Aquawomen to Face Yale
Last of the Ivy Big Three
In past years, as the Harvard women's swimming season began, the coach must have paced the Blodgett Pool deck muttering, "Bruins and Tigers and Bulldogs...oh my." Since the beginning of Ivy League dual meet competition six years ago, the perennial league powers, Brown, Princeton, and Yale have always sprung from the thickets of Harvard's schedule to waylay the season.
This year, the Crimson is much stronger and when practice began last October, second-year coach Vicki Hays was probably not as worried as her predecessors. But now, with the season almost over, the team has dropped close meets to two of the fearsome triad, Brown and Princeton. Today they will try and stave off that all-too-common sweep, as they travel to New Haven to face the last of the league's triple swimming threat, the 8-2 Bulldogs.
Yale coach Frank Keefe doesn't think the Crimson will have much trouble.
"There's no way we're going to beat Harvard. Considering Harvard took Princeton down to the last relay, and we got blown out of the water by Princeton, we can't really expect to win," he said yesterday.
But Have is more cautious. "I feel confident, but I'm hesitant about feeling too confident. Two years ago we went in there with a better team than they had, and lost. We don't want to be like Princeton was against us, looking beyond this meet," she said yesterday.
Both coaches agree that the meet will ride on the battle between Harvard depth and Yale talent. Yale boasts a quartet of fast swimmers in captain Cindee Simon, Sharon Vietz, Courtney Ellis, and Jennifer Decker, each of whom may swim four events. Harvard will counter with a more balanced line-up.
"We want everyone swimming their best events. We want them to use the competition to get their best times, like they did against Princeton," Hays said.
Coach Keefe things that Harvard's depth may be too much for the Bulldogs to overcome. "You've got to figure they'll take one-two on both [the one-meter and three-meter] boards in diving [with Jennifer Goldberg and Adriana Holy], and they'll kill us in the relays. We just don't have any breaststrokers, I could even breaststrokers for our team," he said.
Coach Keefe may be understating his own team's prowess, though, as the Bulldogs have dominated everyone on their schedule this year outside of Brown and Princeton.