Illini Drop Home Finale to Nebraska, 194-106
Jan. 26, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - The Fighting Illini swimming and diving team fell to Nebraska, 194-106, on Saturday afternoon at the ARC Pool to drop to 2-4 on the season. The Illini captured four first-place finishes on Senior Day, while Nebraska broke three ARC Pool records.
"Nebraska came in and was ready to go," Illini head coach Sue Novitsky said. "We didn't have a very good start to the meet at all, and I just didn't think we were a very good team through those first seven events. We did not execute as well as I thought we could have. After the first break, I thought we were better and more aggressive but those close races just weren't falling our way today."
The Orange and Blue earned four individual first-place finishes, including sophomore Alison Meng in the 100 back (56.30), senior Kathleen Knight in the 200 fly (2:04.57), junior Erica Lynn in the 200 breast (2:22.20) and freshman Sarah Sykstus in the 200 IM (2:09.00).
"The last three races were just so close," Novitsky said. "Sykstus snuck in there and won the 200 IM, and the 100 fly was very close. The relay was also pretty exciting all of the way through. Those are some positive things that we can take from today."
The 200 medley relay team of juniors Cara Chuang and Erica Lynn, Meng and junior Courtney Pope raced to a second-place finish with a time of 1:45.54. The Illini also captured second place in the 400 free relay, when the team of Pope, Meng, senior Erin Lamb and sophomore Megan Marchuk clocked a 3:29.07.
Five Illini swimmers earned second-place finishes in individual events, including Marchuk in the 200 free (1:53.04), Erica Lynn in the 100 breast (1:06.27), junior Jessica Holz in the 200 back (2:04.38), Pope in the 500 free (5:00.32) and Knight in the 100 fly (57.28).
Capturing third-place finishes for the Orange and Blue were freshman Lori Lynn in the 200 fly (2:06.27) and 200 back (2:05.16), sophomore Kayla Dlugopolski in the 1000 free (10:28.51), Pope in the 50 free (24.14) and Meng in the 100 free (52.35).
The Illini swimmers secured a total of seven fourth-place finishes, including junior Alyssa Toland in the 1000 free (10:40.37), Lamb in the 200 free (1:54.33), Holz in the 100 back (58.61), Sykstus in the 200 fly (2:07.50), senior Kimberly Kalenda in the 50 free (24.39), Marchuk in the 500 free (5:07.29) and Lori Lynn in the 200 IM (2:09.81).
Earning points for the Orange and Blue with fifth-place finishes were freshman Jennifer Coady in the 1000 free (10:42.40), senior Erin Rodriguez in the 200 IM (2:10.13), Kalenda in the 100 free (53.36), senior Sarah Coady in the 200 breast (2:26.22), Toland in the 500 free (5:12.32) and Sykstus in the 100 fly (58.18).
On the boards, seniors Darragh McDermott and Keri Eberhardt earned points in both the one-meter dive and three-meter dive. McDermott earned a fourth-place finish in the one-meter dive (271.95) and captured sixth place in the three-meter dive (240.75), while Eberhardt finished sixth in the one-meter dive (248.46) and secured a fourth-place finish in the three-meter dive (273.30).
"We are looking for a few individuals to step up and attack throughout the whole race," Novitsky said. "We have to keep sharpening things up at practice. I believe the biggest thing that we have to work on is the team aspect. We are just missing a few things right now and need to respond better in pressure situations."
The Orange and Blue will return to action on Friday, Feb. 1 in Madison, Wis., for the Big Ten Quad Meet.