Led by 20th-year head coach Dave Allen, the Mount Holyoke swimming & diving team had a solid run in 2017-18. The Lyons posted wins over the University of New England and Clark, finished fourth at Seven Sisters and were eighth at the NEWMAC Championships.
MHC rebounded from a tough season-opening loss to Assumption with a victory over the Nor'Easters at home. Junior Bri Groves paced the way for the Lyons with four first place finishes, including individual wins in the 100 and 200-yard breaststroke and the 200-yard individual medley.
Tough losses against Westfield State and Wellesley took MHC through November and into the start of December at the Hamilton College Invitational. The Lyons saw Groves win the 100-yard breast, while sophomore Samantha Nemivant was third in both diving events, notching an NCAA Regional qualifying mark off the 1-meter board.
Following its annual trip to Florida, the Lyons returned to Massachusetts for a tri-match at Clark against the Cougars and Wheaton College. MHC posted a 128-108 win over the host team, but fell to its rival-Lyons. Nemivant once again shined with a win off the 1-meter.
Just a few days later saw Mount Holyoke once again in tri-meet action, this time against Trinity and Vassar in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Despite falling to both the Brewers and the Bantams, the Lyons saw top-five finishes in 13 different events, including another NCAA Regional Qualifying score from Nemivant as she won off both boards.
Next up for MHC was the Seven Sisters Championships at home as the Lyons took fourth overall behind a number of solid finishes. Nemivant recorded a school record mark, placing third overall in the 3-meter event, while Groves recorded several top-10 finishes. A short break followed as the Lyons returned to the pool to celebrate Senior Day (Claire Beckett, Amy Lim, Topaz Mukulu, Rachel Polfer and Cailin Van Nevel) against Simmons. Groves posted second overall in the 100 and 200-yard breast, while Nemivant once again swept the diving events. MHC shouldered a tough loss to Smith to close out the regular season.
The Lyons closed out the team season at the NEWMAC Championships, hosted this year by MIT. The 800-free relay kicked things off with a seventh-place finish, while on day two, both 200-yard freestyle relay teams posted solid efforts as the 'A' relay finished 10th in the championship final, while the 'B' relay took 19th overall and ninth in the consolation finals. Individually, Nemivant shined once again as she finished ninth in the 3-meter event and took seventh off the 1-meter board.
Nemivant went on to represent MHC at the 2017 NCAA New England Diving Regionals. After a solid finish in her rookie campaign, Nemivant was outstanding at her sophomore regionals. She placed sixth on the 3-meter board after day one to set herself up well for Nationals consideration. The next day, Nemivant was seventh in the 1-meter, becoming one of seven NEWMAC divers to be selected for Nationals.
At the 2018 NCAA National Swimming & Diving Championships, Nemivant became the first diver since 2006 to represent the Lyons at Nationals. Competition at Nationals was strong as the top-29 divers in Division III competed for a national title. Overall, Nemivant placed 18th off the 1-meter and was 20th from the 3-meter in her first NCAA appearance.
Academically, 10 student-athletes were named to the NEWMAC Academic All-Conference Team, while the squad garnered CSCAA Scholar All-America honors once again. The Lyons concluded the Fall 2017 semester with a grade point average of 3.52. Additionally, Beckett was named to the 2017-18 NEWMAC All-Sportsmanship Team for swimming & diving.