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PENN STATE VS.
McCoy Natatorium | University Park, Pa.
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State swimming and diving teams sent their seniors out in style as the men's and women's teams swept Villanova by scores of 153-125 and 151-104, respectively, Saturday afternoon in McCoy Natatorium. Women's seniors Melissa Rodriguez and Kaitlin Jones won multiple races, while men's seniors Matt Grillo (Montreal, Quebec) and Logan Knauss (Audubon, Pa.) won an event each.
The Penn State women (7-2), ranked 21st in the nation entering the meet posted the top performances in all but one event, while the men (3-6) were dominant with 14 different individual event winners.
Junior Katelyn Sowinski (Severna Park, Md.) was another of four multiple event winners for the Lions on the women's side, claiming the 200 butterfly in 2:00.56 and the 500 freestyle in 4:53.65. Sophomore Niki Price led a 1-2-3 sweep in the 100 butterfly in a NCAA B-cut and McCoy Natatorium record time of 53.80 -- a personal best and the fastest time by a Nittany Lion in the event all season. Following the sophomore was a pair of seniors, Katie Rowe (54.01) and Haley Sinatro (56.42). Price also won the 50 freestyle in 23.51.
Jones claimed the 200 freestyle in the second individual race of the day in 1:48.33, and she was followed closely by classmate Alyson Ackman (Montreal, Quebec). Another senior touched first in the very next race, as Allie Pennetti (Wexford, Pa.) finished the 100 backstroke in 55.35 with classmates Casey Fazio and Jenna Bickel following in second (56.74) and fourth (57.71), respectively.
Jones also won the 100 freestyle in 51.58.
Rodriguez won the first of two events in the 100 breaststroke, touching in 1:02.11. She later also claimed gold in the 200 breast, touching the wall after 2:15.30.
In the 1-meter dive on the women's side, senior Kelly Kusevich placed runner-up with a score of 255.68 to teammate Mackenzie Cornell (268.27). Cornell also won the 3-meter with a total of 288.90 points. On the men's side, Knauss posted the top score of 338.39 in the 1-meter and Hector Garcia (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain) was tops in the 3-meter at 388.65.
Knauss and Garcia were two of the men's teams 14 different event winners. Grillo joined fellow senior Knauss atop the podium by winning the 50 freestyle in 20.76 seconds. Freshman Tomer Zamir (Gesher Haziv, Israel) was second in 21.13 seconds, while senior Tim Maurer (Hershey, Pa.) was third touching in 21.56. It was not the only strong performance for Zamir, who won the 100 back in 50.29.
Matt Stasiunas (Avondale, Pa.) won the 200 freestyle in 1:39.87, while David Gross (Perryville, Md.), another event winner from last week, took gold in the 200 backstroke in 1:52.53. Joao Cervone (Sao Paulo, Brazil) won the 200 butterfly in a season-best 1:51.79 in his McCoy Natatorium debut. Andrew Schuehler (Camden, N.J.) exactly matched his season-best of 56.46 in the 100 breaststroke to win the event.
The Penn State men's and women's teams will next compete in the Big Ten Championships. The women will go first, traveling to Ann Arbor, Michigan, Feb. 18-20. The men will follow the next week traveling to West Lafayette, Indiana, Feb. 25-27.