Bulls sink the rockets

Women’s Swimming and Diving continues solid start with 218-82 Toledo rout


The UB Women’s Swimming and Diving team (2-0, 1-0 Mid-American Conference) churned out an emphatic 218-82 victory over the Toledo Rockets (0-1, 0-1 MAC) on Saturday afternoon at the Alumni Arena Natatorium. Senior Megan Burns and freshman Olivia Sapio led a Bulls team that won all but one of the events against the team’s first conference opponent of the season.

Burns dominated in her individual events, much like she has for the bulk of her career. She racked up wins in both the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle. Her time of 23.31 in the 50-meter freestyle was a season-best.

Sapio, a strong addition to the program, won the 100-meter butterfly and 200-meter individual medley with times of 55.96 and 2:06.55 respectively. Bulls head coach Andy Bashor had high praise for Sapio’s future in the program.

“She’s increased her training load [to more] than what she was doing as a senior in high school,” Bashor said. “For her, it’s about continuing to develop strength. As she gets more strength over this year and next, she’s going to be really, really good.”

Burns and Sapio joined freshman Nicole Roitenberg and sophomore Grace Baumer to capture the 200-meter medley relay to open the meet. They clocked in at 1:44.72, the Bulls’ best time in the event this season.

Hannah Miller collected three wins on the afternoon for Buffalo. Miller dominated the 1000-meter freestyle race, finishing in at 10:18.41. Miller participated in the next race, the 200-meter freestyle, and pulled off the victory with little time to recover. The UB senior finished first again in the 500-meter freestyle to cap off the day.

A pair of divers brought in a significant amount of points for the Bulls. Senior Kelly Moran and sophomore Olivia Gosselin finished first and second in the one-meter and three-meter dives respectively. Moran’s 289.58 mark in the three-meter dive was her best of the season so far.

“What I really liked from today was how we competed,” Bashor said. “That’s something I was really stressing to these girls is that we have to learn how to compete, especially on the last couple of races at each meet. I’m really happy to see that today.”

The Bulls were picked to come in second in the MAC conference, according to the MAC preseason coaches’ poll. They are meeting expectations after Saturday’s rout against the Rockets, a great showing at this year’s Florida International University Invite and a win at Cornell.

Bashor is happy about the string of success to begin the season, but he’s even more impressed with the team’s training during practice.

“The most impressive thing has been the practices they’re putting together for the last six weeks,” Bashor said. “We’re in a very high-volume stage of our training and we just need speed. We just need to change some things up here and there and we’ll be able to get that speed a little later on.”

Buffalo will travel to Athens, Ohio for a dual meet with the Ohio Bobcats (2-0, 1-0 MAC) next Saturday. The 12:00 p.m. matchup will be the last until December.

Robby Johnson is a staff writer and can be reached at sports@ubspectrum.com