Yale Open Season at Home against Columbia

Nov. 13, 2008

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The women's swimming and diving team will play host to Columbia this Friday as Yale looks to avenge a pair of losses from last year. The Bulldogs come in with high hopes for this season, with a number of returning point scorers and a strong freshman class. Columbia also comes in having lost only one regular and with a strong freshman class. It is shaping up to be quite a duel in the Kiphuth Exhibition Pool.

"Columbia is going to be a good meet," said Robert J.H. Kiphuth Director of Swimming Frank Keefe. "A lot of the races last year were close. It's Princeton [football] weekend so we should have a bigger crowd. It will be exciting for the kids."

Last year, Yale won a number of events and was mere tenths of a second off in others. Senior Alexis Mann and sophomore Becca Stern went one-two in the 50-yard freestyle. Sophomore Ileana Lucos won the 200-yard butterfly, while Susan Kim won the 200-yard breaststroke. The final score of the meet was 173-127 in favor of Columbia, a number that Yale intends to improve upon greatly this year.

"Columbia is going to be one of our toughest dual meets this season," said senior captain Aidan McKinlay. "As the first official meet of the season, nerves run high and it is a tossup whether such tense energy in the air will help or harm our team. We lost to the Lions last year and are looking to defeat them this Friday. They did not graduate many high point scorers, but our hope is that our team can come together, with the support of our freshmen, to perform better than last year and achieve the win in our home pool."

After the Bulldogs lost to Columbia at home early in the season, the two teams ran pretty much parallel the rest of the season. Yale finished 4-3 in the Ivy League and Columbia finished 5-2. At the Ivy League Championships the Bulldogs finished just 30 points behind Columbia.

Look for Kim, Lucos, Mann and McKinlay all to make strong contributions again this year. Junior Andrea Clifford and senior Laura Strittmatter and should also put up numbers as returning swimmers. Freshmen to keep an eye on will be Emily Dominski, Hayes Hyde, and Abigail Nunn, with Elizabeth Andrekovich and Rachel Rosenberg picking up points in the diving.

The meet will take place this Friday, Nov. 14 at 4:00 p.m.

Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity