Ball State Women’s Swimming and Diving have positive mindset following home opener loss

Ball State Senior Alex Bader swims the breaststroke leg of the 200 yard medley relay on Oct. 30 at Lewellen Aquatic Center. The Cardinal relay team won the event with a time of 1:44.76.
Ball State Senior Alex Bader swims the breaststroke leg of the 200 yard medley relay on Oct. 30 at Lewellen Aquatic Center. The Cardinal relay team won the event with a time of 1:44.76.

In its first home meet of the season, Ball State (1-1) fell to Ohio (1-1) 153-147 Saturday. There were several bright spots for the Cardinals in defeat, including freshman Ashleigh Provan.

In the 3-meter diving, Provan earned first-place with a score of 272.63. She also placed first in the 1-meter diving with a final score of 276.00. Her 1-meter score was a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Zone Diving cut.

“Actually, I was super nervous just because I have a hard list today and I haven't really done my dives in a while because I hurt my lower back,” Provan said, “I was pretty nervous before the meet, but I called my mom and she helped me relax and let me know that I know what I'm doing. My teammates know when I get stressed out, so they were trying to calm me down and I just have to be confident in myself and know that I can do my dives. I just tried to stay in that mindset.”

Agnew has only been around Provan for a few months, but has already noticed a business like approach in the way she prepares and competes.

“She's really focused,” Agnew said. “She's also good at keeping things in perspective, so she just has a really balanced approach. Very professional about what she does, (she) works her tail off, but also can relax and enjoy the sport. It's pretty fun to watch.”

After a 174-84 win against Eastern Illinois Oct. 29, the Cardinals faced a quick turnaround, but head coach J. Agnew was pleased with the focus and effort.

“I thought today they responded really well,” Agnew said. “It was a tough road trip yesterday with travel, but you're getting ready for a seven session MAC Championship at the end of the year, so they need to have some adversity. We thought they stood up well to the test, they raced their guts out today and swam really well. We were really proud of them” 

Senior Alex Bader, junior Apsara Sakbun, freshman Abby Hartshorne and junior Shelby Crist started off the meet by placing first in the 200 Medley Relay (1:44.76). Sakbun also won the 50 Freestyle with a time of 23.58.

“It was nice to contribute to the team,” Sakbun said. “It was even better that we could rally that energy from our individuals and into the relays and stuff.”

Ball State Freshman Ashleigh Provan starts her dive from the 3 meter board on Oct. 30 at Lewellen Aquatic Center. Provan won both the 3 and 1 meter boards at the meet.

Sophomore Marcella Ribeiro placed first in the 1000 Freestyle with a final time of 10:28.15. She also finished first in the 500 Freestyle, where she clocked in a time of 5:04.34. Similarly to Sakbun, Ribeiro was glad she contributed to the Cardinals team effort.

“I wasn't very satisfied with my time,” Ribeiro said. “But it's all that matters (is) that I helped the team.”

Provan felt energized in front of the home crowd, and believed it made a difference in the Cardinals success.

“Since I'm a freshman, I've never seen the atmosphere here before,” Provan said. “It's definitely such a supportive team and such an energetic group of people. It was really comfortable being able to dive in our own pool and I think that's what kind of made me a little bit less stressed out was being able to dive in the pool where I know I can do my dives and be calm.”

Through the first half of the meet, the Bobcats placed first in the 200 freestyle courtesy of junior Mckenzie Grau (1:53.71). The Bobcats second first-place finish came in the 200 Butterfly from sophomore Gabrielle Brust (2:03.73).

The Cardinals also earned consecutive first-place individual finishers in the 100 Backstroke (freshman Hannah Jones, 57.57) and 100 Breaststroke (senior Alex Bader, 1:04.65). Sophomore Sophia Kehun won the 400 Individual Medley with a final time of 4:34.17, edging out Ohio sophomore Morgan Croaning (4:34.25).

After losing six of the first eight events, Ohio won three consecutive events (100 Freestyle, 200 Backstroke, 200 Breaststroke). The Bobcats also won the 100 Fly and 400 Freestyle Relay to claim victory.

The Cardinals return to action Nov. 6 at Toledo (0-2). The meet is at noon.

Contact Charleston Bowles with comments at clbowles@bsu.edu or on Twitter @cbowles01.

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