Nicholson continues dazzling rookie year

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By Chris McCree

Writer

The men’s swimming team closed out the regular season with a tough loss against UConn on Friday night at Kinney Natatorium, 177.5-116.5, the team’s second largest margin of defeat this season. Despite the loss, Mike Nicholson ’14 provided an amazing end to his first year, coming in first in all three of his events. The Bison finished out the season on Saturday with a non-scoring meet against UConn and American.

“Coming into the meet, we knew that UConn was going to be good,” Matt Hadley ’14 said. “We were expecting tough competition, but we were too hurt by injury to beat them.”

However painful the loss may have been, the focus of the night was on Michael Volpe ’11 and Brendan Wills ’11, who, as seniors, were swimming their final regular-season races as members of the Orange and Blue. Volpe finished third in the 100 fly and was part of the 200 medley relay squad that finished in first. Wills went out impressively by posting two season-best times. He earned a third-place finish in the 50 free with a time of 22.01 and a fourth-place finish in the 100 fly with a 52.92.

“Losing those guys will hurt,” Hadley said. “Volpe was our only captain, so we are really losing key leaders.”

Though the team struggled, Nicholson put on a spectacular individual performance. Nicholson won all three of his events by at least 2.5 seconds and posted career-bests in both the 200 fly and 200 breast. With his time of 1:50.99 in the 200 fly, he moved up from seventh to second on the University’s all-time list. Nicholson ended the season with 23 first-place finishes.

On Saturday, the Bison played host to American and UConn in an unscored meet that featured another dominating showing by the Huskies. UConn compiled 12 first place finishes to the Bison’s five. Eric Sokolosky ’12 posted two first-place finishes for the Orange and Blue and his time of 50.76 in the 100 fly was a season-best for the team.

The Bison finished the regular season with a record of 6-5 and now look forward to the Patriot League Championships, which will be held at Kinney Natatorium Feb. 17-19. The team plans on beginning to taper its practices soon to prepare for the meet.

“The goal going into championships is to close the gap between us and Navy,” Hadley said, referring to the 85-point loss that the Bison suffered earlier in the season. “Anything short of second would be a big disappointment.”

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