FIUSM Sports Staff
The Panthers have demonstrated a dominance over the past five meets, all on the East coast, crushing each team they have faced. Now FIU will look to extend that dominance to the Gulf coast.
The Panthers will face the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles Jan. 28 at the FGCU Aquatics Center for a match-up between two teams that are firing on all cylinders. Both teams are riding four-meet winning streaks going into the meet, including the Eagles’ three victories against conference opponents.
The Eagles will look to stop the Panthers in the final home game of the season for FGCU, which happens to be Senior Day, before making their way to the Coastal Collegiate Swimming Association Championship on Feb 16-18.
The last time the Panthers were in action, they defeated Central Connecticut State 174-120, which included 10-for-11 performance in the individual events. The victory led to a sweep in the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week awards, given to sophomore swimmer Sonia Perez Arau and sophomore diver Sabrina Beaupre.
Not to be outdone, the Eagles put together back-to-back crushing victories of North Florida and Georgia Southern, 132-102 and 180-115, respectively. Emma Svensson, freshman swimmer for the Eagles, has won two of the past four Swimmer of the Week awards in the CCSA. Along with Svensson, FGCU has also won two of the past four Diver of the Week awards, given to freshman Cayla Collins and junior Maegan Butler, respectively.
The Panthers will have one more meet against Florida Atlantic and Daytona State on Feb 4, before beginning the run to the SBC championship on Feb 22-25.
After dropping two consecutive events, the Panthers will look to bounce back in the ITA Team Indoor Qualifying events in Athens, Ga.
Melissa Applebaum-Dall’au’s team will face No. 66 Fresno State on Jan. 27 at 11 a.m. If the Panthers win on the 27th, they will face the winner of Georgia-Missouri match the following day. If the Panthers lose, they will play the loser of the Georgia-Missouri. The Bulldogs, who are hosting the event, are ranked sixth in the nation, according to the latest ITA rankings.
Last weekend the Panthers started the season ranked 72nd in the nation but dropped their first two events.
After a strong start by the tandems of Giulietta Boha, Karyn Guttormsen, Lisa Johnson and Christine Seredni, FIU defeated No. 14 Clemson in the doubles portion of the even to take a 1-0 lead over the Tigers. Despite winning the doubles point, the Panthers dropped all six of their singles matches to lose the event 6-1.
The following day Applebaum-Dall’au’s team dropped another event, this time to Furman. After dropping three out of the first four points, including the doubles matches, FIU shortened the deficit when Sarrah McLean won her match in straight sets. Seredni dropped her singles match to give Furman the win 4-3.
FIU is currently unranked after suffering two-consecutive losses.