Women’s Swimming & Diving Team Becomes First Preseason Favorite Since Joining The A-10

Philadelphia, Pa. – Fordham has been selected to claim its first-ever Atlantic 10 women’s swimming & diving title in voting conducted by the league’s head coaches.  This is the first time since Fordham joined the Atlantic 10 that a Rams team has been selected as the preseason favorite.

The Rams finished second at last year’s Championship – their highest finish in program history – with 549.5 points, while Richmond seized its eighth consecutive A-10 crown with 742.0 points.

“It was a pleasant surprise,” said head coach Steve Potsklan. “ We have our work cut out for us this season, as the Atlantic 10 is an extremely competitive league.”

Overall at last year’s Atlantic 10 Championship, the Rams broke 16 school records as well as the Atlantic 10 records in the 800 freestyle relay and the 200 butterfly.  The Fordham women finished the championship with a total of seven swimmers earning either First or Second Team All-Atlantic 10 honors, while head coach Steve Potsklan was named the Atlantic 10’s Women’s Swimming Coach of the Year.

This season, Fordham will be led by senior Caitlin Napoli (Hauppague, who won both the 200-yard freestyle (1:49.55) and 500-yard freestyle (4:52.07) events at the 2009 Championship, and sophomore Courtney Collyer (Staten Island, N.Y./St. Joseph by the Sea), who was tabbed the league’s Most Outstanding Rookie a year ago after claiming gold in the 200-yard butterfly (1:59.96) and 400-yard individual medley (4:22.16).

The Rams also return senior Tressa Dunn (Weston, Mass./Mercersburg), who earned All-Conference accolades in two individual events and four relays, including the Atlantic 10 record in the 800 freestyle relay, senior Nicole Marshall (Cornwall, N.Y./Cornwall) and junior Christina Cosentino (Staten Island, N.Y./Notre Dame Academy), who were both a part of two All-Conference relays, sophomore Kelly Bunster (Bohemia, N.Y./Connetquot), who was All-Conference in the 100 butterfly and four relays, and junior Alexandra Alessi (Concord, Calif./Carondelet), who was All-Conference as a member of the 400 freestyle relay team.

Behind the Rams, Richmond is picked second in the preseason poll, followed by Duquesne, Massachusetts, La Salle, Xavier, St. Bonaventure, Saint Louis, George Washington and Rhode Island.

The 2010 Atlantic 10 Swimming & Diving Championships will be held Feb. 17-20 at the Flickinger Aquatics Center in Buffalo, N.Y.

2010 Women’s Swimming & Diving Predicted Order Of Finish (2009 Championship results in parentheses)
1. Fordham (2nd)
2. Richmond (1st)
3. Duquesne (3rd)
4. Massachusetts (4th)
5. La Salle (5th)
6. Xavier (7th)
7. St. Bonaventure (6th)
8. Saint Louis (8th)
9. George Washington (9th)
10. Rhode Island (10th)