Illini Fall to Southern Illinois, 151.5-147.5
Jan. 16, 2012
CARBONDALE, Ill. - The Fighting Illini swimming and diving team (4-4) fell to Southern Illinois, 151.5-147.5, at the Dr. Edward J. Shea Natatorium on Monday afternoon. The Illini won seven out of 16 events, including two wins by sophomore Jessica Holz in the 100 back (58.72) and 200 back (2:04.79).
"Some new people had the opportunity to come through and show their leadership more than usual today," head coach Sue Novitsky said. "Jessica Holz was as solid as they come. She's been consistent and has maintained her poise all the way through the year. She has continued to get better with each opportunity. She was able to go into the situation knowing her team was counting on her and she pulled through."
Junior Kimberly Kalenda added another win for the Illini, placing first in the 50 free with a time of 24.24. A pair of Illini earned two second-place finishes apiece. Junior Kathleen Knight took second in the 500 free (5:10.25) and 200 fly (2:04.24) with a personal-best and team-leading time for the season, while sophomore Erica Lynn captured second in both the 100 breast (1:05.60) and 200 breast (2:22.67).
"Kathleen Knight showed some great results today," said Novitsky. "She had two big swims and her 500 free was key. Kimberly Kalenda had a pretty solid day as well. She made some changes after the relay, and she was able to help get us a lead."
Junior Erin Rodriguez and freshman Megan Marchuk finished second and fourth in their respective events. Rodriguez earned second in the 400 IM (4:34.89) and fourth in the 100 breast (1:10.31), while Marchuk came in second in the 100 free (53.46) and fourth in the 50 free (25.19).
Senior Caitlin Conroy swam to a third-place finish in the 100 free (53.62) and finished fourth in the 200 free (1:57.40). Meanwhile, freshman Kayla Dlugopolski claimed third in the 1000 free (10:39.08) and fourth in the 500 free (5:12.34), and classmate Mary Beth Howard placed third in the 200 free (1:55.36) and fourth in the 100 free (53.76). Junior Alyssa Petruzzello swam to a third-place finish in the 100 fly (58.90) and also finished fifth in the 200 fly (2:10.61).
Three additional freshmen contributed points on the day, including Kathleen Roeing in the 100 back (1:01.43) and 200 back (2:12.64), Hailey Booth in the 1000 free (10:49.70) and 100 fly (1:00.12) and Sabrinne Gibson in the 50 free (25.51). Sophomores Marin Thompson, Alyssa Toland and Emily Wilkinson also added points in the 400 IM (4:37.04), 500 free (5:13.07) and 100 fly (59.32), respectively.
The Orange and Blue relay teams led off for the Illini, placing first (3:54.42) and third (4:00.84) in the 400 medley and finished the meet strong with first- (1:36.86) and third- (1:40.25) place finishes in the 200 free relay.
On the boards, senior Britni Fisher led the Illini, winning both the one- and three-meter dives with scores of 263.47 and 299.85, respectively.
"Britni Fisher was solid on the boards, and the divers really helped us stay in the thick of things," said Novitsky. "Unfortunately, we came up short as a team today. We have to keep working on handling that pressure and being able to step up. As a whole, through the first part of the meet, we were pretty flat. That excitement and that energy were not quite there, and we dug ourselves a little hole because of lapses in focus and execution. We were not fully able to switch gears, and that allowed Southern Illinois to capitalize on our errors."
Up next, the Illini will travel to Nebraska on Saturday, Jan. 21 to face the Cornhuskers at 11 a.m. CT.