WOMEN'S SWIMMING AND DIVING OFF TO UNDEFEATED START

DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire women's swimming and diving team earned its first conference win of the year on Sunday, taking out the University of Vermont, 152-148, to preserve its undefeated record, moving to 5-0 on the season.

The 5-0 mark is the best start the Wildcats have had since the 2007-08 season, when the ‘Cats won their first five meets to start the year, finishing out the year 6-2, while earning a third place finish at the America East Swimming and Diving Championship.

"It was one of our team goals to finish first semester undefeated, so we feel real good about that," said Josh Willman, UNH women's swimming and diving head coach. "We have been really focused throughout the fall and now it is important for us to maintain that same focus as we approach finals and our winter training camp in Florida after Christmas."

So far on the young season, UNH has broken 11 pool records and placed first in 78 percent of all events (46 events). In addition, the Wildcats also have 19 top-10 times in the America East Conference standings, including Amy Perrault's (Kirkland Lake, Ontario) top time of 56.35 seconds in the 100-yard backstroke.

In UNH's most recent action against Vermont, the Wildcats placed first in nine events, rallying in the day's final event to take out the Catamounts and earn the win. After trailing by five points, the ‘Cats took first place in the 400 free relay, led by Sydney Tribou (Belle Island, Fla.), Kiersten Wollenzien (Holland Landing, Ontario), Mallory Morrell (Rush, N.Y.) and Shelli Reed (Hollister, Calif.), with a time of 3:33.77 seconds, which was two-tenths-of-a-second off the Swasey Pool record.

The Wildcats kicked off the afternoon in stellar fashion, as Allison Nahin (Hartland, Wisc.), Kelsey Gillespie (Falmouth, Maine), Perrault and Morrell led New Hampshire to a first place finish in the 200-yard medley relay, clocking in at 1:47.37.

Nahin, Jessica Little (Barrie, Ontario) and Evelyn Yuen (Princeton, N.J.), also chipped in taking first, second and third place, respectively, in the 100-yard breaststroke. Nahin timed in at 1:05.03, while Little clocked in at 1:06.82 and Yuen finished with a time of 1:08.74.

Morrell and Reed added to the mix in the 50-yard freestyle as they took first and second place, respectively. Morrell timed in at 24.02 and Reed finished with a time of 24.51. Reed and Morrell were at it again in the 100-yard freestyle, claiming first and second place, timing in at 52.77 and 53.20, respectively.

New Hampshire was equally impressive in the 1-meter diving, as Ellen Pelletier (West Hartford, Conn.) notched nine points and captured first place after putting together a score of 221.55.

In the meet prior, UNH took out Central Connecticut State University, earning a 181-110 victory, after placing first in 10 of 16 events on Nov. 7 at Swasey Pool.

The ‘Cats kicked off the day in record setting fashion, capturing first place and a pool record in the 200-yard medley relay, as Perrault, Little, Reed and Morrell led the charge, clocking in at 1:46.70.

Tribou chipped in with a first place finish in the 200-yard freestyle, as she timed in at 1.55.64. Kelsey Gillespie (Falmouth, Maine) and Yuen wouldn't finish far behind, capturing third and fourth place with times of 2:00.60 and 2:02.66, respectively.

New Hampshire didn't let up in the 100-yard breaststroke either, as Little and Nahin timed in at 1:05.62 and 1:07.19, earning a first and second place finish, respectively.

The Wildcats would round out the event with a pool record in the 800-yard freestyle, as Wollenzien, Perrault, Reed and Tribou timed in at 7:53, to preserve the win for the 'Cats.

New Hampshire continued its dominance against Wagner, notching a 121-77 win, capturing first place in all but three events on Oct. 18 at Wagner Pool.

The Wildcats got off to a quick start in the 200 medley relay as Morrell, Nahin, Perrault and Mattie Fowler (Farmington, Maine) led the Wildcats to a 1:52.36 finish, capturing first place in the event.

Individually the Wildcats wouldn't waste any time in the early going, as Tribou led the way in the 1000-yard freestyle, capturing first place with a time of 10:49.60. The Wildcats wouldn't let up in the 200-yard freestyle either, as Reed and Perrault ripped through the water to tie for first place with a time of 1:57.61.

Morrell provided a solid punch for the ‘Cats in the middle of the meet placing in first in both the 50- and 100-yard freestyle with times of 24.53 and 53.12, respectively. Her time in the 50-freestyle was a pool record. Anna Gryglewska (Norwalk, Conn.) added a second place finish in the 100-yard freestyle clocking in at 55.74.

The Wildcats would round out the afternoon with a pair of first places finishes in both the 100-yard backstroke and the 500-yard freestyle. Perrault led the way in the 100-yard backstroke as she clocked in with a time of 59.33. Little added a second place finish in the event, finishing with a time of 1:01.45.

UNH kicked off the season defeating Niagara 213-85 and Siena College 191.5-102.5 in its season opening tri-meet on Oct. 17 at Siena Swim Center. New Hampshire broke six pool records on the day, the most in a single meet by one team in the 11-year history of the facility.

The first came in the 200-yard medley relay as Morrell, Nahin, Perrault and Reed led the Wildcats to a pool record, with a time of 1:48.96. The Wildcats were at it again in the 200-yard freestyle relay, as they notched another pool record with a team time of 1:38.47.

Individually, the ‘Cats were just as stellar, as four Wildcats set individual pool marks on the day. Little notched a time of 2:11.36 in 200-yard individual medley, Morrell clocked in at 24.11 in the 50-yard freestyle, Perrault posted a 58.77 time in the 100-yard backstroke and Reed a 52.48 time in the 100-yard freestyle.  

Aside from rewriting the history books, the Wildcats took home top honors in several other events on the day. Casey Albert (Enfield, N.H.) and Jessica Perry (Middleboro, Mass.) provided early spark for the ‘Cats as they placed first and second, respectively, in the 1000-yard freestyle, with times of 11:01.52 and 11:02.36.

Tribou would follow suit as she finished in first place with a time of 1:57.58 in the 200-yard freestyle. Fowler also chipped in, finishing first in the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 2:11.80,

Later in the meet, the Wildcats got a lift from Wollenzien, who blazed through the water for a 2:12.35 first place finish in the 200-yard backstroke and Little who notched another first place finish, this time in the 200-yard breaststroke as she timed in at 2:25.34.

New Hampshire capped off the meet with Tribou and Perry leading the way in the 500-yard freestyle, finishing in first and second place, respectively. Tribou timed in at 5:18.12, while Perry clocked in at 5:25.15. Perrault would also add to the lead in the 100-yard butterfly as she finished in first with a time of 58.41.

The Wildcats return to action on Jan. 18, at 12 p.m., when they play host to Northeastern and Boston University at Swasey Pool.

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