Three winter sports teams have won Inter-Ac championships: girls' and boys' varsity basketball and girls' swimming and diving.
Girls' Varsity Basketball
The girls' basketball team secured the win on Friday, February 10 with a 55-20 blowout against the Agnes Irwin School. Earlier in the week, the team blew by the Baldwin School 49-22. EA shares the Inter-Ac championship with rival Germantown Academy.
"Our strategy was to play completely together, starting with a strong defensive effort that would translate into our offense," said co-captain Reilly Wright. "We worked really hard throughout the whole season on making our defense better, and we really have seen it pay off!" Reilly was a freshman in 2014, the last time the team won the title. "We had a really great team with great senior leaders who I always looked up to. I know that Elodie Furey (co-captain) and I really wanted to win our senior year for the team and all of the girls who played at EA before us. I feel lucky to be a part of such a great basketball tradition."
Coach Chuck Simmonds credits strong team leadership and a good balance of scoring for the team's success. "I am very proud and happy for this group, because they are such a good group of kids," said Simmonds. "They are good teammates, they care about each other, and allowed the coaches to focus on practices and how we could play better. It is so important as a team to have that cohesiveness, and have leaders who are aware of how it benefits the team as a whole."
Boys' Varsity Basketball
The boys' varsity basketball team also won a piece of the Inter-Ac championship. After a tough start to league play, the team overcame injuries and battled to the finish. They share the Inter-Ac title with Germantown Academy.
"This has been a long journey with ups and downs," said head coach Craig Conlin. "We have been beset by injuries, illness, and many other distractions. But our players persevered and overcame adversity through grit, hard work and a lot of sweat. So much of the credit for this Inter-Ac championship goes to their efforts."
"I think it is a great way to end my high school basketball career," shared co-captain Nick Alikakos. "Everyone worked so hard improving their game since freshman year. Everyone bought into their role and we had been so close in the past that we knew this was our year to win it."
"We worked hard in practice everyday and pushed each other everyday to get better," said co-captain Conner
Delaney. "Nick and I, along with the other seniors, tried to instill a positive attitude throughout the season, after both wins and losses, and in the Inter-Ac, we treated every game like it was a championship game."
The team has not won an Inter-Ac title since 2006.
Girls' Swimming and Diving
The girls' swimming and dive team won the Inter-Ac championship for the second consecutive year. The team also remained undefeated for a second year. The girls beat the Agnes Irwin School (98-77) to secure the championship.
"It has been another storybook season for both the boys and the girls team," shared Varsity Swimming and Diving Coach Brian Kline. "It was a season of growth and hard work in and out of the pool. While our girls were able to secure another undefeated season and claim the Inter-Ac, the boys forged their own path of success setting pool and school records along the way with individual Inter-Ac champions in multiple events."
Click here for the team highlights.
"It is super exciting to start a new tradition for the girls' swim team of winning the Inter-Ac," said co-captain Maddie O'Reilly. "I hope that future generations of this program will remember when we began our trend of staying undefeated and use that as motivation to keep the streak. We all are very humbled by winning the Inter-Ac again. It gives us more incentive to want to have higher goals such as winning Eastern Prep Championships!"
"I am super excited to have won the Inter-Ac again this year and having established ourselves once again as a dominant team," said co-captain Emma Seiberlich.
"It was a special year with a special team and we look forward to an amazing Eastern Prep Championships in two weeks," said Kline.
Girls' and Boys' Individual Inter-Ac Diving
The EA girls and boys diving team swept the Inter-Ac diving championships with seven divers placing in top spots.
Wren Sablich '18 won the girls' competition with a score of 278.15. She set a new EA pool record (269.90) during the team Inter-Ac Championships in 1 Meter diving. In December, Wren also set the new Delaware County diving record (298.90).
Vladimir Puskovitch '20 landed at the top of the boys' competition with a score of 281.15.
"I am so proud of both teams for working so hard to improve and understanding that it's the little changes they conquer that provide the most benefit to their final score," said diving coach Gary Elder. "They all dove beyond our expectations."
"Our divers have been working extremely hard to improve their dives throughout the season," said coach Kline. "They have always proven to be a valuable asset to our team in and out of the water. Their efforts at the meet this week proved their hard work pays off. Going into Easterns [Swimming and Diving Championships], we should see some impressive dives."
The Inter-Ac individual diving championships took place on Monday, February 6 at Germantown Academy.
Photos provided by: Maggie Mengel '17