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Monday, December 6, 2021

Aggies split with Gauchos, sweep Tritons

The men’s swimming and diving team had a chance to finish the season undefeated with wins over UC Santa Barbara and UC San Diego.

The Aggies took advantage of the opportunity, beating the Gauchos 154-140 on Friday, their first Big West Conference dual meet win over UCSB, and then defeating the Tritons 174-122 one day later.

Against the Gauchos, Matt Herman set a season-best and Schaal Pool record in the 500 freestyle with a time of 4:31.62.

Adam Borchard, Reid Hartz and Alex Rossbach took the top three spots in 1000 freestyle with times of 9:39.64, 9:41.36 and 9:46.91, respectively. Both Rossbach’s and Hartz’s times were season bests.

Senior Daniel Donnelly picked up an individual victory, clocking in at 49.90 in the 100 butterfly.

In the 200 breaststroke, Scott Weltz posted a time of 2:02.70 to finish first. His season-best time of 1:49.85 in the 200 butterfly also garnered a top finish. In addition, he came in first in the 200 individual medley at 1:52.07, helping the Aggies pull out a close victory.

The women didn’t fare as well against the Gauchos, falling 181-111.

Morgan Lee posted a season-best time of 1:05.72 in the 100 breaststroke, her first individual win of the year. Ashley Chandler finished the 100 freestyle with a time of 52.06, a lifetime best.

In the last home meet of the season, the Aggies hosted the Tritons on Senior Day. UC Davis sent its eight seniors out with wins as the men took care of business, winning 174-122, and the women eked out the 155-145 victory.

With the wins, the men finish the season with a perfect 8-0 mark while the women end at 5-6.

After a long season, the Aggies will be rewarded for their efforts. They will receive much needed rest heading into the Big West Conference Championships, which start on Feb. 17 in Long Beach, Calif.

“The team has worked extremely hard,” said coach Pete Motekaitis. “We’re going to make a 180 degree transformation.”

The Aggies will take some time off, but they don’t want to lose sight of the ultimate goal – a league title.

“I feel excited,” said senior Kathryn Jovino. “The underlying tone is always conference championships.”

Senior Russ Underwood would agree.

“We put in a lot of work and a lot of races,” Underwood said. “I’m excited. I feel pretty good and pretty positive.”

MATT WANG can be reached sports@theaggie.org.

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