September 7, 2011 - by
Set For a Challenge

Sept. 7, 2011

Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida State Head Coach Neil Harper announced the schedule for the 2011-12 swimming and diving season this week.

The Seminoles will face a number of major opponents from last season, including Alabama, LSU, and of course Florida.

Teams that have been added to this season’s dual meet schedule include South Carolina, Duke, Virginia Tech and North Carolina State.

“We are a team that is not afraid to challenge ourselves,” said head coach Neil Harper.

This tough schedule will ultimately prepare the Noles for the end of the season ACC Championships in Christiansburg, Va. The ladies and the divers will compete on Feb.15-18 and the men will follow on Feb.22-25.

“We’re the type of team that doesn’t back down from a challenge, therefore we’ve scheduled both ACC and SEC teams so we can get those challenges early and often, ” Harper added.

The women will begin their season on Oct. 1 in Coral Gabels, Fla. where they will meet with Miami and Florida Gulf Coast. This event will mark the first time that the ladies have opened the season with an ACC opponent since the 2007-08 season, when the faced both Clemson and Georgia Tech.

Both teams will face a tough home-opening weekend beginning with the Noles looking to avenge last season’s near loss against LSU on Oct. 14. The men lost by ten points with the final score of 155-145 and the ladies fell to the Tigers 176-124 in 2010.

Less than 24 hours later, the Seminoles will face Alabama and South Carolina.

Last season’s dual with Alabama ended in a split, with the women edging out the Crimson Tide 157-143, but the men came up short, 157.5-141.5. The Gamecocks haven’t seen dual meet competition with the Seminoles since the 2007-08 season which resulted with a Seminole victory.

“There aren’t many meets that are automatic wins for us. We have the opportunity to face some tough, ranked opponents and that alone will make us a better team.” Harper said.

The Noles will take their first trip to Christiansburg, Va. when the team faces ACC foes Duke and Virginia Tech on Oct. 29. Also joining the competition will be UNC-Wilmington.

Despite being in the same conference, The Seminoles have only swum Duke a pair of times on the men’s side and the women have only met once in dual meet competition.

“This will be a great battle for us. Not only will it give us great competition with ACC rivals, but it gives us a shot to swim a meet in the pool where the ACC Championships are being held.” Harper said.

“Also, I’m sure our divers will be excited to challenge the Duke divers.” Harper concluded.

At last season’s ACC Championships, the Blue Devils were crowned champions in every diving event except the men’s platform.

On Nov. 2, the Seminoles will travel to Gainesville to take on rival, Florida. Last season’s brawl ended in dramatic fashion, with the Noles besting both of the talented Gator squads. The men are 24-49 and the women are 2-34 against the Gators all-time.

The only dual competitions that are set in 2012 will fall on the weekend of Jan. 13, where the Seminoles will host Florida Atlantic University and then will travel to Atlanta to square off with more ACC opponents with North Carolina State and Georgia Tech.

“Unfortunately, we can’t go against certain teams in our conference because of the distance, but the teams that we do face, we’ve built a fun rivalry with them.” Harper said.

The Seminoles will also participate in the All-Florida Invite in Gainesville on Oct. 7-9, the Georgia Tech Invite on Nov. 18-20, and the Auburn Invite on Mar. 3-4. The diving squad will compete at US Diving Nationals in Knoxville, Tn. on Dec. 15-23 as well.

If any swimmer or diver should qualify, the NCAA Championships for the women are being held at Auburn, Ala. Mar.18-20 and the men’s are hosted in Federal Way, Wa. Mar. 22-24.

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