The Rams won their meet against Bryant in a thriller by a score of 138-123 last Saturday. The meet was at one point tied, and the Rams were trailing the Bulldogs with four events remaining.
“Saturday we faced a challenge against Bryant with four athletes injured, but they have not stopped us from pursuing our goals,” Head Coach Mick Westkott said of his team.
Rhode Island proved their determination by outscoring Bryant 47-23 in the final four events. The Rams first took the 200-yard medley relay with the team of Lauren Folkert, Carly DeLiberty, Bridget Whalen and Grace Kneller clocking in with a time of 1:50.10. Caitlin Guccione, a freshman, swam a winning time of 1:00.28 in the 100-yard butterfly. Junior Sydney Williams won the 1,000 yard freestyle at 10:38.29 and sophomore Nicole Petta won the 100-yard breastroke at 1:06.33.
Coach Westkott reflected on the hallmark performances of the regular season and the role of the senior class.
“The senior class has set the tone for this season and really provided the leadership that this group has thrived on,” Westkott said.
During the regular season, DeLiberty and Petta were the first Rams in three years to compete at the USA Winter Nationals. Diver Maria Smirnoff qualified for NCAA Diving Zones, the first URI swimmer to do so since 2002.
“The comradery of the seniors and the work that they have done together has all been evident this year,” Westkott said.
The Rams have battled through injuries and finished with a 6-4 regular season record. The team looks to improve upon last season’s seventh place finish. URI leaves for Spire Institute in Geneva, Ohio on Monday and will begin competition Wednesday morning.
“If someone asked us if we’re ready for the Atlantic-10, I’d say absolutely,” Westkott said.