Weekend sports: Swimming and diving dominate competition, tennis draws to a close


The Panthers’ women’s swim team won 12 of the 19 events in which they competed Saturday. (Photo by Sarah Cutshall | Staff Photographer)

By Grant Burgman | Staff Writer

While Pitt football might have had a bye week, other Pitt teams were either finishing their seasons or beginning them. The Pitt tennis team concluded its season over the weekend at the Harvard Invitational while the Panthers’ swimming and diving team competed in another meet in its 2017-18 campaign.

Swimming and Diving

The Panthers followed up their previous victories over Miami, Michigan State and James Madison with four wins against Rutgers, Seton Hall, Georgetown and Villanova over the weekend in New Jersey.

The women’s team took first place in seven different events Friday: the 50-yard freestyle, 1,000-yard freestyle, 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard breaststroke, 200-yard individual medley, 200-yard freestyle relay and 400-yard medley relay.

Sophomore Valerie Daigneault was the standout performer for the women’s team. Daigneault was part of four of the Panthers’ seven wins  Friday. She had individual victories in the 100-yard backstroke and 200-yard individual medley, posting times of 55.16 and 2:02.69, respectively. Daigneault’s other successes came in the Panthers’ two relay triumphs.

In total, the women’s team had five different swimmers contribute winning performances across the seven events. The Panthers claimed victories in all but three events — the 200-yard freestyle, 200-yard breaststroke and 3-meter diving.

The men were similarly dominant Friday, winning all but one event — the 200-yard freestyle. The Panthers’ success in the men’s competitions Friday night was a true team effort with seven different swimmers and divers winning in individual events.

Saturday was much of the same for the Panthers with the Pitt men winning 18 of a possible 19 events. The women won 12 of 19 events they competed in. Overall, the Pitt men beat Villanova 275 to 76, Seton Hall 270 to 77 and Georgetown 278 to 75. The women ended the weekend beating Rutgers 219 to 134, Seton Hall 287 to 66, Georgetown 269.5 to 83.5 and Villanova 213 to 140.

The Pitt men now sit with a 5-2 record on the season, while the women improved to 8-2. The Panthers head to Columbus, Ohio, Nov. 17, for the Ohio State invitational.

Senior Callie Frey won her singles match against Wisconsin and defeated Boston in her doubles match. (Photo courtesy of Pitt Athletics)

Women’s Tennis

After a lackluster showing at the ITA Atlantic Regional Championships three weeks ago, the Pitt tennis team found more success at Harvard this weekend for its final tournament of the season.

The Panthers opened the tournament Friday with three wins in singles and two in doubles play. In the singles draw, first-year Claudia Bartolome recorded a victory over Boston University first-year Lily Burchel, and junior Luisa Varon defeated Boston University junior Sabrina Faybyshev. Both Pitt players won in straight sets.

In doubles, the team of senior Callie Frey and first-year Camila Moreno continued their successful season together with a dominant victory over the Boston team of Faybyshev and senior Iryna Kostirko. Pitt juniors Gabriela Rezende and Clara Lucas recorded Pitt’s second doubles victory of the day against Boston first-years Emily Kim and Katya Martens.

The team fared worse against Wisconsin Saturday, going 2-5 in singles competitions and 1-2 in doubles. Frey and Moreno provided both of the Panthers’ singles wins against Wisconsin while Bartolome and Varon registered the team’s only doubles victory over Badgers’ first-years Lexi Keberle and senior Kelsey Grambeau.

On Sunday, the Panthers finished the tournament going 2-4 against Harvard in singles and 2-1 in doubles play. Rezende and junior Natsumi Okamoto were the only two Pitt players to win in singles matches. The two then paired up to register a doubles victory along with the team of Varon and Bartolome.

For the tournament, the Panthers had a singles record of 7-13 and a doubles record of 5-4. The women’s team won’t return to action until the ACC women’s championship tournament at Cary Tennis Park in Cary, North Carolina, April 25-29.

Read full recaps of men’s basketball, women’s volleyball and women’s basketball.