Diving team ready for MAC tourney

“By Kevin Crater sports@buchtelite.com With the Mid American Conference (MAC) Championships 15 days away, the Zips swimming and diving team hopes to use an adversity filled season as a learning experience. The Zips, constructed mostly of underclassmen, were not only battling inexperience this season, but also injuries.”

By Kevin Crater

sports@buchtelite.com

With the Mid American Conference (MAC) Championships 15 days away, the Zips swimming and diving team hopes to use an adversity filled season as a learning experience.

The Zips, constructed mostly of underclassmen, were not only battling inexperience this season, but also injuries.

Freshman diver Leeanna Hoover was one of the key team members to suffer an injury, injuring her back at an early stage in the year.

According to Hoover, the transition from high school to collegiate level diving was already a big adjustment, and getting injured made it even more difficult.

Last year, I won at almost every meet, Hoover said. Being injured, I kind of had to play catch up.

When asked who she looks to for advice, Hoover said senior diver Katie Carter is always there for her. She tells me to keep my head up, and put a smile on my face. Hoover added.

With more than a quarter of the team being freshmen, there is a high level of inexperience in terms of competing in the MAC Championships. According to Head Coach Nittaya Klim, the freshmen will be ready if they keep their confidence high.

Trust in all of the hard work that you have put in the past seven months, Klim said of her advice to the freshman.

The team is heading into the MAC Championship with a solid mindset and the needed confidence to perform well, according to Klim. Despite having to face various forms of adversity this season, the team is focused on their individual goals as well as team goals, Klim said.

Although a young team, Klim sees a lot of potential for success, as well as improvement, this year. This year’s team as a whole has a great attitude and wants to work hard to reach their goals. Klim said

Next season, the Zips will be returning all but three members of this years’ team, and adding a very strong recruiting class. Klim believes the cohesiveness of this year’s team will be seen in next year’s team, and make for a very good season.

Klim is pleased with the efforts of many members of the younger classes. According to Klim, freshmen Jessica Ickes and Meg Finnerty have proven to be very consistent in the pool, sophomore diver Jacquie Paumier has shown a lot of improvement, and freshman diver Leeanna Hoover has shown definite signs of being a major player at the conference level and potentially beyond.

According to Klim, the team will need to be at their best in order to win the championship. This will potentially be the fastest MAC Championship meet to date, Klim said.

Hoover said that competing at Bowling Green 18 days prior to the MAC Championships at Bowling Green can give the Zips confidence going into the tournament.

Hoover added that she doesn’t believe there is one event that will put the Zips over the top, and that everyone will bring their all. We’re a top five team if everyone performs up to their potential, she said.

Based on last year’s finish and this season’s results, Klim said that Miami University and Ohio University look very strong and that the championship may come down to those two teams.

The Zips, who finished the regular season with a record of 6-6 (2-5 in the MAC), start their chase for the MAC Championship Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Call sports writer Keven Crater at:

330-972-7395

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