FORT MYERS, Fla. – Coming off a standout performance in its season opener, the reigning Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association (CCSA) Champion FGCU women’s swimming & diving team prepares to host CCSA foe North Florida in its home opener Saturday at 10 a.m. at the FGCU Aquatics Center.
Since joining the conference in 2007, the Eagles have claimed five-straight CCSA Championships and haven’t lost a dual meet to a conference opponent in an astonishing 2,085 days. FGCU holds a 24-1 CCSA record with its only loss coming at the hands of Georgia Southern in January 2008. Overall, the Eagles have won seven dual meets in a row and carry a record of 61-21.
The Green and Blue will look to remain unbeaten against the Ospreys as they hold an 8-0 all-time record. In last weekend’s season opener at the Pinch A Penny All Florida Invite, FGCU racked up a total 695 points compared with UNF’s 286. In their dual meet last February, the Eagles tallied 15 first-place finishes to win the contest 195-100.
“We’re looking forward to seeing a conference opponent head-to-head,” four-time CCSA Coach of the Year Neal Studd said. “UNF has some good swimmers and strong divers, so we need to be ready to race.”
FGCU opened the 2013-14 season solidifying its title as one of the top-three programs in the state of Florida with a comfortable third-place finish in the annual battle for state glory. Florida finished on top scoring 1,146 points, followed by FSU in second with 798 and FGCU in third with 695. Finishing distantly outside of the top three were Miami (400), Florida Southern (346), UNF (286) and Nova Southeastern (119). The Eagles drastic beating of Miami marks the sixth-consecutive finish ahead of the Hurricanes in the past three season.
An astounding 232 of the 695 points FGCU totaled last weekend were brought in by 10 of the team’s members who suited up in Green and Blue for the first time. Leading the group that brought in more than 30 percent of the weekend’s total score were redshirt sophomore Lani Cabrera (Barbados/St. Ursala's Secondary School) and international newcomers Nina Schiffer (Dortmund, Germany/SG Dortmund) and Kira Toussaint (Amstelveen, Netherlands/Keizer Karel College). Cabrera contributed 47 points for the Eagles after an 11th-place finish in the 100 freestyle (52.89), eighth in the 200 free (1:54.30), fifth in the 500 free, 10th in the 1650 free (17:26.49) and ninth in the 200 butterfly (2:11.22). Schiffer contributed 46 points after placing fourth in the 200 fly (2:05.30), forth in the 400 IM (4:26.83), ninth in the 200 IM (2:10.11) and 10th in the 500 free (5:02.52). Toussaint totaled 49 of FGCU’s points after placing third in the 100 backstroke (55:15), seventh in the 200 back (2:04:68), eighth in the 50 free (24.34) and ninth in the 200 free (1:53.14).
Junior Emma Svensson (Uppsala, Sweden/Celsiusskolan) continued to lead the team as she competed in the finals of each of her individual events to earn a team-high 49 points. Svensson finished fifth in the 100 backstroke (56.54), sixth in the 50 free (23.56), sixth in the 100 free (51.51) and ninth in the 100 fly (56.61).
WEEK ONE RECORDS
After just one meet, the 2013-14 season has already seen 10 personal bests and 26 new marks in the FGCU all-time record book. Highlighting the list of Eagle achievements was Toussaint, who’s first collegiate appearance in the 100-yard backstroke yielded a time of 55.15 seconds, ranking second-fastest in FGCU history.
Up next the Eagles will travel to Miami as they face rival Miami in a dual meet Saturday, Oct. 12 at noon.
For complete coverage of FGCU women’s swimming and diving over the weekend, follow us on Twitter @FGCU_WSWIM and visit www.FGCUAthletics.com.