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FGCU Swim and Dive Jumps into 2023-24 and Inaugural ASUN Season

Jessica Piland/FGCU Athletics

Heading into the 2023-24 season, the FGCU swimming and diving team has a lot of things to look forward to with the new season. Roster turnover with incoming freshmen and key transfers will have an impact on how the team does this season. In addition, a new conference awaits the Eagles. Head coach Dave Rollins has high expectations for this group considering these details.

“Expectations are high,” Rollins said. “We got a great group of women that are both newcomers and returners, and I think the chemistry is great. They’re doing a phenomenal job in the water and on the boards already. They’ve been practicing really, really well. I think there’s going to be some pretty incredible performances this year.”

One of the new additions to the team is sophomore Libby Russum. Russum is a transfer from the University of Tennessee and she feels like she’s fitting right in at FGCU.

“I chose FGCU because of the size of the school and also, the team environment was unlike anywhere else I had experienced before,” Russum said. “On my visit, I just remember automatically feeling so welcomed and like I was already kind of friends with all the girls. So that was the biggest factor that helped me decide, I would say.”

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After leaving the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) for women’s swimming & diving, FGCU is joining the ASUN Conference for the sport. In its inaugural season sponsoring women’s swimming and diving, the ASUN will consist of Bellarmine, Gardner-Webb, Liberty, North Florida, Queens and UNC Asheville as well as FGCU. Rollins is looking forward to the change in conferences for the team, especially the fact that they will be in the same conference as the rest of FGCU’s athletic programs.

“We’re finally able to contribute in ways we haven’t contributed before,” Rollins said. “So on a conference standing, there’s the all sports trophy for both the overall department and for the women’s sports so we can finally contribute to FGCU’s rankings and that aspect. It’s great for the student athletes to be able to recognize that in other sports as well. They’ve always seen it on the other teams and then the teams have to ask the question, ‘what is that? What conference is that? What are you guys a part of?’ So now we’re all under the same banner. And I think that’s fantastic. It’ll be interesting for the first year for sure.”

The schedule for this season opened up with meets at home on back-to-back days, October 13 and 14, against fellow ASUN member, Bellarmine, and Florida Atlantic on opening day as well.

Two other home meets the Eagles will host are on January 8 against Miami and Colorado State, and on February 2 and 3 against North Florida. The meet against the Ospreys will be another conference meet and Senior Day will be on the latter day.

Regular season meets for FGCU on the road include the Magnus Cup from November 16-18 sponsored and hosted by Cleveland State, the CSCAA Open Water Nationals on December 17 sponsored and hosted by FIU and three away meets in January at North Florida, Georgia Southern and FIU.

The 2024 ASUN Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship will take place February 21-24 in Knoxville, Tennessee. The Eagles will look for a big performance there as after that, the Bulldog Last Chance Meet, NCAA Zone Diving, the CSCAA National Invitational and NCAA Championship will wrap up the season by the end of March. 

Sophomore Cameron Kuriger is a two-time medalist from the CCSA Championships, winning gold in the 200 butterfly and silver in the 100 butterfly last season, her freshman year. She wants to do the same in the ASUN this year and hopes that her teammates are able to join her while the Eagles accomplish these achievements as a team.

“I feel like my biggest goal is to drop more time,” Kuriger said. “Obviously, we’re finally a part of the ASUN Conference which is a big deal for us, and I’m very excited. So, I think that it’s kind of bringing the team along and achieving more than just a few of us hitting the podiums here. I want it to be all of us.”

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About the Contributor
James Curtis
James Curtis, Eagle News Sports Editor
James Curtis is a senior majoring in journalism and minoring in global studies. He is from Tampa, FL, and has known he wanted to be a journalist since taking a journalism class in seventh grade. He has been involved in sports for his whole life, including swimming competitively all the way through high school. His goal now is to be a sports journalist. When not covering sports games or writing stories, he's usually spending his free time with his friends or watching YouTube.

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