The Canisius College men's and women's swimming and diving teams secured its second straight sweep of Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference rival Niagara on Saturday afternoon at the Oxy Aquatic Center. The Golden Griffin men captured their sixth dual-win in their last seven, defeating the host Purple Eagles, 168.5-72.5. After falling the previous week to No. 19 Gannon, the Griff women bounced back with a 147-96 victory.
"Today's dual was a great team effort," said head coach Scott Vanderzell. "We managed to do all the little things right, showing our continual progress as a team."
With Saturday's victory on the men's side, the Golden Griffins have captured a victory in three of the last four duals between the two teams. The Golden Griffin women have claimed wins in the last two meetings after previously struggling against the Purple Eagles for years.
The Golden Griffin women secured nine first-place honors in the individual events, including a top finish in the 400-yard medley relay. The team of freshmen Clare Battaglia, Alex Doody, and Alicia Wheeler, and junior Kelli Graber opened the dual with a first-place performance in the 400-yard medley relay (4:07.45) with a nine-second lead over second-place Niagara.
Junior Anna Schena gave the Golden Griffins their first individual event of the day in the 1000-yard freestyle (10:58.88) race. Schena also placed first in the 200-yard butterfly (2:15.11) with Wheeler finishing third (2:20.60) in the event.
Following a Purple Eagles' win in the 200-yard freestyle, Graber got the Griffs back on board with a first-place finish (25.61) in the 50-yard freestyle. The junior would place second in the 100-yard freestyle (56.29).
Battaglia boosted her total number of first-place performances this season to 16 with individual victories in both the 200-yard IM (2:14.38) and 200-yard backstroke (2:14.16). She has claimed the top spot in the 200-yard backstroke in four consecutive races.
For the first time this season, senior Annalise Gunn-Taylor recorded her first career individual win in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:37.91).
Sophomore Marissa Oakey continues to build on her season with a first-place mark in the 500-yard freestyle (5:17.59) beating out Doody for second (5:19.12) in under two seconds.
On the diving boards, the Golden Griffins swept both the 1-meter and 3-meter events. Senior Alexa Gigliotti led the Griffs in 1-meter event with a first-place performance (214.28) followed by freshman Audrey Mulhisen in second (213.38) and sophomore Taylor Epstein in third (213.45).
In the 3-meter event, Mulhisen nabbed her fourth top-finish in six duals with a score of 226.88. Rounding out the Griffs' sweep were Gigliotti in second (211.80) and Epstein in third (203.18).
"From start to finish, the women really turned the corner as a team during this dual," said Vanderzell.
The team of seniors Shawn Parkhurst, Tyler Carver, Matt Moessinger, and Mike Disco set the tone for the meet against their neighboring rival with a first-place finish in the 400-yard medley relay (3:33.56). The Golden Griffins occupied three of the top-four slots in the relay race.
In the 1000-yard freestyle race, sophomore Sam Hansen held off a pair of Purple Eagle swimmers for the Griffs' first individual win of the afternoon in a time of 10:05.86.
The Golden Griffins did not allow a Purple Eagle to come in the top-three spots in the 200-yard freestyle by sweeping the event. Freshman Spencer Bray locked in at first (1:46.98) followed by juniors Adam Swift in second (1:50.66) and Corey Petrie in third (1:51.45).
Sophomore Nick Sereday used a lead of six-tenths of a second in the 50-yard freestyle (22.23) to place first for the second time this season.
For the second time on the day, the Griffs completed a sweep of the Purple Eagles. In the 200-yard breaststroke race, Carver (2:13.15), Hansen (2:13.56), and junior Andrew Edbauer (2:18.96) finished in the top-three slots, respectively.
In the diving events, sophomore Eddie Quarantillo was the only Griff to post a score above 200 in the 3-meter event with a mark of 255.45. The sophomore set a career high in the 1-meter event with a score of 284.18, coming within five points of breaking the program record held by Earl Lindsey since the 1994-95 season.
"The men showed up for this meet ready to go," said Vanderzell. "The group of seniors came into the dual knowing this was their last meet versus Niagara, which was evident in the effort."
For the Purple Eagles, this was the second week in a row that they have been swept by a Big Four rival. Previously, the Purple Eagle men were defeated by the Bulls, 147-80, as the women dropped a 139-96 defeat.
The Blue and Gold conclude the regular season at SUNY Fredonia on Saturday, Jan. 26 with the dual set for 11 a.m.