Swimming & Diving Opens Regular Season At Navy On Saturday

Oct. 14, 2005

BALTIMORE, Md. - Looking to start the regular season on a positive note, the Greyhound swimming and diving teams will begin the 2005-2006 campaign on Saturday afternoon in a double dual meet at the United States Naval Academy against the Midshipmen and George Washington University. The meet at Lejuene Hall on the Naval Academy campus will begin at 12:00 p.m.

The Greyhounds prepared for the regular season by holding the Green and Grey Meet on October 1 at the Mangione Aquatic Center. "We had an outstanding Green vs. Grey meet earlier in the month," Loyola Coach Brian Loeffler said. "I am excited to see how we fare against other real competition."

Coming off a third-place finish in the MAAC last season, Loeffler returns 22 letterwinners on the women's squad while adding 12 freshmen to the team's roster. "We have 12 freshman women joining the team this year," Loeffler says. "I cannot remember us adding as large a group in recent years. This will provide great depth for our dual meets and conference championship."

Leading the way on the women's squad will be junior Nori Skoda , who returns for her third season after a stellar sophomore campaign. She set a pair of individual school records last year. She set the record in the 200 individual medley at the MAAC Championships, placing third in the conference meet, while also adding her name to the record book in the 400 individual medley with a time of 4:36.49.

In addition, senior Chelsea Brace will look to have an outstanding start to her final campaign at Evergreen. The school record holder in four different events, Brace set three of those marks last season, including the 100 and 200-yard backstroke events. She finished in fifth place in the 200 back at the MAAC Championships last season. "I was happy to see Chelsea have her lifetime best in the two backstroke events last year," Coach Loeffler said of the senior. "She is working extremely hard in practice and I expect she will be a force in the conference."

On the men's side, the Greyhounds will look to junior Ryan Reeser to provide the spark this season. In his first two years, Reeser has set several individual and relay records in helping the Greyhounds to success. Last year, the Glen Mills, Pa. native set the 50 free record and was part of three record-setting relay teams. His experience will be essential for the Greyhounds' success this year.

"Last year, our opponent focused their best swimmers at Marko [Turcinov]," Loeffler said. "Ryan will no longer be able to go unrecognized by the competition. He will be counted on this year as our go-to swimmer and I expect he will have another great year, breaking many of the records he already holds."

A young squad, the men's team will have seven talented sophomores and a number of freshmen who will look to add to the leadership from the upperclassmen, including distance free swimmer Ian Perazzelli , who ranks as one of the top distance swimmers in school history despite competing for just one season. He holds the school record in the 1000 free and ranks second all-time in the 1650 free, providing Coach Loeffler with an excellent to earn points in the distance events throughout the season.

"Ian really blossomed last year at our conference meet," Loeffler says. "The challenge for Ian will be to sustain this level through our dual meet season and have another time drop at the championship meet."

Navy and George Washington are also opening their seasons with the meet on Saturday. The Midshipmen men's team finished last year with a 10-6 regular season record and its second straight Patriot League title. Meanwhile, the Colonials finished fourth in the Atlantic 10 Championships last year.

This will be just the second meeting all-time between the Midshipmen and the Greyhounds. Navy defeated Loyola by a 68-9 margin in the first-ever meeting during the 1950-51 season.

On the women's side, the Naval Academy returns 10 letterwinners from last year's squad that finished with a 10-3 regular season record and a second place finish at the Patriot League Championships. The Midshipmen add 22 freshmen for the 2005-2006 campaign for second-year coach John Morrison. The Colonials finished third at the Atlantic 10 Championships last season.

Loyola will be looking for its second women's victory over Navy in the all-time series. Navy has won 10 of the 11 all-time meetings in the series, but the two teams have not faced each other since the 1998-1999 season when the Midshipmen handed Loyola a 178-114 defeat. The Greyhounds' lone win in the series came on January 28, 1998 in a 107-79 victory over the Mids.

"Navy and George Washington represent two of the fastest teams we will face all year," Loeffler said. "This will be the only time we swim in a meters pool all season. I am hopeful that we will swim fast enough to break many of our longstanding meters records."

The Greyhounds open the home portion of their regular season schedule on October 28 against Providence College at the Mangione Aquatic Center beginning at 6:00 p.m. Loyola will also host its annual Alumni Meet during the weekend at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 29.