Both the University of Scranton men's and women's swimming & diving teams will begin their 2017-18 season where they ended the '16-17 campaign, as both teams were slotted to finish second in the Landmark Conference Preseason polls, which were released by the conference office on Thursday.
Topping the men's swimming & diving preseason poll for 2017-18 is defending Landmark Conference champ Catholic, who garnered 70 points and seven first-place votes. The Royals came in second with 54 points and a first-place vote, followed by Susquehanna (50 points) and Drew (33 Points).
Rounding out the rest of the preseason poll on the men's side was Marywood in fifth (21 points), Elizabethtown (20 points), Goucher (17 points), and Juniata (7 points).
Meanwhile, on the women's side, that preseason poll is also headed by a defending Landmark Conference team champion in Susquehanna, who garnered 68 total points and six first-place votes. Scranton came in second with 58 total points and a pair of first-place votes, followed by Catholic in third with 48 total points.
Coming in fourth in the poll Drew with 34 total points, followed by Marywood (23 points), Goucher (17 points), Elizabethtown (16 points) and Juniata (8 points).
The University of Scranton men's and women's swimming & diving squads will open their 2017-18 slate this Saturday at home in the Byron Center, as they host Cabrini and FDU-Florham in a meet that will begin at 1 p.m.
Led by second-year head coach Mark Yankovich, both teams return several key contributors from last years team.
On the men's side, the Royals return all eight swimmers who garnered All-Landmark Conference honors a season ago, helping Scranton to their highest finish at the Landmark Conference championships in seven years.
Pacing the group is sophomore diver Michael Diana (Somerset, N.J./Immaculata-Somerset), who was the Landmark Conference's men's diver of the year in 2017 after winning both the one-meter and three-meter dives at the Landmark Championships. Meanwhile, senior Patrick Blaser (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) and junior Alexander Rigione (Fairfield, Conn./Saint Joseph) return, as both notched All-Landmark First Team honors in individual events a season ago.
The women's team also returns a crop of talent from a season ago that led the Royals to their fifth second-place finish at the Landmark Championships all-time. In all, Scranton loses just one student-athlete to graduation on the women's side who garnered All-Landmark Conference honors a season ago.
Leading the group is senior Raquel Wasserman (Pound Ridge, N.Y./The Fox Lane), who in 2017 was an All-Landmark Conference First Team selection in four different events, taking the top spot individual in both the 50 and 100 freestyles at the Landmark Championships.
To view the full 2017-18 University of Scranton men's and women's swimming & diving schedules, click here.