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Friday, March 1, 2024
The Observer

Belles look to rebound against Rose-Hulman

This weekend should be somewhat of a break for the Saint Mary's swimming and diving after coming out of a difficult match last weekend against Hope College and Olivet College. The Belles will travel to the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind., where they will compete at 1:00 on Saturday. Although the meet is a three-team competition, Saint Mary's will only have one team to face. The third school, Wabash College, is an all-men's school.Rose-Hulman, a Division-III school and member of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Association, was defeated in their home-opener last week against the University of Chicago. Although the men's and women's team turned in a total of 10 first-place finishes, the women fell by a score of 112-97. Saint Mary's ought to have some advantage over the Engineers, simply because the Belles have more swimmers to choose from. Rose-Hulman has a somewhat small roster, with only 14 swimmers. However, the difference may be in the experience of the two teams. While Rose-Hulman has as many seniors on the team as any other class, the Saint Mary's team is made up primarily of newcomers; over half of the swimmers on the team are freshmen. Coach Gregg Petcoff is optimistic about the potential of his swimmers to measure up to the experience of this weekend's opponents. "We're looking forward to seeing the contributions of our first-years, including two divers," Petcoff said. "And the freshmen will certainly be essential to a Saint Mary's victory over Rose-Hulman, who seems to have a fairly consistent team across the board. Last week, one of the team's top performances was turned in by a freshman. Anita Isch placed first in the 100 yard freestyle against Chicago. On the other hand, Kelly Nelis, a junior for the Belles, swam the same race last week in a better time.The potential is certainly there for Saint Mary's to come out victorious on Saturday. With both teams coming out of difficult losses last week, everyone will most likely come out looking for a win. Based on its times from its previous race, as well as the depth that has been added to the team by the addition of two new divers, Saint Mary's should be set to have a successful weekend.