After a dual sweep for the men’s and women’s swim and dive teams against one of their rivals, Old Dominion University, East Carolina University will face the University of North Carolina at Wilmington at home on Saturday.
The two teams met last year, where ECU was victorious. In the South Carolina Collegiate Invitational, the women’s team prevailed 200-149 while the men’s team faced them in the Colonial Athletic Association Pod Meet, where it won by a 132-79 margin.
The last time these two teams competed in Minges Natatorium was during the 2015-16 campaign, where ECU also took home a win for both the men’s and women’s teams. The men defeated the Seahawks 203-136, while the women outswam UNCW and won 212-130.
As of right now both swim teams are on a winning streak. The men have won three meets in a row after an early season loss at Navy, taking home two victories in the ECU Tri-Meet, while the women have won four in a row after competing against three teams in the ECU Quad-Meet.
“We have to keep the energy up like we have been doing the past couple of meets,” senior Vendela Norrman said. “We have to cheer everyone on for every single event, and knowing we will have a packed house, the meet will be more exciting.”
Even though the team has been rolling since falling at Navy the first week of competition, the team has remained focused on what it wants to accomplish at the end of the year and not on what has happened in the past weeks of competing.
“Focus. We talk about it, but it is not something we feel we have an issue with,” head coach Matthew Jabs said. “The swimmers know what they want to accomplish and in order to do that at the end of the year they have to progress each and every opportunity they have to race.”
This weekend’s home meet will be the swim and dive program’s equivalent to ‘Paint it Purple’ as the team is asking fans to ‘Paint the Natatorium Purple’.
At the last home meet, all four teams were cheering each other on. The fans were excited when they saw events come down to the wire, especially when events came down to a slim margin of seconds or milliseconds. There were moments where it seemed that one school was winning consecutive events in a row, but out of nowhere, someone who wasn’t favored to win the event, came from behind. When another school won an event, it made the meet more competitive for ECU and the fans who attended.
“Anytime you are at home is always good and fun. That energy will be there,” Jabs said. “Having an in-state school in here, that energy will add to it as well.”
ECU has its Georgia Tech Invitational in Atlanta, Georgia after UNCW, followed by the AT&T Winter National Championships in Columbus, Ohio before winter break.
“We are getting ready for our mid-season invite in a few short weeks,” Jabs said. “ We are just building towards that before winter break and second semester.”
Senior swimmers such as Alicia Roueche, who was named American Athletic Conference Diver-of-the-Week, Norrman, who was awarded AAC Swimmer-of-the-Week and Julie Lajoie have been dominating these past couple of meets as role swimmers as they helped get and keep the win streak going.
Roueche posted an NCAA Zone qualifying score on the 3-meter springboard, setting a pool record, while capturing first-place on the 1-meter springboard as well last weekend. Norrman set the pool record in the 200-yard breaststroke with an NCAA B qualifying time of 2:15.85, and sophomore Magnus Andersen recorded three first-place finishes for the men, winning the 200-yard freestyle, the 200-yard backstroke race, and the 200-yard Individual Medley (IM) against ODU.
“Just like this past weekend at ODU, we need to go in and swim fast,” sophomore Magnus Andersen said. “The weekend before we had a home meet where we were behind at the start, but we started cheering each other on, and we won the meet in the end. We want to be able to do the same thing and come out on top this weekend.”
The swim and dive team will be at home this Saturday in Minges Natatorium at 1 p.m. as it looks to extend its winning streak against the Seahawks.