VALPARAISO, Ind.—The University of Evansville men’s and women’s swim teams got off to a strong start to the 2022-23 season Friday in Valparaiso, while divers Madison Rollett (Evansville, Ind./Reitz), Valorie Marx (Evansville, Ind./Reitz) and Levi McKinney (Boonville, Ind./Boonville) impressed in a diving competition against the University of Southern Indiana at the EU campus.
In swimming, the EU women won all 11 races against the Beacons, while the men won ten of 11 races. Overall, EU took a 137-65 win for the women and a 149-56 win for the men. In fact, in the women’s competition, Evansville was not beaten by any swimmer from Valparaiso in any of the 11 races.
“Overall I thought it was a great way to start the season,” said EU swimming head coach Stuart Wilson. “I saw different people speak out today, and it was also good to see our new swimmers get their first taste of Division I competition. Overall, a lot of positives today. “
Sophomore Sveva Brugnoli (Rome, Italy) and senior Sarah Jahns (Lilburn, Ga./Parkview) led the EU women’s dominance as they were undefeated in the three races they entered. Brugnoli won the individual titles in the 50-yard freestyle (25.01) and 100-yard butterfly (57.72), while teaming with seniors Sage Moore (Lexington, Ohio/Lexington) and Sonsoles Aguayo (Jerez, Spain) and junior Iryna Tsesiul (Minsk, Belarus) to claim the title in the 200-yard medley relay in a time of 1:48.40. Meanwhile, Jahns topped both the 500 freestyle (5:15.11) and 1,000 freestyle (10:40.07), and led the victory for EU in the 200 yard freestyle relay (1:41.50) , teaming up with seniors Allison McDonald (Cape Girardeau, Mo./Cape Central) and Maya Cunningham (Yakima, Wash./Eisenhower) and junior Abigail Groenewold (Lombard, Ill./Timothy Christian).
On the men’s side, senior Riccardo Di Domenico (Johannesburg, South Africa), junior Jackson Caudill (Mount Sterling, Ky./Montgomery County) and sophomore Daniel Santos Lopez (Madrid, Spain) were undefeated in Friday’s pool. Di Domenico won the 100-yard (46.40) and 200-yard freestyle (1:40.97) events, while teaming with Santos Lopez, junior Alon Baer (Gesher HaZiv, Israel) and second Benjamin Hasanovic (Innsbruck, Austria) to win the 200-yard medley relay (1:32.51). Caudill, meanwhile, won both distance freestyle events, winning the 500-yard run (4:44.75) and the 1,000-yard run (9:47.47). Lopez performed a perfect three-for-three in the pool, winning the 200 Medley relay, 100-yard butterfly (50.99) and 200-yard freestyle relay (1:26.02) with second-placed student Jakob Grundbacher (Thalwil, Switzerland), junior Grant Kay (Ellicott City, Maryland/Hebron) and rookie Mohammed Rashed (Manama, Bahrain).
In diving, Rollett and McKinney swept the one-meter and three-meter competitions for women and men. Rollett dominated on the one-yard board, posting a personal best 253.50 to narrowly miss posting an NCAA Zone qualifying score of 12 points in the season-opening competition. Marx also posted a college-best one-yard score of 217.88 to place second. McKinney, meanwhile, posted scores of 254.03 in the one-yard competition and 247.35 in the three-yard competition against ISU’s top high school teammate Lane Pollock in the men’s competition.
“I was really pleased with what I saw among the divers today,” said EU diving head coach Dustin Bredemeier. “Having Maddie and Val post personal bests in the first meeting of the year is obviously a great way to start, and I think Levi did some really good things in his first college meeting. Overall, I am very happy. “
The Purple Aces are back in action next Friday, when the EU Women take on the MVC Showcase in Carbondale, Illinois, while the EU Men take on Southern Illinois and Upstate. Missouri during a two-day meet in Carbondale.