INDIANAPOLIS -- The Oakland men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams were both unanimously voted the preseason favorites for the 2014-15 season in voting of the League’s head coaches. The squads enter the season as the defending Horizon League Champions, respectively.
Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team in the poll.
The upcoming campaign marks the second year for the Golden Grizzlies as a member of the Horizon League. Last year, Oakland extended both teams’ streaks of consecutive conference championships at the NCAA Division I level to 15 apiece. The men’s team took home 11 event titles at the 2014 championship while the women collected seven.
Diver of the Meet, Tricia Grant, is back for Oakland on the boards after making an impressive debut at last year’s NCAA Championship in the 1-meter and 3-meter. The men return Freshman of the Year, Tuomas Kiviluoma, who won the 200 individual medley last year and was a member of the winning 800 freestyle relay and 200 freestyle relay teams.
Cleveland State tied for second in the men’s poll with Milwaukee, each team collecting 28 points. The Vikings hosted the championship and took second place while the Panthers placed fourth. Milwaukee returns Diver of the Meet, K.J. Heger, after a record-breaking junior year.
Last year’s women’s runner-up, Milwaukee, notched second in the poll with 41 points, just eight shy of the Golden Grizzlies. The Panthers collected the most event titles at the championship with 12 and welcome back Freshman of the Year, Natalie Johnson, for her sophomore campaign. Green Bay reflected their 2014 third-place finish in the voting as did Cleveland State taking the fourth spot after claiming two event titles last year.
The UIC men’s squad, third-place finisher at the championship, was voted to take fourth by the coaches with 18 points while Wright State tabbed fifth with 16. The Phoenix followed closely with 15 points in the sixth spot and Valparaiso rounded out the poll.
The Flames’ women’s team was in the middle of the pack taking fifth tallying 25 points with Wright State in sixth collecting 21 points. Youngstown State and Valparaiso closed out the poll, taking the seventh and eighth places, respectively.
The 2015 Horizon League Swimming and Diving Championship hosted by Milwaukee will take place February 25-28 at the Walter Schroeder Aquatic Center in Brown Deer, Wis.
2014 Preseason Voting
Rank School (1st) Points
1. Oakland (6) 36
T2. Cleveland State (1) 28
T2. Milwaukee 28
4. UIC 18
5. Wright State 16
6. Green Bay 15
7. Valparaiso 6
Rank School (1st) Points
1. Oakland (7) 49
2. Milwaukee (1) 41
3. Green Bay 32
4. Cleveland State 31
5. UIC 25
6. Wright State 21
7. Youngstown State 18
8. Valparaiso 7