Providence. Rutgers is a very talented team that it’s going to be tough for our girls to beat,” Holder said.
As a senior, swimmer Casey Bandman is excited to compete in her final regular-season meet with her teammates. She noted that some of her teammates may have a different mentality going into this weekend, because it will be the last meet of the season for those who will not compete in the Big East championships. Bandman and her teammates are excited to support each other as they look to finish strong.
While she is very ready for the next couple of weeks, Bandman is anxious for the end of the season.
“This meet is good because it’s a chance for me to get all the jitters out before the last meet of my career, and I think a lot of the other seniors would feel the same as me,” Bandman said.
Though this weekend’s meet offers an opportunity to challenge a couple of tough teams, it is particularly important in helping Georgetown earn momentum moving forward. The team is primarily focused on the Big East championships ,and the Hoyas are looking to capitalize on strengths and work on weaknesses in their trip to New Jersey.
“This weekend, we obviously want to put out best team forward, but it’s also about fine tuning for the Big East,” Holder said.
Bandman said that she was especially excited for the Big East championships because they will include a rematch for the championship title against Villanova, who finished in first place last season, just ahead of the Hoyas.
“This year we’re coming in with a strong freshman class,” Bandman said. “I’m really excited to get to the Big East and show [Villanova] where we’ve come as a team and that we can really compete with them for the title this year.”
This weekend will surely be a tough task for the Hoyas, but they have confidence that they are prepared.
“It’s one last chance to race before the big show,” Bandman said.
The tri-meet is scheduled to kick off at 12 p.m.