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Baykova continues dominance in first home win

The UNH women’s swimming and diving team returned home and defeated Central Connecticut State University 203-148 after competing in a two-day meet at Swasey Pool. Led by junior Liza Baykova, the Wildcats were able to pave their way to the first win of the season.

“I thought the meet went really well. The past couple meets we have swum well but had a few people battling injuries and illness so it was great to have everyone back and in full swing,” head coach Josh Willman said. Willman is in his 23rd year as head coach.

Baykova was able to finish first in the 50, 100 and 200-yard freestyle races while freshman Colby Harvey paced herself and individually won the 100 and 200-meter butterfly with respective times of 57.40 seconds and 2:06.22.

“Baykova continues to be outstanding and we had real strong individual performances from Harvey, Carbone, Stefanelli and Olver,” Willman said.

CHINA WONG/STAFF  Vivienne El-Sibay placed third in the 200-yard butterfly.
Vivienne El-Sibay placed third in the 200-yard butterfly.

In the individual medley race, Corinne Carbone finished first in the 200 with a time of 2:08.93 and the 400 with a time of 4:31.92. The individual freestyle featured the resurgence of sophomore Brittany Moffatt where she finished first in the 500 and 1,650 with times of 5:05.27 and 17:36.37 respectively.

Once it came time for the relays, the Wildcats took control over CCSU. Led by Harvey, Maddy Murphy, Annmarie Picinich and Carbone, they kept the pressure on the Blue Devils with a time of 1:39.83.

In the 400-yard freestyle relay, Baykova led the charge with help from Sarah Broderick, Carbone and Moffat with a time of 3:31.81. The Wildcats also won the 200-medley relay as Baykova, Broderick, Harvey and Julia Rucker swam a time of 1:48.00 for the victory.

“We had a number of people achieve personal in-season best ever times so that is always great in the middle of hard training,” Willman said.

On the diving side, the Wildcats saw a first-place finish through a great performance out of freshman Allison Stefanelli, who won 3-meter diving with a score of 269.84 points.

Overall, the Wildcats were able to take 13 of 19 events from the Blue Devils over the two-day event and showed perseverance throughout. Baykova continues to make heads turn and when taking the pool for the 100 and 200-yard freestyle this season, she has won every race.

The Wildcats are looking to win the America East title for the first time since 2014 and Willman recognizes that they’re in a good position early in the season.

“We are right where we need to be and swimming a little faster than expected actually which is nice,” Willman said.

The Wildcats will take to Swasey Pool one final time this season on Nov. 5 against the University of Rhode Island Rams before they head on the road.

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