ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Despite winning eight events in its first meet of the 2022 season, the East Carolina women’s swimming and diving team came up short Saturday falling to UNC Asheville 160-140.

“Tough loss for us today,” said ECU Head Coach Matt Jabs. “Our girls competed until the end and we have a lot of learning to do as a young team. Our divers dominated sweeping both events and I’m really pleased with what coach (Ryan) McIntire and those girls are doing. Asheville is a solid team and they matched our energy throughout the meet and capitalized on opportunities when they could. They are going to do some damage in their conference this season.”

ECU set the tone early by placing in the top three in both diving events on Friday with junior Flanary Patterson claiming the top spot with scores of 230.95 and 238.50. Redshirt freshman Caitlin Irvine Smith finished second with scores of 229.40 and 232.70, while senior Anna Otto took third after scoring 220.40 and 232.10 points.

Saturday was the swimming events, which began at 10 a.m. The team of graduate student Bryanna Wolfe, senior Caitlin Reynera, sophomore Laura Kellberg and freshman Claire Mowery finished second in the 200-medley relay.

Senior Polina Rukoseuv won the 1000 free with a time of 10:29.60 and in the very next event (roughly two minutes later) almost pulled out the win in the 200 free getting out touched in the last 25 yards by Anna Marcotti. Rukoseuv also claimed the 500 free with a time of 5:08.18.

Wolfe won a pair of races in the 100 (57.80) and 200 backstroke (2:05.38), while Reynera took first in the 100 (1:05.52) and 200 breaststroke (2:21.80). A trio of underclassmen in freshman Sadie Covington, sophomore Rachel Gibson and freshman Sara Kalawska each had stellar showings for the Pirates. Covington placed third in the 1000 free (10:39.36) and second in the 500 free (5:10.22). Gibson placed fourth in both the 100 (1:08.36) and 200 breaststroke (2:26.87), while Kalawska took second in the 100 (57.65) and 200 fly (2:09.22) and fourth in the 200 IM (2:13.97).

The Pirates will return to the pool on Friday, Oct. 7 playing host to Barton, Campbell and Chowan in a swimming quad-meet beginning at 4 p.m. (EDT). Saturday, they will host Richmond at 12 noon in swimming and diving events.