Lady Cavs dive into their third season

By Daina Havens
December 1, 2005

“Swimmers, take your mark.GO!” This echoes through the sauna-like air within the intimidating walls of the Dixon Center pool. Women’s swimming coach Mike Kernicky waves his arms in the thick mist at practice while he yells out commands and pushes his team toward victory. “You’re a natural born leader,” Kernicky said to a swimmer pushing ahead during a drill.

These Lady Cavaliers are the newest addition to the college’s athletic department, concluding their first season in 2003-2004. At this early point in their third season, the women’s swimming team has shown great promise, but has fallen short of their own aspirations.

The swimming season opener at Notre Dame of Maryland, held Nov. 4, burdened the team with a 48-47 loss. In the recent Nov. 19 tri-meet at King’s College, the Lady Cavs overthrew King’s with a 75-17 victory, but fell to Lebanon Valley with a final score of 66-29.

“They noticed us,” Kernicky said, as he described the recent tri-meet, and added that this is “the best team yet.”

“I think the team has come a long way. We’ve been practicing hard, and we hope to end the season with a few more wins,” freshmen team member Jessica Hagerty said.

Assistant coach Pete Acquarola said that they are a “great group of girls” and are “fun to coach.”

“Overall, I think our team has come together,” senior captain Nina Scimenes said. Scimenes added that the team is practicing at least five days per week, even at the crack of dawn, and she has really seen an improvement.

The alternating blue and white flags that hang proudly over the length of the pool stand as a symbol that this team has become one, and is constantly growing, both in and out of the water.

Some big names on the team this season include freshmen Kelly Cotton, Gina Sciubba and Nicole Ketchen, along with junior Kristen Longa. Cotton has made a splash thus far in her first collegiate season, winning her first two collegiate races against Notre Dame of Maryland, and came within .3 seconds of the pool record by taking the 160 individual medley in 1:50.41 in her very first race. Cotton has now contributed to the team at least four individual event wins in her short career.

Sciubba gave Cabrini the first win in the second race, winning by a 15.33 margin in 13:08.59 in the 1,000 freestyle, while Ketchen won by 1.33 seconds in the 100 backstroke at Notre Dame of Maryland. At the tri-meet at King’s, Longa, a Lady Cavs co-captain, took to 500 freestyle by 4.85 seconds, and took second place in the 1,000 freestyle.

“I expect big things,” Kernicky said, as he coached in that larger-than-life room and dodged the scattered puddles on the floor. He added that Cabrini College will be hosting a meet at the season’s end, and the whole team is enthused and ready to dive in.

The team will be lead this year by senior captains Nina Scimenes and Lauren Walker, along with junior captains Kristen Longa and Meredith Kroener. Their next meet will be held Dec. 5 at Misericordia.

Posted to the web by Brian Coary

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Daina Havens

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