The Fairfield University swimming and diving team recently wrapped up their conference play in their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship, which took place in Buffalo, N.Y. last week. There, the men’s team placed second and the women’s team placed third, but both teams had great performances in the pool.
According to the official standings on the MAAC website, the women’s team fell just short of the teams from Niagara University and Iona College.
The Mirror had a chance to sit down with Erini Pappas ‘25 of the women’s swim and dive team to get her thoughts on her very first MAAC championship experience with the team.
Tommy: To get us started, can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your resume as a swimmer?
Erini: Well, to start, I am from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. I’m a triplet. I started swimming when I was five, and I have stuck with it ever since. What led me to Fairfield was that it honestly wasn’t really on my radar at first, but my cousin goes here so she was like, ‘you might really like it’. The campus is so pretty, and I felt like it would fit. So I came here and visited it in my junior year of high school, and I just fell in love. Like it was just perfect, it was the perfect fit for me swimming-wise and academic-wise, and I knew I could do well here. And also, the coaches here are awesome.
Tommy: How did your season go as a whole, in both a personal and team sense?
Erini: Well, this season was unlike anything I’ve done before… It starts way before my club would usually start when I would have meets at home. It started off pretty strong, like, I adjusted pretty quickly. And I started [swimming] faster earlier than I usually do, which was surprising, but also really fun. I think the team did really well this year, and I think that we’re a lot closer with each other than I’ve heard that the past used to be.
Tommy: I know that the MAAC Championship just wrapped up. How did that go? What was your experience like there?
Erini: I thought it was awesome. I think we did everything we could. Like, we fought really hard all the way to the end. And my performances, specifically, and some of my teammate’s [performances], were really good and everybody was so loud on the pool deck cheering on everyone. It was just a good vibe for everybody. Even though at the end, maybe it wasn’t the best end result, we all fought to the end and had a good attitude the whole time.
Tommy: What does it mean to you to be a part of this team?
Erini: It’s really special being an athlete here. It’s really awesome because the community is so big and we can all relate to each other. You always have someone that has your back on our team. It’s a really big family and we all get along pretty well.
Tommy: What does next season look like for you and for the team?
Erini: I think I’m just going to do what I’m already doing. Like this season especially, I felt it was really awesome. For my freshman year, getting first in events at MAACs was really awesome. I hope to keep that momentum going for next year and for the following years, and my hopes are that we continue doing what we’re doing and staying as close as we are, and just support each other and work hard always.
The star first-year swimmer has had an impressive season this year, earning herself multiple accolades and securing school records in just her first chance at swimming at the collegiate level. Clearly, the future is bright for her and the entirety of Fairfield University swim and dive.
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