Panthers looking for strong campaign in 2015-16
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – A new season for the Plymouth State University women's swimming and diving team gets underway next Saturday (Nov. 7) as the Panthers compete in the annual Louise Goodrum Invitational, hosted by the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
The Panthers, led by 25th-year head coach Al Switzer, will also be on the road for tri-meets the following two Saturdays, traveling to Colby-Sawyer College on Nov. 14 and Western New England University on Nov. 21. There are two dual meets on the road in December at Rhode Island College and Westfield State University before the home opener in January.
Plymouth State will have two home dual meets in January to highlight the second semester slate, facing Simmons College on Saturday, Jan. 9, and Saint Joseph University (Conn.) on Saturday, Jan. 16.
The annual Little East Conference Championships, which used to take place on the first Saturday in December, have been moved to Saturday, Jan. 30, at UMass Dartmouth. The annual New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) Championships are set for Feb. 12-14 at the University of Rhode Island.
2015-16 Panther Season Outlook
As the 2015-16 season opens for the Plymouth State Women's Swimming and Diving team, Coach Switzer looks ahead with anticipation to many excellent and performances from his team, and to a successful year.
"There is much excitement as the 2015-2016 season gets underway for the Plymouth State Women's Swimming and Diving team," said Coach Switzer. "The returning veterans are joined by a good group of newcomers. Squad numbers are close to where they were a few years ago. Most events are covered with decent depth.
The Panthers will have solid depth in the freestyle events from the sprints through the distance, according to Switzer. Junior captain Katia Wyman (Portsmouth, N.H.) and classmate Kelsey Cronan (Framingham, Mass.) return to lead the way in the distance races. They will be supported by newcomers Erin Burgos (Plaistow, N.H.) and Julianna McGuire (Waterbury, Conn.).
Coach Switzer will look to a group of freshmen in the middle distances -- Deanne DeGrazia (Westport, Mass.), Maddy O'Dea (Natick, Mass.) and Stephanie LaBeck (Oakville, Conn.) There will be a scramble in the sprints, as sophomore Julia Donahue (Hampstead, N.H.) battles with freshmen Ashleigh Miller (Sanford, Maine), Julia Mazza (Belchertown, Mass.), Mandy Tran (Manchester, N.H.), Julia West (Wiscasset, Maine), and Melissa Provencher (Salem, N.H.)
Mazza and Tran will add much to the butterfly, according to Switzer, especially in the 50 and 100 distances. The 200 fly may be a work in progress. Junior Meaghan Doherty (Charlestown, Mass.) and Cronan could lend some help in the fly.
In the breaststroke, returning from last season are sophomore Addie Schumaker (Haymarket, Va.), Doherty and Wyman. Adding considerable experience to the breaststroke will be Burgos, West, O'Dea and Tran.
Backstroke will take some time to work out, says Switzer. "At present, Schumaker will get considerable work, and the following should be able to add some good swims during the season: Burgos, Tran and Donahue (at the sprint distance)."
The IM should have considerable depth. Wyman and Schumaker, both returning from last year, will get considerable help from Burgos, Mazza, O'Dea and Tran.
"The team is made up of mostly freshman, a good many of whom have had considerable experience," said Switzer. "We are all excited about the possibilities for the coming season. There are no seniors on the team. The question is, how quickly can the young people learn the ins and outs of college swimming and diving? It should be a fun year ahead."
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