PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth women's swimming and diving squad took home a sound victory on Saturday, led by senior diver Kendra Hebert's (Lowell, Mass.) second NCAA qualifying mark in the course of three days to down Plymouth State 172-99 at the PSU Natatorium.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 172, Plymouth State 99
For the second-straight meet, Hebert surpassed the necessary score of 255 points to qualify for NCAA postseason competition in the 1-meter dive, this time totaling 271.35 to win the event and set a Plymouth State pool record. With her second such qualifying mark, Hebert clinches her spot in the NCAA Division III Diving Regional meet to be held Feb. 24-25 at MIT. She becomes the first female Corsair diver to qualify for the NCAA meet since Lynn DeFonzo in the mid-1990s.
Multiple Corsairs turned in multiple event victories on the afternoon in both individual and relay competition. Leading the charge was freshman Sarah Murphy, who took for first-place finishes. She joined with junior Chrissy Deveaux (North Andover, Mass.) and classmates Carly Cahill (Charlestown, Mass.) and Abigail Wilson (Newburyport, Mass.) to start off the meet with a 2:05.68 victory in the 200 medley relay.
Individually, Murphy claimed the 200 free in 2:10.26, bettering her seed time by a second, the 100 back in 1:16.95 and the 200 IM in 2:25.70. Wilson topped the field at 27.62 in the 50 free, followed closely by senior Yulyssa Diaz (Dorchester, Mass.) at 28.28.
Senior Kaya Flanagan (Fairhaven, Mass.) produced a season-best time as part of her three-win outing. She docked several tenths of second off her 100 back time, touching the pad in 1:04.16 in between taking the 100 fly in 1:04.58 and the 50 fly in 28.86.
Both Deveaux and Diaz gathered a pair of individual victories. In the 50 breast, Deveaux swam to a season-best 34.97 before collecting another nine points in the 100 free in 59.25. Diaz and classmate Jillian Boyle (Westport, Mass.) collected 1-2 finishes in the distance swims, with Diaz timing in at 12:25.49 in the 1,000 free and 6:05.88 in the 500 free. Boyle was close behind in both events, touching the pad in 12:39.47 in the 1000 and 6:09.78 in the 500.
The Corsair women will have two weeks to prepare for the 2017 Little East Conference Championships, to be held Saturday, Feb. 4 at the Tripp Athletic Center Natatorium. UMass Dartmouth seeks its first LEC title since 2005.