Undefeated Blue Wave seeks another SUNYAC championship

The Blue Wave had a strong finish to cap off their regular season schedule this past Saturday, as both the men's and women's teams defeated SUNY Oswego by more than 40 points.

The women's team finished the regular season at 9-1 with a 152-112 win over the Lakers. The men's 158-103 victory put them at an undefeated 10-0.

Head coach Paul Dotterweich's plan included using these last couple of weeks to evaluate his swimmers and pick the best lineups to earn yet another SUNYAC championship. He said he tries to take emotion out of his decisions, treat everybody the same and pick the swimmers that ultimately have the best opportunity to win.

"We train to win the conference and hopefully go onto nationals, not to win dual meets during the season," sophomore Dan Strothenke said. Their unmatched success in the regular season is just a roadmap to the championship.

That outlook may be perceived as overconfidence, but both the coach and the athlete dissuade that notion. "We don't mean to sound cocky, but we are pretty confident," Strothenke said. "We worked hard all year during practice. We won last year, and it wasn't even that close. We just know where we stand."

"It's hard not to be confident," Dotterweich said. "Other programs circle Geneseo on their schedule." Dotterweich also acknowledged the role of the individual swimmers' confidence in their success. "You have to be confident in your ability," he said. "If you don't believe in yourself and your team, you're not going to perform to the best of your ability."

After 11 straight championships, the expectations are there. Dotterweich said the alumni, the administration and the team all expect another championship. At the meet on Saturday, a Blue Wave alumnus' T-shirt read: "Blue Wave Dynasty," and on the back: "A Decade of Dominance."

Dotterweich said these expectations are not, however, weighing the team down. "They feed of the pressure; it pushes them to the next level."

This special Blue Wave team feeds off pressure, competition and each other. The men's bleached hair, a tradition started several years ago, doesn't go unnoticed on campus, and neither do their shouts as they cheer their teammates on from the edge of the pool.

The Blue Wave will try to achieve their season-long goal as they compete next weekend, Feb. 11 to 13 at Erie Community College, with hopes to bring home yet another conference banner.