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Liberty Swimming & Diving to Ring in New Year at FGCU Quad Meet

January 1, 2015  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Liberty Swimming & Diving to Ring in New Year at FGCU Quad Meet

For the fourth time in the last five seasons, the Liberty swimming & diving team will begin the New Year by competing at a quad meet in Fort Myers, Fla. The defending CCSA champion Lady Flames will take on conference foes Florida Gulf Coast and Campbell, along with Central Connecticut State, on Saturday at 11 a.m. at FGCU Aquatics Complex.

Liberty (6-2, 1-0 CCSA) and Florida Gulf Coast (5-1, 2-0) are the top two teams in the conference, combining to win the last six CCSA Championships. FGCU captured five straight league titles (2009-13), before the Lady Flames edged the Eagles, 732.5-718.5, in 2014 to claim their first CCSA championship in program history.

The Lady Flames are 4-2 all-time against Campbell, having won each of the last four meetings in a row. Liberty opened the 2014-15 slate with a 140-121 win over the Camels on Sept. 26 in Buies Creek, N.C. FGCU holds a 3-0 dual-meet record all-time over Liberty, last downing the Lady Flames on Jan. 3, 2013. Liberty will meet CCSU for the first time on Saturday.

The Lady Flames have gone 6-2 so far in dual-meet action this season, including 1-0 in CCSA competition. Liberty posted a win over a Pac-12 team for the first time in program history, downing Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore., on Oct. 10. The Lady Flames were ranked No. 47 in the first Power Rankings this season, marking the third year in a row that the Lady Flames have appeared in the season's first national rankings.

In its last dual meet to date, on Oct. 31, Liberty posted a resounding 189-105 win over four-time defending Atlantic 10 champion Richmond at the LaHaye Aquatic Center. The Lady Flames won 13 out of 14 individual events, and lowered four pool records on the evening.

Two Lady Flames have received recognition from the conference so far this season, as junior Kendall Hough was named CCSA Swimmer of the Week on Oct. 14 and freshman Prudence Rooker earned the weekly honor on Nov. 4.

Hough has posted the Lady Flames' top times in the 50 free (23.40), 100 free (51.02) and 100 back (56.34) so far this season. She has earned five individual event victories on the campaign. She currently ranks third in the CCSA in the 100 free, fourth in the 100 back and sixth for the 50 free.

Rooker has made an immediate impact for the Lady Flames. She earned victory in the 200 individual medley in a pool-record 2:07.27 against Richmond, while also winning the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.58. She is currently eighth in the conference in both the 100 breaststroke (1:05.51) and 200 breaststroke (2:22.04).

Sophomore Heather McCorkel won both the 200 and 500 free versus the Spiders on Oct. 31, including a pool-record 1:52.32 in the 200 freestyle. She holds the second-fastest CCSA 200 free time this season, at 1:50.22, while sitting in fifth for 500 free, at 5:01.90. McCorkel is Liberty's 200 and 500 free record holder.

Junior Hannah Wakeley was victorious in the 1000 free and 200 fly on Oct. 31 against Richmond. She won the 1000 free in a pool-best time of 10:26.18. Wakeley ranks fourth in CCSA standings in both the 1000 free and 1,650 free (17:03.76).

Senior Emily Duff won the 200 back versus Richmond. She boasts the third-best 200 back (2:01.23) time in the CCSA this year, while ranking sixth in the 400 individual medley (4:29.85) and seventh in the 100 back (56.74).

Sophomore Morgan Noonan is ranked seventh in the CCSA with a 200 breaststroke time of 2:21.14. Freshman Kendall Hart has led the way for Liberty in the 100 fly this season, rated fifth in the CCSA with a season-best 56.92.

Junior Kristin VanDeventer, the program's record holder at 1000 and 1,650, has swum the seventh-fastest 1,650 free in the CCSA this season, 17:14.08. Senior Cori Gary ranks eighth in CCSA standings at 23.70 for 50 free.

This year's team includes 12 newcomers, with 11 freshmen and one transfer comprising nearly half of Liberty's 25-person roster. The Lady Flames' group of returning student-athletes is highlighted by six CCSA individual medalists, and two additional swimmers who competed on medal-winning relays at the conference championship meet last year.

Current Lady Flames Holding Program Records
200 free – Heather McCorkel (1:49.07 – 2/21/14)
500 free – Heather McCorkel (4:48.87 – 2/20/14)
1000 free – Kristin VanDeventer (10:11.74 – 2/22/14)
1650 free – Kristin VanDeventer (16:55.28 – 2/22/14)
50 back – Kendall Hough (25.26 – L – 2/19/14)
200 back – Emily Duff (1:57.52 – 2/22/14)
400 IM – Emily Duff (4:20.89 – 2/21/14)

Florida Gulf Coast
Florida Gulf Coast (5-1) finished as CCSA runner-up to Liberty in 2014, before tying for 32nd at the 2014 NCAA Division I Women's Swimming & Diving Championships. The Eagles earned a first team All-American, as Kira Toussaint placed seventh in the 100 backstroke. This year, FGCU has recorded victories over major conference opponents Miami (Fla.) and Georgia Tech.

Toussaint, the 2014 CCSA Swimmer of the Year as a freshman, holds CCSA records in the 100 back (51.68) and 200 back (1:53.72). She has clocked B cut times as the conference leader in the 100 back (53.31) and 200 back (1:57.73) this season. Senior Emma Svensson, the 2013 CCSA Swimmer of the Meet, set the conference record in the 50 free (22.09) at the 2014 NCAA Championships, where she placed 12th overall. Svensson leads the CCSA with B cuts in the 50 (22.18), 100 (CCSA-record 48.59) free and 100 fly (54.12) on the campaign. Freshman Katie Armitage holds B cuts for the 100 breaststroke (1:02.33) and 200 breaststroke (2:14.96).

Campbell, the seventh-place team at the 2014 CCSA Swimming & Diving Championships, enters 2015 with a 4-5 record. The Camels hold wins over UALR, UNC Asheville, North Carolina A&T and North Florida.

Most recently, Campbell placed 13th at the Georgia Tech Invitational. While in Atlanta, Ga., a pair of Camels set program records. Junior Lily Tang swam 2:02.98 for a new 200 back program standard, while freshman Michelle Case broke the school record in the 100 free, at 51.96. Tang is ranked fifth in the CCSA for 100 back (56.62) and 200 IM (2:05.64) and seventh for the 200 back. Geena Squartino's 10:27.34 is fifth on the conference's 1000 free list, while her 5:03.14 in the 500 free is sixth. Case (2:04.99) and Sarah Jabusch (2:05.88) sit fourth and fifth, respectively, on the CCSA performance list for 200 fly.

Central Connecticut State
Central Connecticut enters 2015 with a 3-2 dual meet record. The Blue Devils have defeated LIU Post, Bryant and Merrimack. CCSU finished ninth at the Frank Elm Rutgers Invitational in November. The team was picked to finish second in the NEC after placing third at the 2014 NEC Championships.

Three-time NEC Swimmer of the Week Maddy Garber leads the way for CCSU. Garber set program records while clocking NCAA B cuts in both the 100 breaststroke (1:02.43) and 200 breaststroke (2:15.70) at the Rutgers Invitational. Garber paces the NEC in both breaststroke events this season, while appearing second in the 200 individual medley (2:08.42). Sophomore Christine Rasile has swum the fastest 100 free in the NEC in 2014-15, at 52.05. Helene Niehaus ranks second in both the 100 back (56.77) and 200 back (2:02.93).

Following its time in Fort Myers, Fla., Liberty will next compete at James Madison on Jan. 17. The Lady Flames and Dukes will square off at noon at Savage Natatorium.