NAPLES, Fla. – In what feels like the beginning of a new season, the FGCU women’s swimming & diving team returns to the pool after a nine-week hiatus from competitive action to host FIU on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the YMCA Norris Pool located on the campus of the Community School of Naples.
“This is a very important meet for us,” head coach Neal Studd said. “We only have two duels left after missing our two previous because of the pool issues. We need to get the girls back on track and ready for conference championships. Senior Day is always a great time at FGCU and we’re looking forward to giving them a great send off. FIU is a very good Conference USA team and will be a tough test for us.”
FGCU sits with an even 3-3 record in this season’s head-to-head contests. In the fall the Eagles claimed victories over Miami, UNF and Oregon State, but fell to FSU, UCLA and UC Santa Barbara. The Panthers are a perfect 4-0 in dual meets this season, with victories over FAU, North Florida, Indian River and Georgia Tech. The win for FIU over Georgia Tech was the first program win over an ACC opponent in school history.
14’S FAB FIVE
The Eagles will be honoring their five seniors before the meet for their contributions to the program. Over their careers McKenzie Cassidy (Lehigh Acres, Fla./Bishop Verot), Tryshia Centeno Rosa (Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico/Auburn University), Lindsey Meeder (Boynton Beach, Fla./Park Vista), Jessie Porter (Chorleywood, Hertforshire, United Kingdom/Royal Masonic) and Christina Tanninen (Burlington, Ontario/Nelson) have helped the Eagles compile a 34-9 overall record while remaining a perfect 14-0 in the CCSA. Before starting their final season, they etched a total 22 marks in FGCU’s all-time record book after just three years.
Having never lost to FIU, the Eagles look to collect win number 10 over the Panthers on Saturday. In last season’s dual meet the Green and Blue brought a 168-130 victory back to The Nest after touching first in nine events. Leading the way with three first-place finishes was then sophomore Emma Svensson (Uppsala, Sweden/Celsiusskolan) picking up individual victories in the 100-yard backstroke (55.46), 100-yard freestyle (51.23) and 100-yard butterfly (56.05). Meeder added other top marks, taking first in the 500-yard freestyle (5:04.48) and second in the 1000-yard freestyle (10:29.98).
Their last time out, a full nine weeks ago, the Eagles traveled to Atlanta for the Georgia Tech Fall Invite where they took home second place in a field of SEC and ACC competition. The University of Tennessee took home first (1136.5), followed by FGCU in second (1040.5), Georgia Tech in third (938.5), Vanderbilt in fourth (716.5), James Madison in fifth (652), Miami in sixth (398.5) and FAU in seventh (310). More impressive than their second-place finish were the five program records the Eagles set over the course of three days.
For complete coverage of FGCU women’s swimming and diving over the weekend, follow us on Twitter @FGCU_WSWIM and visit www.FGCUAthletics.com where live scoring and streaming can be accessed as well as full recaps and results at the end of each day.