By Joel Delgado ’12 MS ’17
The FIU swimming and diving team made history over the weekend on their way to winning a second consecutive Conference USA championship.
The Panthers scored the second most points in Conference USA Championship history (954) and defeated second-place Rice by 318 points, making it the most decisive victory in the history of the C-USA championship tournament.
Over the four-day championships, held in Atlanta, Ga., the Panthers claimed 15 gold medals and 28 medals in total while breaking seven school records.
Following the tournament’s conclusion Feb. 27, FIU’s dominance continued when the team swept all of the conference’s specialty awards: Head Coach Randy Horner was named C-USA Coach of the Year; Diving Coach Rio Ramirez was honored with the C-USA Diving Coach of the Year; sophomore Naomi Ruele was named the C-USA Swimmer of the Year; and sophomore Rebecca Quesnel took home the C-USA Diver of the Year award.
Up next for the Panthers are the NCAA Zones (March 9 in Atlanta, Ga.) and the NCAA Championships (March 17-19 in Atlanta, Ga.).
For more information on FIU swimming and diving, go to FIUSports.com.
Powered by the offense, the FIU baseball team (4-4) won all three of their weekend games against the Seton Hall Pirates at FIU Baseball Stadium to move their record back to .500.
The Panthers took the first game of the series Friday night by a score of 8-3, thanks to a six-run fifth inning that gave the Panthers a comfortable lead. Starting pitcher Andres Nunez pitched eight strong innings to earn the winning decision.
The following evening, the Panthers won 5-1 over the Pirates. FIU broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning after Kenny Meimerstorf hit a triple off the right field wall and was brought home on a squeeze bunt by Kolby Follis. The team added runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings for some cushion.
FIU capped off the weekend Feb. 28 with a 10-1 rout over Seton Hall, jumping out to a five-run lead by the end of the second inning while starting pitcher Nate Pearson earned his first win of the season.
The Panthers and Pirates finish their four-game series Mar. 1 at FIU Baseball Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
For more information on FIU baseball, go to FIUSports.com.
With a pair of home wins over the weekend, the FIU women’s tennis team (7-1) extended its winning streak to six games, defeating Eastern Michigan Eagles Feb. 26 and previously unbeaten UT Arlington Feb. 28 at the FIU Tennis Courts.
The Panthers swept the Eagles 7-0 on Friday, which marked the fifth time FIU has swept an opponent this season. Two days later, the Panthers returned to the court to defeat UTA 4-1.
FIU has been a difficult team to beat at home, winning 10 of their last 12 matches at the FIU Tennis Courts.
Freshman Maryna Veksler improved to 22-4 in singles action, defeating Eastern Michigan’s Klaea Supejova (6-2, 6-2) and then besting UTA’s Elizabeth Thomas (6-4, 6-2).
The Panthers will face C-USA foe Marshall on the road March 4.
For more information on FIU women’s tennis, go to FIUSports.com.
The FIU softball team (11-5) hosted the 2016 Felsberg Invitational over the weekend and won three of its five games at the FIU Softball Stadium.
After losing 5-4 to Sienna Friday afternoon, the Panthers rebounded with a pair of victories against the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils and winning by a combined score of 18-1. Freshman pitcher Megan Kugelmann threw FIU’s first no-hitter of the season in the Panthers’ 8-0 win over the Blue Devils Saturday.
The Panthers lost to Delaware 7-1 Saturday night, but closed the weekend on a strong note by defeating Sienna 6-1 Sunday afternoon.
For more information on FIU softball, go to FIUSports.com.