Athletics at Fairfield are back in full swing after the winter recess with the Swimming and Diving team being no exception, returning to the RecPlex Pool after a couple months.
The Stags’ January slate was an impressive one for both the men’s and the women’s teams; even among a postponed match against Seton Hall University and a cancellation of their Rider University showdown, the men’s team has still been able to go undefeated since returning, going 3-0 over their last three.
The women’s team has seen some similar successes. After unfortunately falling short to La Salle University and the University of Richmond, they bounced back with two consecutive Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference wins versus Manhattan College and Iona College.
Most recently, against Iona College at home, the men’s team was able to walk away with a 158-136 victory, whereas the women’s team was able to route their competition by 172-122.
As the last home meet of the season, according to the official recap on Fairfieldstags.com, the teams both held a ceremony that honored each individual senior on the team. In their final home event of the 2022 campaign, both teams shined with spectacular performances from their swimmers.
Senior Peter Gori was able to complete the 50 free event with the fastest time. Alongside Gori, many of his teammates were able to secure wins of their own. With Joseph Stewart ‘25 and Ed Hunt ‘25 picking up wins of their own in the 100 Free and 200 IM respectively, the Stags were propelled over the Gaels.
The team was working hard to prepare for their meet against Iona, with, players all echoing a similar sentiment. “Before facing Iona I knew it was going to be a close meet and also our last meet before the MAAC championships, but I never doubted our team’s ability to beat them, ” Christopher Ford ‘23 said. “We all were super pumped up to swim and see where we are before we head to the MAAC championships.”
Clearly, it seems as though multiple things are falling into place with the men’s team. “We have a great coaching staff around us to keep us focused and prepared, guys hold each other accountable during training, we all work extremely hard, [and] we love racing and of course winning,” Gori stated.
This year, both the men’s and women’s swimming team is the one to beat among the MAAC competition due to their historic season; this year’s squads have not shied away from shattering previous school records, especially in their Terrier Invitational in November of 2021.
Speaking of the women’s team, they were able to find plenty of success through star first-year student-athlete Erini Pappas, who was able to take home three of her own wins over Iona which contributed to the 172 points scored by her team.
Both teams were able to combine for 11 total wins against Iona, with an impressive six of them coming from the women’s matchups. “Iona is a great team and it seems that since I’ve been here it is a meet that always has fast swimming on both sides,” Gori stated. “So with it being senior day and a great rivalry meet, there were so many thoughts and emotions going through my head, but to sum it all up ‘excited’ is the best way to put it.”
Pappas was not the only athlete on her team to excel in the pool last weekend. Senior Shannon Feeley and first-year Alison Sposili both had themselves a day as well, with the former winning both the 800 free and the 400 free, while the latter confirming the top spot in the 200 breast. “A lot of the work has already been done and we are about to start resting for MAACs,” Feeley stated. “The women really want to add another ring to the collection..I think the biggest thing to focus on at this point is all in our mentality.”
Going into the new side of the season, the Stags look poised to take the MAAC by storm, kicking off the championship tournament on Feb. 9.
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