The start of the 2022 spring semester has held many surprises for Husker Athletics with several events postponed or canceled due to COVID-19.
Although five of the 12 sporting events scheduled for this week did not take place, many first-year athletes were still in action. This week’s winner saw a big individual win in not just one, but two events.
Male tennis player Roni Hietaranta is this week’s winner.
The men’s tennis team played two games over the weekend against No. 2 Baylor and No. 24 Oklahoma. The Huskers lost to Baylor 6-1 and lost to Oklahoma 5-2.
But for Hietaranta, he swept the weekend, winning singles match No. 6 against Baylor and singles match No. 5 against Oklahoma. In the match against Baylor, Hietaranta defeated his opponent in straight sets, winning the first set 6-1 and then two sets 6-3.
Then against Oklahoma, Hietaranta picked up a narrower win in singles match No. 5. The Lappeenranta, Finland native earned another sweep, winning the first set 6-4 and then the second 7-5.
Hietaranta is now 3-0 this season in singles and 1-0 in doubles. Hietaranta is building momentum after a strong run in the Big Ten Championships. Hietaranta qualified for the Round of 16 and finished the event with a 2-2 record.
First honorable mention: swimmer Ilaria Murzilli
The Nebraska swim and dive team competed in a double meet against conference opponent Illinois. As a team, the Huskers defeated Fighting Illini 178-122.
Ilaria Murzilli took part in three events during the competition, obtaining a victory, a fourth place and a seventh place. Her victory came in the 500 yard freestyle, where she won the event in 4:57.78.
Her fourth place came in the 200 yard freestyle where she finished the race in 1:53.71. Finally, her seventh place came in the 200-yard medley relay. The Rome, Italy native swam the freestyle portion of the race with her relay team of second Sarah Barton, junior Berkeley Livingston and junior Kaitlyn Barth.
The relay team took 7th place with a time of 1:50.45 while Murzilli finished her run in 24.61 seconds.
Second Honorable Mention: Swimmer Maia Hall
Maia Hall also performed well in the swimming and diving meet against Illinois, earning a victory and competing in three events in total. The Whitby, England native’s victory came in the 200-yard breaststroke, winning in a time of 2:21.32.
Hall also picked up a fourth-place and sixth-place finish. Her fourth place came in the 200-yard medley relay, where she swam with sophomore Gabby Donahue, senior Shannon Stott and rookie Jojo Randby.
As a team, they finished fourth in 1:47.62. Hall swam the breaststroke portion of the relay, finishing her heat in 30.50 seconds. Finally, her sixth place came in the 100-yard breaststroke, where she finished in 1:06.1.