Cayla Bush/ Staff Writer
The FIU swimming and diving team was able to end the regular season on a high note, defeating the Florida Atlantic University Owls 115-71, Sunday Feb. 7.
This win follows last week’s season low loss against the University of Miami Hurricanes, 95-205. It also adds extra momentum to the team as they gear up for the Conference USA Championships.
Marking its second win over the Owls, the team took home seven first-place finishes from five individuals and two relay teams.
The Panthers kicked things off early with junior Jennifer Alfani, freshman Nicole Hunnewell, junior Jennifer Deist and sophomore Naomi Ruele placing first in the 200 yard medley relay. The women finished with a time of 1:46.69.
Sophomore Kyna Pereira followed this up with an individual win in the 200 yard freestyle, with a final time of 1:51.05. Pereira, two-time C-USA Athlete of the Week, is most notably known for finishing the regular season undefeated in the 1000 yard freestyle at dual meets.
Following these back-to-back wins, the match followed a give and take pattern, with the University winning one and then losing one.
Sophomore Letizia Bertelli claimed the win in the 50 yard freestyle with a 24.07 second finish. There wasn’t another win until two events later, with Deist claiming a second win in the 100 yard butterfly.
Senior Jessica Piper placed first in the 500 yard freestyle with a final time of 5:02.44 and Pereira finishing in a close second at 5:04.13. FIU shut out this event, only allowing Owls to place fifth and below.
Ruele followed up this win with another of her own, topping off the 100 yard backstroke in 56.11 seconds.
The Panthers closed out the meet with a first and second place win in the 200 yard freestyle relay. Alfani, Bertelli, Deist and Pereira taking first with a final time of 1:37.17, and sophomore Skye Carey, junior Anna Jonsson, freshman Marie Lauridsen and Piper finishing second with a 1:40.24 time.
Overall, the University brought home seven wins of the 12 events, coupled with seven second place finishes.
Next up for the Panthers is the C-USA Championship run, in Atlanta, Georgia. Conference championships begin Feb. 24, and end Feb. 27.