FORT MYERS, Fla. – The FGCU swim and dive team battled Vanderbilt in a close encounter on Saturday afternoon, but after all the results were final, the Commodores came out on top, 151-143, despite the Eagles posting multiple CCSA top times.
“The team did very well, a lot of really good performances,” said head coach Dave Rollins. “They were aggressive in their races and they brought the energy from the very first race to the end. They raced hard and were supportive, which was really good to see.”
The day started quickly as a freshman in the 200 meter medley relay Macy Mullis (Colbert, Georgia/Madison County), senior Petra Halmaic (Dombovar, Hungary/Lanczos Kornel Secondari Grammar School), senior Wiktoria Czarnecka (Lublin, Poland / Liceum NR 10 W Lublin), and senior Brittney Pike (Boerne, Texas/Boerne Samuel V. Champion/Arkansas) combined to set the fastest time in the CCSA this season with a time of 1:43.89.
halmaic set a new CCSA time-to-beat in two individual events, swimming 1:03.42 in the 100 breast and 2:17.62 in the 200 breast, winning both races. She took a third win on the day in the 400 IM with a time of 4:29.69.
Czarnecka also set two new CCSA top times in two events, flying 23.43 in the 50 free and 55.98 in the 100, extending its own CCSA advantage to over 1.5 seconds in the next best time.
sophomore Alicja Ulicka (Rybno, Poland / Liceum Ogolnoksztalcace IM Wislawa Syzmborska) and Pike (Boerne, Texas/Boerne Samuel V. Champion/Arkansas) also took individual wins on the day. Pike won the 100 free (52.14) while Ulicka took first in the 200 back (2:05.48).
In the diving events, junior Reese Wakefield (Guelph, Ontario, Canada/Bishop MacDonelle CHS) won the 1m with 268.95 points while her sister Megan Wakefield (Guelph, Ontario, Canada/Centennial CVI) won the 3m with 259.75 points.
The day ended with the 200 free relay where the Eagles and Commodores were only one point apart. While Vandy took the win in the event, the Eagles, consisting of: Czarnecka, Pike, sophomore Zuzanna Rabiniak (Radom, Poland / X Liceum Ogolnoksztalcace Mitsrzostwo Sportowy W Lublinie), and sophomore Emma Hixenbaugh (Louisville, Ky./Ballard HS), set another top score in the CCSA with a time of 1:34.90.
FGCU will be back in the pool next week when they travel to Miami to defeat the Hurricanes. The meeting starts at 4 p.m
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HEAD COACH DAVE ROLLINS
head coach Dave Rollins is only the second coach in the program’s history. He was hired on September 1, 2016 and holds a 34-23-1 (.595) dual meet record, including a 13-2 (.857) point against CCSA opponents, in his sixth season. Rollins guided FGCU to consecutive CCSA titles (2017, 2018), as well as the program’s fourth straight title in 2018, marking its ninth championship in 10 years before winning the 10th championship in program history in 2021. In addition, he was named CCSA Coach of the Year in two of his seasons at the helm. Previously, Rollins was the associate head swimming coach for men at Ohio State University. Rollins brings more than a decade of coaching experience to The Nest, including helping to develop Olympians, NCAA Champions and All-Americans, along with multiple conference champions. Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, he was a standout collegiate swimmer himself and was inducted into the University of Arizona Hall of Fame in 2017 as a nine-time NCAA All-American, National Champion, School Record Holder, and Team Captain.
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Together, FGCU teams have won an incredible 85 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of DI postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had 42 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have achieved top 25 nationalities in their respective sports – including Women’s Basketball (No. 21, 2020-21), Beach Volleyball (No. 20, 2021), and both Men’s Soccer (2018, 2019) and Women’s Soccer (2018) and three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Greens and Blues took a division best sixth place in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 nationally, for several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018/19, the Eagles had an ASUN and the top seven teams from the state of Florida earned the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their academic progress in their sports. FGCU also collectively achieved a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester, outperforming the general university undergraduate population for 24 consecutive semesters. Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 each reached a new milestone as all 15 programs in each achieved a team GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Eagles also put in a record 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017—and were recognized as one of two runner-up winners for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.
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