06 Nov Eagles Post Solid Results but Fall to FIU
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU swim and dive team faced a tough task against seven-time defending Conference USA champion FIU, Saturday afternoon at the FGCU Aquatics Complex, ultimately falling to the Panthers. 189.5-110.5. Despite the results, the Eagles walked away with performances to build from.
“Overall, very solid day for the Eagles,” said head coach Dave Rollins. “For us, this is always a transitional time of the season. Sometimes we see some amazing performances, sometimes we don’t, and that’s alright. Our focus is locked in on being our best when it matters most, and I’m excited to see where we are. We have some work to do, but that’s what makes it fun.”
Seniors Petra Halmai (Dombovar, Hungary/Lanczos Kornel Secondari Grammar School) and Wiktoria Czarnecka (Lublin, Poland/Liceum 10 NR W Lublinie) again produced some of the fastest times in the CCSA as well as the country. Halmai secured NCAA “B” cut times in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke with times of 1:01.06 and 2:11.17, respectively. Her time in the 200 is 10th fastest in the country while her 100 time is 19th.
Czarnecka, already with the top CCSA times in both the 50 free and 100 fly, added another top CCSA time in the 100 free with a time of 51.79, accomplishing the mark as the lead leg of the 400 free relay. She also picked up a victory on Saturday, touching first in the 50 free with a time of 23.50.
Junior Sara Niepelova (Piestany, Slovakia/Gymnazium Pierra de Coubertina/ECU) also picked up a win on the day as she claimed victory in the 1000y free with a time of 10:38.87. She also finished second in the 500 free with a time of 5:07.93.
In the diving events, Reese Wakefield (Guelph, Ontario, Canada/Bishop Macdonelle CHS) led the way for the Eagles, finishing third overall in both the 1m (261.45) and the 3m (256.13). Her 3m score is a season-best and is the second-best mark in the CCSA this season. Her 1m score of 268.95 against Vanderbilt is still the top mark in the CCSA.
Most of the Eagles will return to the pool on November 18-20 when they host the FGCU Invitational. A few Eagles’ swimmers will head to Atlanta to compete in the Georgia Tech Invite that same weekend.
For complete coverage of FGCU swimming & diving, follow the Eagles on Twitter (@FGCU_WSwimDive), Instagram (@FGCU_WSwimDive) and online at www.FGCUAthletics.com. You can also sign up to have news on FGCU swimming & diving or other programs delivered directly to your inbox by visiting www.fgcuathletics.com/email.
HEAD COACH DAVE ROLLINS
Head coach Dave Rollins is only the second coach in program history. He was hired Sept. 1, 2016 and owns a 34-24-1 (.585) dual meet record, which includes a 13-2 (.857) mark against CCSA opponents, in his fourth season. Rollins guided FGCU to back-to-back CCSA titles (2017, 2018), as well as the program’s fourth-straight title in 2018, marking the ninth championship in 10 years before winning the 10th championship in program history in 2021. In addition, he has been awarded CCSA Coach of the Year in two of his seasons at the helm. Previously, Rollins was the associate head men’s swimming coach at The Ohio State University. Rollins brings over a decade of coaching experience to The Nest, which includes helping to develop Olympians, NCAA Champions and All-Americans, along with multiple conference champions. A native of Brockton, Mass., he was a standout collegiate swimmer in his own right and was inducted into the University of Arizona’s Hall of Fame in 2017, as a nine-time NCAA All-American, national champion, school record holder and team captain.
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FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 85 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of D-I postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 42 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 21, 2020-21), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2021) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 24 consecutive semesters. The 2019 Fall, 2020 Spring, 2020 Fall, and 2021 Spring semesters each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher team GPA in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.
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