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Lady Flames to Make 1st Trip to Texas for Pair of Meets, Friday and Saturday

October 7, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Senior Hannah Wakeley.

Senior Hannah Wakeley.

Liberty swimming & diving makes its first-ever trip to Texas this weekend, competing in a pair of meets in the Lone Star State. The Lady Flames will contest a tri-meet in Fort Worth on Friday, taking on TCU and Incarnate Word at 5 p.m. Eastern. On Saturday at noon ET, Liberty will face North Texas and Incarnate Word in Denton.

The Lady Flames hold a 1-2 record, including 1-0 against CCSA opponents, coming into the weekend. TCU is 1-0 on the season, while Incarnate Word and North Texas will both begin their dual-meet portion of their schedule this weekend.

On Tuesday, Liberty received its highest national rankings in program history. The Lady Flames entered the week listed 26th in the Team Rankings, while appearing at No. 4 in the Mid-Major Rankings.

Both meets will be scored in dual-meet fashion, as the Lady Flames will earn separate scores against each of their two opponents on Friday (TCU, Incarnate Word) and Saturday (North Texas, Incarnate Word).

The Lady Flames received their first-ever CCSA Women's Diver of the Week honor in program history this week. Brooke Fox was named Diver of the Week on Tuesday after posting a pair of fifth-place finishes at Georgia Tech last Friday.

Liberty will be facing all three of its opponents for the first time in dual-meet action. However, the Lady Flames have faced CCSA member Incarnate Word during each of the last two CCSA Championships. Liberty won the 2014 CCSA Championship, before placing second last year, while UIW has posted back-to-back fifth-place finishes at the conference meet.

After opening the season with a 171-120 victory at Campbell on Sept. 26, the Lady Flames took on a pair of major-conference foes in Atlanta, last Friday. Liberty fell to both Georgia Tech (ACC) and Penn State (Big Ten) in Friday's tri-meet.

Three Lady Flames hold two event victories apiece this season.

Sophomore Prudence Rooker earned two event victories at Campbell. She won the 100 breaststroke (1:06.87) and 100 free (53.23) while also swimming the fastest time in the 200 IM (2:09.11). At Georgia Tech, Rooker placed third in both the 100 breaststroke (1:05.68) and 200 breaststroke (2:23.19).

Freshman Alicia Finnigan won both the 100 fly (58.06) and 200 fly (2:06.94) at Campbell. She then placed third in the 100 fly (57.31) and fourth in the 200 fly (2:05.74), last Friday. Her 2:05.74 for the 200 fly ranks fifth in program history.

Senior Kristin VanDeventer also picked up two event wins in the season opener, first winning the 1000 free in 10:31.96. She also won the 500 free with a time of 5:11.59. VanDeventer followed last Friday with a second-place showing in the 1000 free (10.30.79), with Hannah Wakeley finishing third in 10:39.68.

Victoria Tschoke took second in the 100 back at Georgia Tech, in 56.84, while swimming 2:03.17 to earn third place in the 200 back.

Sixth-year Head Coach Jake Shellenberger has guided the Lady Flames since the program's inception. A two-time CCSA Women's Swimming Coach of the Year, Shellenberger has guided the team to a 56-23 all-time dual meet record, including 33-12 against CCSA opponents.

This year's roster features 17 returnees and 10 freshmen. Liberty's returning group of student-athletes includes three conference medalists and four additional swimmers who swam on medal-winning relays at the conference championship meet last year.

For the first time in program history, Liberty features multiple divers. The Lady Flames welcome back sophomore Madi Long, who set the program three-meter springboard record at 201.00 last season. Senior Courtney Fox returns to the team, after serving as the first diver in program history in 2013-14. Courtney's sister, Brooke Fox, joins the diving squad as a freshman this year.

A total of 13 returnees scored at the 2015 CCSA Championships. Among Liberty's returnees, Natalie Beale (100 fly, 200 back), Sarah Browning (1,650 free), Rachel Hoeve (50 free), Kendall Hough (50 free, 100 free, 100 back), Prudence Rooker (100 breaststroke, 200 breaststroke, 200 IM), Victoria Tschoke (100 back, 200 back, 200 IM), Kristin VanDeventer (200 free, 500 free, 1,650 free) and Hannah Wakeley (500 free, 1,650 free, 200 fly) all posted top-eight finishes last season. Additionally, Ranndi Grubbs and Morgan Noonan have recorded top-eight placings during their careers.

Current Lady Flames with Program Records
1000 Free – Hannah Wakeley (10:06.55; 2/21/15)
1,650 Free – Hannah Wakeley (16:45.43; 2/21/15)
50 Back – Kendall Hough (24.97 – L; 2/18/15)
100 Back – Kendall Hough (53.98; 2/20/15)
1-Meter Diving – Courtney Fox (228.67; 2/1/14)
3-Meter Diving – Madi Long (201.00; 1/17/15)

TCU began its dual-meet season on Sept. 26 with a 114-77 victory over Texas Permian Basin. The Horned Frogs placed fifth at the 2015 Big 12 Championships, scoring 458 points.

Sophomore Devin Newton returns after setting TCU program records in the 200 IM (2:00.64) and 100 breaststroke (1:02.05) last season. She tied for fourth in the 200 IM at the 2015 Big 12 Championships. Senior Sara Brzozowski holds TCU's records in the 1,000 free (9:57.93) and 1,650 free (16:37.26). Senior Lyndsie Gibson is the program record holder in the 100 back (54.80) and 200 back (1:58.76).

Incarnate Word
Incarnate Word opens its 2015-16 season on Friday. The Cardinals finished fifth at the 2015 CCSA Swimming & Diving Championships with 851 points.

The Cardinals return 2015 CCSA Women's Most Outstanding Freshman of the Meet Alona Kyselova. Kyselova won both the 200 IM and 400 IM at the 2015 conference meet, breaking the CCSA and meet records in both events (200 IM – 2:00.28; 400 IM – 4:13.15). Divers Kimberly Foster and Mallory Draper return after both placing inside the top four in the conference one-meter and three-meter diving finals.

North Texas
North Texas placed second at the North Texas Relays, trailing only SMU last Friday. The Mean Green scored 357 points at the 2015 Conference USA Championships, placing fifth overall.    

The Mean Green will have to replace graduated seniors Mona Groteguth and Krista Rossum, who combined to hold six program records upon their graduation. Samantha Scheck returns after placing fourth in one-meter diving and sixth in three-meter diving at the 2015 Conference USA Championships. Jasmine Abercrombie placed fifth in three-meter diving at last year's conference meet.

Order of Events
Liberty vs. TCU and Incarnate Word
Friday, Oct. 9
Fort Worth, Texas

1. 200 Medley Relay

2. 200 Freestyle

3. 50 Freestyle

4. 200 Individual Medley

4. 1-Meter Diving

5. 100 Butterfly

6. 100 Freestyle

7. 100 Backstroke

8. 500 Freestyle

9. 100 Individual Medley

10. 3-Meter Diving

11. 100 Breaststroke

12. 200 Freestyle Relay

Order of Events
Liberty vs. North Texas and Incarnate Word
Saturday, Oct. 10
Denton, Texas

1. 200 Medley Relay

2. 1000 Freestyle

3. 200 Freestyle

4. 50 Freestyle

5. 200 Individual Medley

6. 1-Meter Diving

7. 200 Butterfly

8. 100 Freestyle

9. 200 Backstroke

10. 500 Freestyle

11. 3-Meter Diving

12. 200 Breaststroke

13. 400 Freestyle Relay