Women’s Swim Wins One of Three Road Meets


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Kelly Montesi led the Wildcats, sweeping all of her events in the three weekend meets.

Aphrodite Dimopoulos, Staff Writer

Villanova’s women’s swim team continued its long streak of road meets as it traveled to Pittsburgh on Thursday, Jan. 20 and West Virginia on Saturday, Jan. 22. The team suffered a tough loss to Pittsburgh on Thursday but was able to split the meet on Saturday, losing to Iowa State, but pulling out a win against host West Virginia. 

Although the overall result was a loss, Villanova won seven of its events against Pittsburgh and totaled more than 20 top-five performances, including multiple from seniors Kelly Montesi and Nicole Welch. Together, they earned five individual wins for the Wildcats, and each had stand-out performances. 

This meet marked the fourth straight that Montesi has won all of her individual races, with first place wins in the 100-yard backstroke, with a time of 54.81, the 200-yard backstroke, with a time of 1:58.68, and the 400-yard individual medley, with a time of 4:23.04. To add to her individual success, Montesi participated in the 400-yard freestyle relay with graduate student Milly Routledge, junior Perri Stahl and senior Abbey Berloco as the team’s anchor. The dynamic group of four brought home a first place win in this event, with a time of 3:27.34. 

Beyond her relay success, Routledge placed first in the 50-yard free, with a time of 23.87, quickly followed by Stahl in third place at 23.99 and Berloco in fourth place, with a time of 24.06. Along with Montesi, Welch helped Villanova keep the match close with her wins in the 500-yard free and the 1000-yard free, with times of 5:02.09 and 10:16.84, respectively. 

Although only Montesi, Welch, Routledge and the 400-yard free relay placed first, the Wildcats racked up many second and third place finishes throughout the remainder of the meet. In the 200-yard medley relay, Stahl, sophomore Audrey Pastorek, graduate student Elizabeth Bailey and sophomore Cara Stapleton worked together to create a third place finish in a time of 1:47.09. Continuing with relay successes, Stapleton, sophomore Molly Benson, Welch and sophomore Lexi Elkovitch finished third in the 400 free relay, with a time of 3:33.55. 

For diving, senior Andrea Holtz finished fifth in the one-meter with a score of 212.33 and sixth in the three-meter, with a score of 236.25. 

The meet ended with Pittsburgh winning, 176.5-121.5. Previous to this meet, the Wildcats were on a three-meet winning streak, making this its first loss since November. 

Traveling to Morgantown, W.V., Villanova faced both Iowa State and West Virginia in the tri-meet on Saturday. With a total of nine wins, Villanova beat West Virginia, 177-120, and fell short against Iowa State, 150-145. That being said, competition against both teams required a major team effort, as seven of the Wildcat swimmers contributed to the winning events. 

Extending her hot streak, Montesi dominated once again with another sweep of her events, winning the 100-yard back, with a time of 55.44, 100-yard butterfly, with a time of 55.37, the 200-yard IM, with a time of 2:02.86, and the 200-yard medley relay, with a cumulative time of 1:43.90. Stahl, Bailey and Berloco made up the rest of the relay team that ultimately beat Iowa State’s squad in a close finish. 

Another first place finish for the Wildcats came from Welch in the 1650-yard free, with a time of 17:30.75, beating the second place finisher by six seconds. Routledge finished third in three of her events: the 200-yard free, with a time of 1:50.91, the 100-yard free, with a time of 51.34, and the 400-yard free relay, with a time of 3:26.91 on a team with Berloco, Elkovitch and Stahl. 

Routledge finished second place in the 50-yard free, falling short from first by just 0.02 seconds, with a time of 23.87. Berloco also finished second in both the 200-yard free and 100-yard free. Bailey added a second-place finish in the 200-yard fly, with a time of 2:04.86. Further, Welch and Gravell finished second in the 500-yard free and the 200-yard IM, respectively. 

The Wildcats look to carry their efforts into next weekend as they head to Penn State on Friday to take on the undefeated Nittany Lions