PHILADELPHIA  --  The University of Delaware women’s rowing squad, led by second-year head coach Kevin Gruber, will hit the water for the first official race of the spring Saturday as the Blue Hens take part in a quad meet with Philadelphia area foes Saint Joseph’s, Drexel, and LaSalle.

The quad meet, hosted by Saint Joseph’s, will be held on the Schuylkill River and begin at 10 a.m. The teams will compete in the Varsity Eights, Second Varsity Eights, and Varsity Fours events. Delaware will have two entries in the Varsity Fours race.

“Winter training has been great,” said Gruber. “We are fighting some injuries,  but overall the team is much more fit than they were a couple weeks back.  Now the challenge is turning indoor speed into outdoor speed and we’ll start that process Saturday in Philadelphia. Our early spring schedule is aggressive with races every weekend in March, every trip down the course should be a learning experience. Our goal is to be mentally tough racers by the time we hit Spring Break week in early April. That toughness will pay off in the late spring championship races.”

Delaware’s top team, the Varsity Eights, will consist of coxswain Molly Gardner, Denise Cirelli, Kat Francis, Jenny Kohler, Catherine Manner, Annie Waskover, Calla Cissel, Hannah Scholes, and Lily Guttentag.

The Second Varsity Eights team will consist of coxswain Hayley Diverio, Meredith Murphy, Corey Holloway, Kate Flood, Angela Quinn, Shannon Taylor, Danni Weader, Carly Alexander, and Jenn Boone.

The Varsity Fours teams will be coxswain Jamie Noce, Megan Kirby, Kathleen Garrity, Shannon Bell, and Sam Noel for the A team and coxswain Sarah Tenenbaum, Meghan Gerber, Jeannie Kontos, Curtira Williams, and Rebecca Sassone for the B team.

Following this week’s action, Delaware will compete March 15 vs. George Washington on the Occoquan River in Fairfax, Va.; Mar. 29 at the Murphy Cup on the Schuylkill River; Apr. 5 vs. Lehigh on the Schuylkill River; Apr. 12-13 at the Knecht Cup on the Cooper River in Cherry Hill, N.J.; Apr. 26 at Bucknell on Lake Pinchot in Shamokin Dam, Pa.; May 9-10 at the Dad Vail Regatta on the Schuylkill; and May 18 at the Colonial Athletic Association Championships on the Occoquan River.