Junior Stephanie Ferrell and the Crimson open the 2013-14 season with a trip to Columbia on Saturday. (Gil Talbot)
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – After enjoying its second consecutive Ivy League title last season, the Harvard women's swimming and diving team looks to make it three in a row beginning Saturday as the Crimson travel to Columbia to open 2013-14.
The Crimson finished a perfect 9-0 in dual meets in 2012-13, going 7-0 against its Ancient Eight foes for the second year in a row. Harvard had success in the postseason as well, claiming second in the Ivy Championships and fifth (out of 21 schools) in the ECAC Championships.
Harvard returns 24 letterwinners from a season ago and features a bevy of talent led by senior co-captains, Deirdre Clute and Danielle Schulkin. In total, the Crimson set nine school records last year, and senior Sara Li had her hand in five of them (50-, 100- and 200-freestyle and the 200- and 400- medley relay). Li represented the Crimson well in the NCAA Championships, and would have been joined by Courtney Otto, who declined her invitation due to injury.
After a strong showing, in the Ivy Championships, Harvard returns three First Team All-Ivy honorees in Li, Kendall Crawford and Ana Anaya. Marlee Ehrlich, Otto, Danielle Lee and Sherry Liu took home Second Team All-Ivy honors for the Crimson as well with their performances.
Harvard welcomes 10 new swimmers and divers into the mix for the 2013-14 season, all of whom will be looked to when it comes time to compete for the squad's third straight Ivy title.
Columbia is set to open its season this weekend as well, as it hosts Harvard. The Lions finished strong in 2012-13, winning their final six meets after falling to Yale and the Crimson to open the year. Columbia loses Katie Meili, a First Team All-Ivy honoree and the Ivy Championships' Swimmer of the Meet last season, but returns the likes of Alena Kluge and Salena Huang, who also picked up All-Ivy accolades.
After dropping the Lions last year, 187-113, the Crimson moved to 28-0 all-time against Columbia.
A Look Ahead
A week after competing with Columbia to open the slate, Harvard travels to Hanover, N.H., for a dual meet with Dartmouth and Cornell, before splitting the squad up between the prestigious Texas Invitational and the MIT Invitational on Dec. 5 and 6.