CALDWELL – The Mount St. Dominic Academy swim team finished the season with a record of 4-7 and the same number of victories that it compiled in both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
“Our team performed as well as expected,” said head coach Jane Sungurov. “The majority of the team were brand-new swimmers with no competitive experience.”
The squad was competitive against other teams in Essex County.
“We did well overall,” Sungurov said. “We won some close meets against Verona, Glen Ridge, Montclair Kimberley Academy, and West Essex.”
She said the team was led by a handful of swimmers. “Our best performance swimmers were Kate Cipoletti '20, Delaney Smith '20, Emma Clifford '20. and Amanda Rohde '23.”
Cipoletti, Clifford, and Smith and are among six seniors who will graduate this year.
“We will really miss Kate Cipoletti, Delaney Smith and Emma Clifford,” Sungurov said. “Those girls win their events pretty much every meet.”
Other seniors on this year’s squad were Olivia Fisher '20, Carmen Aguirre '20, and Edith Zurita '20.
“Delaney Smith was a distance and fly specialist, Kate Cipoletti swims back and IM, and Emma is a sprint free and back,” Sungurov said. “Olivia Fisher swims back and sprint.”
Rohde will be back next season.
“We are lucky to have Amanda Rohde, who is a freshman,” the coach said. “She is a very solid swimmer and will be a sophomore next season. We are getting a couple of solid swimmers next year.”
The Lions defeated Glen Ridge, 89-78, on Dec. 9. They beat Montclair Kimberley, 95-73, on Jan. 9 and West Essex, 109-61, on Jan. 16. Their final victory was over Verona, 87-83, on Jan. 28.
The team lost to Montclair on Dec. 3, West Orange on Dec. 5, James Caldwell on Dec. 17, Millburn on Jan. 6, Columbia on Jan. 14, Newark Academy on Jan. 23 and Livingston on Jan. 30.
The Lions finished ninth at the Essex County Swimming Championships held Jan. 20 at NJIT in Newark.
Last season, the squad had just 12 girls on its roster.
While the team was larger this season, it lost about half of last year’s team to graduation because the team was made up of six seniors, five juniors and two sophomores.
“We have many brand-new swimmers who are very new to the sport this year,” Sungurov said at the beginning of the season. “The challenges we are facing are the fact that most of our swimmers just learned how to swim.”
Sungurov, who has been a club swim coach for 20 years, completed her third year as head coach at the Mount. Her assistant coach was Ally Barth.
- In the News