Lexington, KY –
Vanderbilt took to the podium multiple times in their dual against the Kentucky Wildcats Wednesday afternoon, but fell 187-72 in the Lancaster Aquatic Center in the season opener for both teams.
“Overall we’re happy with what we saw,” said head coach Jeremy Organ. “We went up against a deep Kentucky team, but our compete level is where we were hoping it would be and we were really happy with some of our times.”
Senior Breanna Sapienza found the podium multiple times For the Dores, finishing first in the 100-yard fly to give Vanderbilt their first event win on the season. She also finished second in the 200-yard fly and was third in the pool for the 200-yard medley relay team that finished third in the first event of the dual.
“[The 100-yard fly] is one of my best events, so I went into today excited.” said Sapienza about her win. “Being the first meet of my senior year, I wanted to put everything in the pool.”
Junior Johanna Goldblatt also saw the podium in multiple races for Vanderbilt. Goldblatt placed second in the 100-yard backstroke, and lead Vanderbilt in the third place 200-yard medley relay.
Organ was pleased with the effort from Sapienza and Goldblatt, and said they had times that were great for being so early in the season.
“Bri and Jo really came out and set the example, and did some good things,” said Organ. “We can really build off of those times”
“It was a great start for the whole team,” said Goldblatt. “We get faster each year after the start, so we see that carrying on and we’ll get even faster as the season goes on.”
The Commodores also saw podium finishes from freshmen Hannah Hunt, Lauren Bergmann, and sophomore Paige Hamilton. Hunt and Hamilton swam on the 200-yard medley relay team, and finished third in the 200-yard breaststroke and second in the 100-yard fly, respectively. Bergmann took third place in the 200-yard backstroke.
Wednesday’s dual against Kentucky was the NCAA debut for seven freshmen – Hunt and Bergmann included - and Organ was pleased with what he saw in their first collegiate swims.
“All the freshmen answered the bell today,” said Organ. “They got relaxed and found their groove. We’re going to see some great things out of the group going forward.”
“I was nervous at first, but being on a relay with such talented girls gave me energy,” said Hunt. “Having my older sister on the team [Maddie Hunt] made it easier, I felt like I knew what to expect.”
“Seeing all the freshman doing amazing in the first meet is great,” said Sapienza. “You want them to feel comfortable since this is completely different than high school or club. We try to help them in any way and lead by example.”
Vanderbilt next heads to Jacksonville, Fla. for a dual against North Florida on October 12 before returning to Nashville to take on Arkansas on November 4.