GV sweeps early-season meets over the weekend

GVL / Emily Murray

A swimmer competes in the GVSU pool.

Emily Murray

GVL / Emily Murray A swimmer competes in the GVSU pool.

Bryce Derouin

The Grand Valley State University swimming and diving teams may be in the early part of their season, but head coach Andy Boyce already likes what he sees.

GVSU managed to score two victories over the weekend on both the men’s and women’s side. The men (2-1, 1-0 GLIAC) defeated Calvin College 163-77 and Ashland University 132-109, while the GVSU women (2-1, 1-0 GLIAC) came out on top over Calvin 157-83 and Ashland 134-103.

“We really did really well,” Boyce said. “We were far improved from last week and our divers looked great on the boards. We just kept on getting faster, and that’s what we like to see. It was a big win for us against a big conference rival here and getting over to Calvin was a nice win for us last night, too.”

Boyce has been happy with the amount of work his team has put in this year, and was especially pleased with how well his team responded from two straight days of competition. For the Lakers, it was the second time this year they had to deal with competing on back-to-back days.

“They’ve been working really hard in practice,” he said. “They’re tired and they’re beat up. They’re pushing harder than ever in practice to improve. It’s hard to do a double. To be able to perform back-to-back meets like that is key and great training for them as they get closer to the conference championships, and learning how to swim fast when you’re tired and dive well when you’re tired as well.”

The GVSU men managed to secure 10 victories against Calvin and then followed up that performance with seven wins against Ashland. On the women’s side, they tallied 12 wins against Calvin and five first-place finishes against Ashland.

With a victory over conference foe Ashland, GVSU now knows what to expect from them when they meet up in the GLIAC Conference Championship meet down the road, and sees it as a mental advantage, knowing they can beat Ashland.

“We’re working towards conference, and being able to beat a conference team like Ashland is pretty big,” said junior Sven Kardol, who placed second in the 200-yard IM (1 minute 58.88 seconds) and second in the 200-yard backstroke (1:56.25) against Ashland. “It’s a mental thing. It’s like we beat you at a dual meet, then we can beat you at the conference meet.”

For the athletes, it is rewarding to see their own hard work pay off. Especially in the early meets of the season against other competition.

“It was really good for everyone to see what we’re capable of and really consistent with our times,” said junior Danielle Vallier, who was a member of the winning 400-medley relay team (4:00.83) and finished second in the 200-yard IM (2:16.64). “Everyone’s getting faster. It’s definitely motivating and it makes you feel like the time pays off for sure. All the time you put in the pool and the weight room and to see that translate in a meet is always a good thing.”

The Lakers will be off until Nov. 9, when they will face Michigan State University at the Jenison Aquatic Center.

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