The Final Winter Warm-Up
Aquawomen Face Dartmouth Before Barbados Trip
Football. Dartmouth is pretty good at that. Three Ivy championships in a row, at last count.
Men's soccer. Dartmouth's pretty good at that, too. NCAA tournament quarterfinals this year, losing to eventual NCAA champion Virginia.
Women's swimming. Well...two out of three ain't bad.
"They're pretty much the worst team in the Ivy League," Harvard Co-Captain Lynn Kelley said.
The Harvard women's swimming team hosts Dartmouth today at noon at Blodgett Pool, and by all accounts, the matchup is analogous to Monica Seles taking on Dean Epps on Centre Court.
(Seles wins that 10 times out of 10, by the way.)
Even Epps can work a miracle now and then. But this just won't be one of those times.
"If we don't win..." started Harvard Coach Maura Costin Scalise. "Well, we're a much better team. We should win."
Harvard is coming off a winning performance in the Harvard Invitational. But now that the big tournament is over, it's back to work for the Crimson.
"We're back in the training mode," Costin Scalise said. "It's been a week of pretty hard practice."
If Dartmouth wins, fatigue will be the deciding factor. According to Costin Scalise, Dartmouth is well rested after defeating Brown and Boston College in the previous two weeks. Harvard defeated Syracuse, Villanova and Indiana last weekend but is getting no breaks in practice.
"Maura's killing us in practice," Kelley said.
Injuries will also be a problem for the Crimson. Co-Captain Eva Romas, junior Heather Gibbons and freshman Shanna Cox are among those swimmers who will watch the meet from poolside.
Costin Scalise is shuffling her lineup to cover the gaps. Kelley is the only swimmer who will compete in her natural events.
"If we're a good team, we will be deep enough so it shouldn't be a problem," Costin Scalise said. "It's an Ivy meet, though, so anything can happen."
On December 27, Harvard will retreat to Barbados for a winter practice session.
No tears are being shed, though, despite Costin Scalise's insistence that the two-a-day practices will be some of the toughest of the season.
"Yeah, with the two-a-days, the weight lifting and the running, we'll only have enough time to do schoolwork...and sleep on the beach," Kelley said.