With two weeks of dual competition remaining in the season, the Canisius College men's and women's swimming and diving teams will finish their 2011-12 schedule at the Koessler Athletic Center Pool. This weekend, the Golden Griffins open their home slate on Friday morning versus Boston College at 11 a.m. On Saturday afternoon, the men will face Gannon University in a dual, while the women host Gannon and MAAC opponent Siena. Both squads will begin Saturday's competition at noon.
The last time Canisius was home for a dual was on Nov. 6, 2011 versus conference opponent Marist at the Erie Community College Burt Flickinger Center in Buffalo, N.Y. and even then they were not at home. After spending over two months on the road, the Golden Griffins finally return home to the Koessler Athletic Center for their final meets.
"I'm excited to be home because I know there is only a month until MAACs. It is down to the end, we have a few weeks left for training and it is exciting," said sophomore Maggie DeMarco.
For the first time this season, the Golden Griffins will host a team at the Koessler Athletic Center Pool on Friday, as they host the Boston College Eagles of the Atlantic Coast Conference. The dual will mark the first time the Golden Griffins will face a member of the ACC in program history.
"We want to race the way we want to race and not get ourselves too worried about who we are swimmming against but it is good to see someone different," said head coach Scott Vanderzell.
Both the men's and women's squads for the Eagles finished eighth at the 2010-11 ACC Championships. This season, the men's team is currently undefeated with wins against Bryant University and the University of Maine, while the women fell to Bryant in their lone dual of the season.
In Saturday's dual, the Canisius men will face the Gannon Golden Knights. In their first dual back from the holiday break last season, the Golden Griffins defeated the host Golden Knights, 132.5-108.5. In the dual, the Canisius men captured nine-first place finishes on their way to victory. The Golden Griffin women dropped a 154.5-86.5 decision to Gannon in the dual on Jan. 15, 2011.
After not seeing each other in a conference dual last season, Canisius and Siena will face off on Saturday afternoon. Before last season, the Golden Griffins and Saints faced each other every season since the 1998-99 season. In that span of time, Siena has captured a victory in each dual.
The Golden Griffin men and women return to action after being swept by St. Bonaventure on Dec. 16, 153-89 and 141-101, respectively. Freshman Marissa Oakey captured a pair of first-place finishes for the women, while senior Steve Pochatko and junior Shawn Parkhurst each placed first in an event for the men's squad.
Following the holiday season and start of the New Year, both Canisius squads headed south to Vero Beach, Fla. to complete in-season training. On the trip, the team was able to train and practice outdoors, while preparing for the final month-long stretch of the season, including the MAAC Championships.
"It was beautiful weather and it was hard training. I think we built a lot of strength down there - physically and mentally. As a team, we really came together and grew as a team," said junior Tyler Carver.