“It really lit my kids up to get a win,” said head coach Kelly Chism-Essler. “I have never seen my kids like that. It was another big win because Columbia was projected to get third in the conference, so that is some reassurance to know that they can go faster later in the season.”
Freshman Margaret Halloran has shattered four school records in just two meets and has met national qualifying marks in all of those events. Those events include the 200 freestyle, 500 freestyle, mile, and 1,000 yard freestyle.
Milligan had several others win their races, including sophomore Sara Farmer who won the 100 backstroke in 1:04.08; Sterling Burnett who won the 100 back in 56.00; Matthew McFalls who won the 50 free in 23.44 and the 100 breaststroke in 1:07.50; Maci Montgomery who won the 1000 free in 12:00.79; and John Will-Hutcheson who won the 1000 free by nearly two minutes with a time of 10:52.64.
In the relays, Milligan's men won the 200 medley with a time of 1:44.66. The relay team featured Burnett, McFalls, Hutcheson and Chris Evangelista.
The Buffs have been on a roll as of late, winning six straight matches with five of the six being against AAC opponents. In the most recent win against Bluefield, Marissa Langford had 16 kills in the match and Julia Codispoti had 14 kills. Junior libero Alyssa Rupert reached a milestone of 1,000 digs.
The last three matches of the season will be against AAC opponents, with two of the three being at home. The next home match will be on Friday against St. Andrews. The AAC tournament will be in Kingsport beginning on November 8.
The Buffs earned their fifth AAC victory 1-0 against the No. 1 team in the conference, Truett-McConnell University, last Saturday at home. The Buffs are now 5-1-2 in the AAC and 9-2-2 overall. Truett moved to 6-2 in the AAC and 8-5-1 overall. The Buffs have won nine of their last 12 and suffered their first loss since the beginning of the season against Bryan last week. Milligan stays home for a nonconference matchup against North Greenville University.
Sophomore Kodey Popplewell earned a spot on the all-tournament team to lead the Milligan men's golf team to a seventh-place finish at the Donald Ross Intercollegiate, hosted by Lenoir-Rhyne University Monday and Tuesday at Mimosa Hills Country Club.
The field of 13 teams was heavy with some of the top NCAA Division II golf teams, and the team leaderboard was tight between second and seventh place. Milligan, with a score of 882 (290-297-295), was only 14 strokes back of runner-up Belmont Abbey.
Popplewell landed fifth individually with rounds of 72, 71 and 70 (213). His last round included a 2 under par effort on the front nine which helped him finish only six strokes off medalist honors.