Aug. 7, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The men's and women's Florida State swimming and diving teams will open their season looking to capture their second ACC Championship in school history as the 2012-13 schedule was announced by head coach Neil Harper on Monday.
"This year's schedule is a very challenging one," head coach Neil Harper said. "We have five ACC teams and three SEC teams on our plate and I'm exciting about that. We will face most of those teams on the road with four of those challenges coming right when we're training hard for the end of the season. We try to have our schedule filled with obstacles in order to make our team better and prepared for competition at the end of the year."
New to the schedule from 2011-12 will be Florida Southern, Emory, Oklahoma Baptist and Arkansas. The ACC schedule remains the same as last season as the Seminoles will face Miami, Virginia Tech, Duke, North Carolina State and Georgia Tech.
"All of these ACC meets are on the road," Harper said. "This is really going to test our team to have to compete on the road. We're not going to have the friendly confines of the Morcom Aquatics Center, so we'll have to deal with adversity on the road. It will be a great experience for us to learn how to compete in adverse environments as well as prepare us for ACC and NCAA's."
Florida State will get the season started with a pair of exhibition contests beginning with the Pentathlon on Sept. 14, followed by the Garnet vs. Gold match on Sept. 21. Both meets are slated for 3 p.m.
The Seminoles will begin their season on the road at the All-Florida Invitational, hosted by the University of Florida on Sept 28-30. This meet will give both teams a look at some of the Florida teams they will face later in the year. In 2011, Florida State took second behind the Florida Gators.
For the second straight year, the women will start the season against Florida Gulf Coast in Fort Myers Fla. The Seminoles are 5-0 against the Eagles in all-time dual meet competition.
In 2011-12, the women raced to a perfect ACC dual meet record of 5-0 and they will look to repeat that feat, beginning on Oct. 19 when they face Miami in Coral Gables, Fla., at 4 p.m.
The next day on Oct. 20 both the men and women will be in action in Boca Raton, Fla. when they compete against Florida Atlantic at 10 a.m.
The ACC matches will continue the following weekend as the Seminoles will head to Durham, N.C. to face both Duke and Virginia Tech on Oct. 27 at 11 a.m. Last season, the women swept both the Blue Devils and the Hokies, however the men fell to Virginia Tech 182.5-117.5, but eased to victory against Duke.
Competing in their first home meet on Nov. 3 at 11 a.m. the Seminoles will face Florida Southern and Emory. The men are 11-1 all-time against Emory and the women have never faced the Eagles in dual competition. Both teams competed against the Eagles at the Georgia Tech Invite, which is held in November. This will also be the first time that FSU has faced Florida Southern on either side.
"Florida Southern is an emerging team in the state and they've improved each year," Harper said. "Emory is the Division III Champions, so we will have our hands full. It will be a good test for us."
Nov. 16 will be the last dual meet of the 2012 calendar year and it may be the most anticipated matchup of the season as the Seminoles will host Florida at 4 p.m. in the Sunshine State Showdown. The last time the Gators game to Tallahassee in 2010, FSU pulled off major upsets on both sides.
"It's great for us to host Florida this year," Harper said. "It's an in-state rivalry on top of the fact that our athletes get to swim against some of their friends from high school and club teams. They're one of the top five programs in the country and they're great competition."
Continuing the tradition of the mid-season invitational, Florida State will head to Atlanta, Ga. to compete in the Georgia Tech Invite. Although the teams attending have yet to be determined, in 2011, five ACC squads participated as well as Florida, leaving the Seminoles with an early look at the end of the season.
As the calendar turns to 2013, Oklahoma Baptist University will visit Tallahassee on Jan. 12 for a dual meet at 10 a.m. This will be the first time that either team has faced OBU.
The following weekend will be the toughest test for FSU as they're scheduled to compete in back-to-back meets. First on Jan. 18, both teams will head to Columbia S.C, to face South Carolina and Arkansas on the women's side. Immediately after the meet, the Seminoles will travel north to Raleigh, N.C., for another tri-meet against North Carolina State and Georgia Tech. Last season, the women swept both teams in Atlanta, Ga., while the men suffered a loss to NC State before escaping with a win against Georgia Tech.
For the first time, the ACC Championships will be held in Greensboro, N.C., at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. The women and divers will take to action on Feb. 20-23 and the men will follow on Feb 28- Mar. 2. In 2012, the women finished in a solid third at the conference meet, while the men finished fourth in one of the closest four team races the ACC has ever seen as just 84 points separated the Seminoles from the top spot.
"The facility itself certainly has the potential to host some great ACC Championships," Harper said. "It's in the heart of ACC country and we're excited to have a new venue. Due to location, a lot of our family and friends will be able to make it to the meet. ACC's are going to be held there for a couple of years and we're excited to get that tradition started. It's great for the conference as well as for Florida State."
The NCAA Championships will be held at the IUPUI Natatorium in Indianapolis, In. for both the men and the women. The ladies event will kick off on Mar. 21-23 and the men will conclude on Mar. 28-30.
Florida State returns eleven athletes that earned All-ACC honors, five ACC Champions, 10 NCAA qualifiers and five All-America athletes. With the established veterans, 20 2012 Olympic Trial qualifiers and a highly talented group of newcomers, Harper and his Seminoles will take on the 2012-13 season looking to eye that top spot in the ACC.
Sept. 14 FSU Pentathlon 3 p.m.
Sept. 21 Garnet vs. Gold 3 p.m.
Sept. 28-30 All Florida Invite All Day
Oct.6 @FGCU (W) 11 a.m.
Oct. 12 FSU Alumni Meet 3 p.m.
Oct. 19 @Miami (W) 4 p.m.
Oct 20 @Florida Atlantic 10 a.m.
Oct. 27 @Duke/Virginia Tech 11 a.m.
Nov. 3 Florida Southern/Emory 11 a.m.
Nov. 16 Florida 4 p.m.
Nov. 30-Dec. 2 Georgia Tech Invite All Day
Jan. 12 Oklahoma Baptist 10 a.m.
Jan 18 @South Carolina/Arkansas 4 p.m.
Jan. 19 @NCST/Georgia Tech 1 p .m.
Feb. 20-23 Women's ACC's/Diving All Day
Feb. 27-2 Men's ACC's All Day
Mar. 15-17 NCAA Diving Zone Qualifier All Day
Mar. 15-17 FSU Spring Invite All Day
Mar. 21-23 Women's NCAA All Day
Mar. 28-30 Men's NCAA All Day