FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Florida Gulf Coast University women's swimming and diving team is ranked number nine in the first CSCAA/CollegeSwimming.com Mid-Major Division I poll of the 2008-09 season. The poll ranks the schools from non-BCS conferences four times each year and emphasizes success in dual meet competition. The Eagles are ranked higher than any other CCSA school, with the closest CCSA opponent being Davidson (20th place).
“I am extremely proud of how much we have achieved in such a short time,” said FGCU head coach Neal Studd. “One of our goals was to be top 10 in this poll this year and it is great to see that has happened already. The girls have been working hard and I think we have all our best swimming ahead of us. Our girls are a great bunch to work with and they all get along so well as a team. It has been fun to watch them improve so quickly.”
The CollegeSwimming.com rankings are based on each team's best dual meet lineup as judged and submitted by participating teams. Rankings are announced four times throughout the season – November (Pre-Invite), December (Post-Invite), February (Pre-Conference), and March (Post-Conference).
Since 2002, CollegeSwimming.com has produced an objective ranking system for Mid-Major, Division I swimming programs. To be eligible for the rankings, institutions can a) be a member of a participating BCS conference or b) provide fewer than one-half of the allowable scholarships under the NCAA rules.
Miami, Towson, Western Kentucky, Ohio, San Jose State, Navy, Colgate, and William and Mary round out the women's top eight. It's the first time FGCU has a top-10 spot in the poll. The Eagles finished the 2007-08 campaign in 18th place, after being ranked as high as 17th earlier in the year.
FGCU started the season with a pair of double-duals, losing to Georgia Tech and beating FAU and falling to both Florida State and Miami, but has since defeated their last five opponents.
The next competition for Coach Studd’s Eagles (6-3) is the Miami Invitational, December 4-6 at the Nixon Aquatic Center in Oxford, OH. Following the Invitational, FGCU faces four more meets before traveling to Athens, Ga. for the CCSA Championships on February 19-21.