Bulldogs to Open 2014 Against Ivy Foes

Jacqui Levere. (photo by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity)
Jacqui Levere. (photo by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Yale's women's swimming and diving team will kick off the New Year with two home meets this week.  The Bulldogs host Cornell on Wednesday and face off against Dartmouth and Penn on Saturday.  As they enter the heart of their Ivy League schedule following an extended break from competition, the Bulldogs are excited to improve on the already impressive speed they have shown in earlier meets.

Yale's swimmers and divers have shown considerable promise in this young season.  The Bulldogs kicked off the season with solid victories in a meet against Southern Connecticut and a tri-meet against Bridgeport and Sacred Heart.  Sandwiched between those two wins was a tough loss to Columbia, last season's third-place Ivy finisher.  Yale's most impressive display to date, however, was its performance in Princeton's Big Al Open.  The Bulldogs hung around all weekend, staying close to the host Tigers, last season's Ivy League champions, until the very end before finishing in second with 961 points to Princeton's 1113.  

 The story of this season has been spectacular contributions from underclassmen.  Sophomore Eva Fabian has been excellent this year, dominating the distance freestyle events as she did last season.  This year's freshman class has made an immediate splash, as rookies such as Michelle Chintanaphol, Sydney Hirschi, Isla Hutchinson-Maddox and Kina Zhou, among others, have all made tremendous contributions to Yale's early season successes.  Moving into the second half of the season, the Bulldogs appear set to continue building speed towards the Ivy League Championship at the end of the season. 

The first step toward that goal in 2014 will be the dual-meet against the Big Red on Wednesday.  When Yale faced Cornell last season, the Bulldogs prevailed by a score of 168-127. Fabian was spectacular in that meet, winning the 1000-yard freestyle, the 500-yard freestyle and the 200-yard butterfly.  Her times in the 1000- and 500- were pool records.  Fellow sophomore Kasey Mann won the 100-yard butterfly in the meet, which was dominated by the Bulldogs.  Yale hopes to continue its recent dual-meet success against Cornell on Wednesday.  The meet is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. in the Kiphuth Exhibition Pool in Payne Whitney Gymnasium.

Three days after facing the Big Red, Yale will play host to the Dartmouth Big Green and the Penn Quakers on Saturday.  In last year's Dartmouth/Penn/Yale tri-meet, the Bulldogs defeated the Big Green 171-128 and beat the Quakers 176-121.  The meet, held in Philadelphia last year, saw Yale go 1-2-3 in three individual events, allowing the Bulldogs to cruise to two Ivy victories.  Junior Jacqui Levere won the 200-yard breaststroke, while Fabian won both the 1000- and 500-yard freestyle events.  The Bulldogs plan to repeat last season's result on Saturday.  Competition begins at 10:00 a.m. in the Kiphuth Pool. 

Report filed by Lyon Van Voorhis '15, Yale Sports Publicity