GV puts together strong performances in losses to Michigan State
The Grand Valley State University men’s and women’s swimming and diving team played host to Michigan State University Friday night at the Jenison Aquatic Center, dropping both meets 167.5-132.5 and 189-108, respectively.
The men took eight out of 16 events, while the women earned five victories against the Spartans. Slovakia native Milan Medo set the tone for the Lakers anchoring the 200-yard medley relay team to a win in the meet’s first race. Medo also won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 20.83 seconds. Sophomore Sven Kardol won two events tallying wins in the 200-yard backstroke and the 200-yard medley relay.
The women had a much tougher time against MSU and were limited to five wins.
“You always want to win but I think we really came out and performed well,” said junior diver Katie Vulpetti.
Vulpetti tallied third-placed finishes in both the one-meter board (249.37) and the three-meter board (259.64), finishing just behind teammate Taylor Wiercinski (264.6) in the one-meter.
Olivia Schultz and Caitlyn Madsen both turned in strong performances for the Lakers. Schultz won two individual events touching first in the 100-yard backstroke (58.04) and the 200-yard backstroke (2:04.64). Madsen won the 100-yard butterfly (57.65) and came in second in the 200-yard fly (2:06.43).
“Caitlyn is one of the best butterfly swimmers in Division II, she showed that Friday night, Olivia posted the best times of her career and we’re really early in the season,” said the men’s and women’s coach Andy Boyce.
Vulpetti said that it was good to see a high quality opponent very early on in the season because it will help the team prepare for tough competition later this year.
“There is definitely a difference between D-I and D-II schools but we showed them that we can swim with anybody,” Vulpetti said.
Senior diver Kyle Gebraad agreed that the tough competition will help the team further along. “Everyone on the team fought for every position in each race.” Gebraad said. “I think we really held our own and showed that we can contend with a big school.”
Gebraad admittedly had a shaky day on the diving board for the Lakers placing third on the three-meter board (227.17).
“For me, I need to be more mentally prepared.” Gebraad said. “A lot of diving is staying focused and I was a little beat up mentally.”
Even though the Lakers didn’t get a win, Vulpetti said the team got a taste of the competition to come later in the season.
“Our coach schedules tough opponents and it kind of opens our eyes to what really good competition is,” she said.
Coach Boyce agreed 100 percent with Vulpetti. “You get better by racing fast people.” Boyce said. “The more we do that, the more we’ll be able to compete.”
The team heads down to Muncie, Indiana for the Doug Coers Invite at Ball State University on Nov. 16 and 17.