The Pepperdine Women’s Swim and Dive team gathers in a huddle at Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool on Oct. 8. Last year’s team won their first conference title in the program’s history. Photos courtesy of Roger Horne
Corrections: Several errors appeared in the Nov. 7 article, “Women’s Swim and Dive Looks to Continue Success from Last Season.” Freshman Lexi Haymart’s last name was misspelled. That has been corrected. One of Head Coach Ellie Monobe’s quotes was incorrect— it now reads, “Coming into this season, it was really all about seeing if we can do a repeat and get complacent.” Paige Tattersall was incorrectly quoted— it now reads, “They’ve been swimming and diving super well and keeping on top of school. I think they’ve bought into our culture and the values we have agreed upon as a team.” Senior Captain diver Bri Cannon was incorrectly classified by academic year. In several instances the writer incorrectly referred to the team as the swim team— this is the Women’s Swim and Dive team. Several team members were listed with incorrect swim strokes. These have been removed.
The Pepperdine Women’s Swim and Dive team won the first conference championship in the program’s history during the 2021-22 season.
This year’s team — with many new additions — said they are looking to repeat last season’s success and remain competitive.
“Coming into this season, it was really all about seeing if we can do a repeat and not getting complacent,” Head Coach Ellie Monobe said. “That’s kind of been the attitude.”
Monobe said she spent four years as part of the UC Santa Barbara coaching staff and was assistant head coach during her final season. She became the head coach of the Pepperdine Swim and Dive team during the 2020-21 season.
Monobe has made history in only two full seasons, she said, as she led the team to win the programs first-ever conference championship and set seven school records.
“Coach Ellie has been amazing,” senior captain Paige Tattersall said. “Not only is she an amazing swim coach, but she’s an amazing friend, amazing person and amazing mentor. She is more than just a coach and has really inspired everyone into being the best versions of themselves.”
Of the 29 swimmers and divers on the roster, 14 of them are first-years. The newcomers to this team are swimmers Elliot Easton, Lexi Fok, Lexi Haymart, Maddie McLeay, Anna Ryan, Ava Wiley, Ariana Yeh, Amanda Wong, Charli Sunahara, Kylie Taylor and AJ Adams, and divers Ava Langheim, Delainey Pisaruk, Vivian Vallely.
“I’m honestly really proud of how the freshmen have been handling themselves,” Tattersall said. “They’ve been swimming and diving super well and keeping on top of school. I think they’ve bought into our culture and the values we have agreed upon as a team.”
Monobe said some of the standouts from the first-year class include Adams, who has been added to the Individual Medley group and is taking the spot of alumna Emily Morton (’22) and Haymart, who adds a lot of depth to the team, Monobe said.
She also mentioned Sunahara, who enahces the relays for the breast and fly, and Taylor, who Monobe described as a “backstroker stud” that will the take the spot of alumna Kara Couglin (’22).
“They had to step up right away and they’ve done it,” Monobe said.
Senior captain diver Bri Cannon said the team is looking to continue their success with the many newcomers.
“Going into the season, the mentality is trying to do it again with essentially a whole new team,” Cannon said. “Almost half of the team is brand new, so it’s trying to make the same thing happen in a different way with different people.”
Monobe said she gave some of the responsibility of preparing the team for this season to captains Tattersall, Cannon and senior Jenna Sanchez.
“They took some ownership to establish team values early, meet with the team regularly to talk about goals that we have and overall just team bonding activities,” Monobe said. “It’s really helpful when you can build a foundation of friendship and trust early on.”
Tattersall said one area of improvement with this year’s team is using the strong leadership to unite the team outside of training. She said the captains have used their leadership to unite the team by spending more time together and create a strong team culture outside of practice.
“Even though it’s an individual sport, you always have to rely on your teammates in swimming,” Tattersall said. “To get you through the harder days, to get you through the practices, it’s so much more than an individual sport— it really is a team effort and everyone makes a difference.”
The Waves lost their first home meet of the season to San Diego State, but then won back-to-back home meets, both against Cal State East Bay with scores of 106-59 and 167-95. Cannon said it is important to perform well at home at the start of the season, as it prepares them for success later in the season.
“Starting out strong while playing at home really just boosts the team morale,” Cannon said. “When the team morale is high, we tend to perform better. It just makes us feel better to do better later in the season.”
Monobe said she believes learning from each meet is what is most important to her.
“Each opportunity we have to race is important,” Monobe said. “Not necessarily the wins— it’s about taking advantage of those opportunities and learning from the races. Winning at home is important, but to me, it’s about taking advantage of those opportunities, whatever that looks like.”
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