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The Canisius College synchronized swimming team opened the season with an 87-78 win over Incarnate Word at the Koessler Athletic Center Pool on Saturday afternoon. The host Golden Griffins secured first-place finishes in the solo, duet, and team routines.

"Winning the team event was our goal and I am really excited that we were able to do that," said head coach Jill Wright. "I'm thrilled that our team stepped up to the plate today and swam hard."

Entering the dual, the Cardinals came off a second-place finish at the U.S. Collegiate National Championship with only five points separating them from eventual national champion Ohio State.

"Incarnate word is always strong and always have one of the best if not THE best team routines," said Wright.

The Golden Griffins nabbed a first-place finish in the team routine with a score of 88.667 followed by Incarnate Word in second (86.000).

The duet of junior Svetlana Ponkratova and senior Victoria Mintz placed first, tallying a score of 85.833. Ponkratova would also secure a first-place finish in the solo competition with a score of 88.333.

In the trio routine, Incarnate Word posted their only top-spot among the routines with a first-place score of 85.000. Following closely behind was the team of Mintz, junior Jessica Mancini, and sophomre Viktoria Mironova in second (84.500) with the team of senior Melissa Andrews, and freshmen Laura Schmidt and Laina Gray in third (81.167).  

"This is a great way to start off the year! We spent a lot of time on our team routine and I'm excited to see it pay off," stated Wright.

In the figure elements, Ponkratova, Mintz, and Schmidt each recorded first-place finishes in their respective categories.

The Blue and Gold return to action when they host Penn State University and Wheaton College at the Canisius Invitational at the Koessler Athletic Center Pool on Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7 p.m.

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