Yale Opens Ivy Season Against Columbia

Ali Stephens-Pickeral. (photo by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity)
Ali Stephens-Pickeral. (photo by Tom Lynam '13, Yale Sports Publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Following a home victory over Southern Connecticut State last weekend, the Yale women's swimming and diving team will travel to New York City on Friday to face Columbia in the Bulldog's first Ivy League test of the young season.  The dual meet against the Lions should offer a good test of Yale's early season speed.

Last Friday's meet against the SCSU Owls saw strong performances from a number of both new and returning athletes.  Sophomores Eva Fabian and Emma Smith kicked off the new season in impressive fashion, with Fabian winning the 500-yard freestyle while Smith was victorious in both the 200-yard freestyle and the 200-yard backstroke.  The real story of the day, however, was the dominance of Yale's freshmen.  Sydney Hirschi won the 200-yard breaststroke, Isla Hutchinson-Maddox won the 200-yard butterfly, Olivia Jameson won both the 50- and 100-yard freestyles and Kina Zhou finished first in the 100-yard backstroke.  Additionally, the relay team of Hirschi, Jameson, sophomore Ali Stephens-Pickeral and Zhou finished first in the 200-yard medley relay.

The Bulldogs are primed to bring the momentum of last week's victory into their matchup with Columbia.  Last November, Yale faced Columbia in the season opener, prevailing by a score of 158-142.  That meet saw Fabian, fellow sophomore Casey Lincoln and Smith open their Yale careers by going 1-2-3 in the 1000-yard freestyle on the way to a close win against their Ivy League rivals.  This time around, the Lions look to be a tough matchup.  Columbia is fresh off a victory against Harvard, last season's Ivy runner-up, and appears poised for a run at an Ivy League title.

Friday's meet at Columbia's Uris Pool is slated to begin at 5 p.m.

Report filed by Lyon Van Voorhis '15, Yale Sports Publicity