Weekend roundup & the week ahead

Women’s basketball slips past Neumann 

Swarthmore’s women’s basketball team bounced back from a disappointing beginning to the conference season by defeating Neumann College 62-55. Elle Larsen ’15 led the team with 25 points.

The Garnet suffered two Centennial Conference losses in the week leading up to Thanksgiving break, falling to Gettysburg 65-46 and to Ursinus 69-60. The team fell to the Bears despite a Herculean effort from Larsen, who netted a career-high 30 points, along with 14 rebounds in the defeat.

For the women’s basketball team, the beginning of the season has been challenging, as freshmen guards Hayley Raymond and Melanie Ackerman face the task of meshing with returners Larsen, Jessica Jowdy ’16, Abby Deckard ’16 and Maggie O’Neil ’17.

All things considered, a slow start for the Garnet was hardly surprising. The team, however, has begun to show significant progress. Swarthmore jumped out to an early lead against Ursinus, opening a 16-6 lead.

Despite relinquishing the lead and trailing by as much as 16 points, Swarthmore refused to quit. With her team trailing by double digits in the waning minutes, Larsen netted five straight points to make the deficit a manageable six points with 1:17 left to play.

While that was as close as the Garnet would get, the effort gave reason to be optimistic about Swarthmore’s ability to remain competitive in conference play. With a month between games, the team’s young players have time to continue building chemistry with veterans like Larsen.

Fitzstevens puts men’s swimming on his back

Thanks in large part to Liam Fitstevens’ ’17 dominant performance in two backstroke events, Swarthmore’s men’s swimming team won the six team Swarthmore Invitational.

Swarthmore defeated visitors Salisbury, Cabrini, Lycoming, Ocean County and Fashion Institute of Technology in the two day meet from November 21 to 22.

In addition to winning both the 100-yard and the 200-yard backstroke events, Fitzstevens assisted in two first-place Garnet relay teams. In the 200 medley relay, he teamed with Alejandro Hernandez ’18, Andrew Steele ’17 and Carlo Sivilotti ’18. In the 800 freestyle relay, an equally young team featured Fitzstevens, Jason Fu ’18, Ben Hsiung ’18, and Steve Sekula ’17.

Every Garnet victory was turned in by either a freshman or sophomore, with CJ Cling ’18 winning the 400 individual medley and Sekula winning the 200-yard freestyle. The success of the team’s young talent is an important sign for the Garnet, especially as they look to rebound from a narrow 103-102 defeat at the hands of Franklin & Marshall.

The team resumes Conference play on Saturday, when it travels to Ursinus, before pausing the season for final exams and the semester break.

Women’s swimming back on track

After suffering a two-meet losing streak, the women’s swimming team found itself back on top, winning the seven team Swarthmore Invitational. The Garnet edged second place Salisbury, 867-725, with Cabrini, Juniata, Lycoming, Fashion Institute of Technology and Ocean County College finishing further behind.

Swarthmore’s team this year features returning stars Kate Wiseman ’15 and Supriya Davis ’15 along with a talented underclassman group led by Maggie Eberts ’18 and Erica Flor ’17. The four won six individual events in total and teamed up to win the 200-yard medley relay in dominant fashion. Their 1:54.32 pace in the medley relay was nearly six seconds faster than their next closest competitor.

In Davis and Wiseman, Swarthmore has two of the best swimmers in the Centennial Conference. If they can continue to compete in top form, the infusion of young talent should help the Garnet to compete for the conference championship.

After traveling to Ursinus on Saturday, the team will not compete again until a January 21 meet at Bryn Mawr.

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