By Dominic Capone
The Fordham Rams’ swimming and diving teams are underway with the new season. The men’s and women’s teams opened up against the Marist Red Foxes in Poughkeepsie, New York on Oct. 19. They followed that up with a meet against the University of Connecticut two days later.
The men’s team lost its first match of the season against Marist 137-100. Last year’s team MVP, sophomore Joseph Vizza, had a nice start to the season, winning the 200m freestyle in 1:43.18 and placing first in the 100m freestyle in 47.62 seconds. Alongside juniors Isiah Magsino and Travis Monahan and graduate student Joe Mercurio, Vizza helped his team win the 400m-medley relay in 3:27.80.
As for the women, they won their season opener with a 162-76 win over the Red Foxes. The women’s team dominated from start to finish as it took 1st place in all 13 events. Freshman Bayley Frierson came away with wins in the distance freestyle events with times of 10:38.27 (1000m) and 5:14.10 (500m). This was complemented with two wins from fellow freshman Caitlin McNary as she won the 100m (53.56) and 200m (1:54.71) freestyle events.
Despite the split against the Red Foxes, head coach of the men’s and women’s team, Steven Potsklan, was pleased with his team’s performances.
“Job well done against Marist for men, dominant for women,” said Potsklan.
Two days later, the Rams faced off against the UConn Huskies who were added to the schedule after Potsklan wanted more of a challenge.
“We dropped an easy opponent from last year and added UConn this year. I wanted to challenge our best athletes with a stronger opponent,” said Potsklan.
The men’s and women’s teams combined for a total of 13 race wins on Saturday, but it was not enough, as they both shared the same fate, losing against a tough opponent. The men lost 155-140, the women lost 157-135.
For the men, Vizza followed up his first performance by winning the 100m (47.01) freestyle and 200m (1:41.77) freestyle events. Senior Joe Mercurio also won two individual events in the 50 (21.48) freestyle and the 100 (50.79) butterfly. Freshman Nathaniel Guenther had the men’s final win of the day as he took first place in the 400m IM in 4:15.28.
The women had a strong showing from senior diver Wendy Espina-Esquivel as she won the diving competition with scores of 261.89 on the one-meter board and 268.57 on the three-meter. Bayley Frierson also picked up a victory as she won the 1,000 freestyle in 10:32.25.
Despite the losses, Potsklan was impressed with his team.
“We did a much better job competing Saturday against a very strong opponent in UConn,” he said. “It was fun to watch them step up and race on Saturday.”
The Fordham Ram’s next test will be against Boston University on Oct. 28 at 1:30 p.m. The Boston University men’s swimming and diving team has a record of 2-0 while the women have a record of 0-2. Brown University will also compete at the meet, but will not count towards the scoring.