Going into the season, the women’s swimming and diving team had an air of confidence under new head coach John Holohan. According to several team members, the Red has an entirely different attitude when approaching meets. But after Saturday’s disappointing dual meet loss to Ivy League foes Harvard and Dartmouth, the team must now fight off discouragement.
“I think we are disappointed with how we performed,” said senior co-captain Jayme Majek. “I think we will be able to come back and swim some faster times in the future.”
The Red was defeated by the Crimson by a score of 255-65. Though the Red would have liked to have kept the meet more competitive, the Crimson has historically proven to be a difficult opponent for the Red. Cornell has not finished in front of the Crimson in the Ivy League standings since 1986.
The real disappointment came with the Red’s 187-113 defeat at the hands of Dartmouth. In the process, the Green snapped its four-meet losing streak against the Red and earned its first Ivy win since 1999. Last season, the Red’s only win in the Ivy League came against the Green.
According to senior co-captain Aliza Ginsburg, however, the team is remaining upbeat.
“The losses are not what stops us from being successful,” said Ginsburg. “It just shows us where we have to go from here.”
Despite the 0-2 start to the season, there were some bright spots for the Red on Saturday. Sophomore Marisa Sweetser performed extremely well in the 200-yard breaststroke, finishing first against Dartmouth and second against Harvard. Fellow sophomore Kristin Rayhack also emerged victorious in the three-meter diving competition against Dartmouth, while finishing second against Harvard. Sophomore Jessica Brookman chipped in with a first-place finish against the Green in the 100-yard backstroke.
Majek also contributed a gutsy performance for the Red. Majek has had trouble with injuries during preseason workouts, limiting practice time in the pool. Despite her setbacks, though, Majek turned in the best time on the team in the 200-meter freestyle.
“Jayme Majek definitely stepped up,” said Ginsburg. “It is a testament to what kind of swimmer she is.”
Harvard ended up winning the meet by defeating Dartmouth 219-81.
“The meet is definitely going to be a benchmark to see where we are training wise. We can also see if we are physically and mentally ready for the season,” said Ginsburg.
The diving team’s next meet is on Nov. 21 against Princeton, while the swimming team faces Penn on Nov. 22. Both of those meets will be held at Teagle Pool as the teams attempt to bounce back after this week’s losses.
According to team members, Holohan was not entirely disappointed with the effort put forth.
“[Holohan] would have liked us to be a little bit closer to Dartmouth,” said Ginsburg. “But he doesn’t see this as a bad sign. He sees it more as us having a lot more work to do from here.”
Archived article by Bryan Pepper