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Pirates go 9-2 in first semester

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Coach Mattew Jabs

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By RONNIE WOODWARD
The Daily Reflector

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The East Carolina swimming and diving season began in early October in Annapolis, Md., and the Matt Jabs head coaching era started with both the men’s and women’s teams falling to Navy.

ECU hasn’t lost since, sweeping the rest of the team meets in a fall semester that saw Jabs see clear progression in team and individual swimming.

“I think (the Navy meet) was the jolt we kind of needed, because we didn’t lose after that,” said Jabs, a former assistant under Rick Kobe who has also been busy on the recruiting trail during his first semester in charge by securing 10 commitments that includes a few of the top prep swimmers in North Carolina.

In addition to more than 450 combined hours of community service and the 9-2 combined record, the Pirates’ big highlight in the pool came in mid-November in Atlanta for the Georgia Tech Invitational when Julie Lajoie made the finals in four events as part of ECU putting 15 athletes in the ‘A’ finals. Lajoie set a new ECU varsity record in the 200 backstroke at 1 minute, 58.82 seconds, and Alicia Roueche posted a record in platform diving (199.25).

On the men’s side, Gustavo Santos recorded an NCAA provisional time in the butterfly and freshman Jacek Arentewicz continued his early impact with NCAA ‘B’ qualifying times in the 100 (54.63) and 200 breaststroke (1:58.95) events. ECU has won three straight American Athletic Conference men’s championships and will soon aim for a fourth.

“It was more on improving our individual times so we could set ourselves up for good seeding at the (AAC) championship meet in February, and we did exactly that,” Jabs said of the Georgia Tech Invitational. “I’m real happy overall and that goes beyond just the team records.

“I feel pretty good about where our men sit right now and our goal is obviously to win another championship, and that is well within reach. I feel pretty comfortable where our women are also, and their goal is to move up from where we were last year and put ourselves in a better position and I think that is still within reach.”

Contact Ronnie Woodward at rwoodward@reflector.com, 252-329-9592 and follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.

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