SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's and women's swim teams look to improve upon last year's success in the Capital Athletic Conference, welcoming new talent to the 2011-12 squad. The Sea Gulls will also be looking to veterans as 11 members that made the All-CAC team will be back in the pool this winter.
Head Coach Jill Stephenson, who enters her 17th year at SU, has set three main goals for the team which include: keeping everyone healthy, improving in the CAC standings, and staying academically strong. With these goals the Gulls look forward to the CAC championship meet in February.
With the graduation of six seniors, Salisbury adds depth to the squad with five incoming freshmen and multiple transfers. In terms of new faces, Salisbury will rely on freshmen Colin Forbes, Eric Gillies, Daniel Keller, Philip Kuldell and Robert Leszczynski. The Sea Gulls will also benefit from transfers David Balog, Darryl Baxter and Chris Saul.
With seven returning upperclassmen and five seniors, expectations are high entering the season. The senior class, consisting of Tim DiFatta, Steve Eyler, Jason Preston, Jon Wallender and Joe Wisda will be looked to in order to make a difference in the 2011-12 season.
The women's side will look to the additional talent brought in this year to add strength to a squad that did not graduate any seniors in 2010-11.
"We have a fantastic crop of freshmen that are really going to help us out this year, so even though we didn't lose any women, we have gained a stronger group of women that will make a difference," Stephenson said.
The maroon and gold will be returning 15 swimmers from the women's side and are looking to freshmen Nikki Brademarte, Emily Campbell, Caitlin Green, Taylor Merget and Kristina Watts to make a splash in the pool as well. Junior Sydney Eliff joins the team, showing great promise in the pool and will contribute in the freestyle events.
The senior class is made up of Kelly Closs, Amanda Garcia, Karen Hessler, Kara Morrill, Jenna Petrella, Katie Stamm and Robin Stone. The group of seven seniors is an experienced group and will be looked to for leadership.
Salisbury will open up the season with a CAC meet against Frostburg State University on Sunday, Oct. 16, at 2 p.m. This will be one of three home meets for the season, as well as one of six CAC meets.