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IN THE NEWS: Mount’s swim team earns 4-6 record

Published in The Progress Feb. 11, 2019

CALDWELL – The Mount Saint Dominic Academy swim team finished with a record of 4-6, matching its win and loss totals from the 2017-18 season.

Despite its small size – the team had just 13 swimmers on its roster, the squad finished in fifth place of 11 teams at the Super Essex Conference Swimming Championships, which were held Jan. 21 at NJIT in Newark.

“Our team performed well considering that most meets we had 10 to 12 girls swimming,” said Jane Sungurov, who concluded her second season as head coach. “We still managed to outscore four teams.”

The Lions defeated West Essex High School, 89-81, on Dec. 19; Glen Ridge, 91-79, on Jan. 3; Verona, 105-63, on Jan. 8; and Montclair Kimberley, 97-66, on Jan. 11.

“The meets that stood out most for me as a coach were the West Essex meet and the Glen Ridge meet,” Sungurov said. “We were against much larger teams, double our size, but our girls swam so well we managed to win those meets.”

Sungurov said previously in the season that sometimes the team would lose meets because of its small size.

“We are not able to fill lanes, and even though we may win every event at a given meet, we may lose by points,” she said.

The team was made up of six seniors, five juniors and two sophomores.

Sungurov said the team’s top performers this season were seniors Julianna Bender and Tess Morrissey and juniors Kate Cipolleti and Emma Clifford.

“These girls were winning the majority of their events and were consistently ahead of their competitors,” she said.

Sungurov said two newcomers also performed well this season.

“We had two newcomers: Kristina Conzo and Carmen Aguirre,” she said. “Kristina is a senior and only did two meets, while Carmen is a junior who did well and did about five meets total. We had no freshman this season.”

Other contributors to this year’s team were seniors Liz Mercuris, Danielle Dabroski and Natalie Nasti; juniors Olivia Fisher and Madison McNany; and sophomores Olivia Soder and Jessica Ippolito.

Next year’s swimmers will have big shoes to fill with the graduation of the team’s six seniors.

“We are graduating Julianna Bender, Tess Morrissey, Liz Mercuris, Dani Dabroski, Natalie Nasti and Kristina Conzo,” said Sungurov, who has been coaching club teams for more than 17 years and has coached the Cougar Aquatic Team for the past 10 years. “They all will be greatly missed, and we are losing half of our team. We are hopeful for the new freshmen, but it will be difficult to replace the talent that we are losing.”

The Lions lost to Millburn, Newark Academy, Livingston, Montclair, Caldwell and Columbia during the regular season.

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