Saturday marks both beginnings and endings for the CSU swim team.
The Rams are set to host the University of Nevada Las Vegas this Saturday for a late Mountain West Conference dual meet that CSU hopes will continue the Ramsâ€™ trend of winning as the postseason comes into view.
The showdown with the Rebels also marks the final home meet for Ramâ€™s seniors who will be honored during the annual Senior Day. CSU has nine seniors this season, including: Lindsay Borman, Carmen Gisella Cianci, Nora Kennedy, Mari Anna Loftness, Valerie Maldonado, Kathleen McCleary, Jennifer Muniz, Molly Myers and Shaelen Quigley.
Rams coach John Mattos said all the seniors have contributed to the program in their tenure at CSU.
â€œThey have brought the program back to a very high level both performance wise in the classroom and in the pool,â€ Mattos said. â€œThey are just quality young ladies. I am going to miss them immensely.â€
The Rams seniors will have earned 33 Varsity letters and thirteen individual All-Conference awards. Seven of the senior Rams are four-year letter winners.
Regardless of their accomplishments though, the seniors see each other as family.
â€œWe have been through so much and have such a bond. I have friends outside of swimming. They arenâ€™t as tight knit as were are,â€ Mari Anna Loftness said.
The seniors share a bond that only comes from swimming and working out together for four years â€“â€“Â an advantage they said only seniors have.
â€œWe know how to motivate and amp each other up for every different situation,â€ Loftness said.
With it being Senior Day, this will be the last time the nine girls compete in Moby Pool, a place they have trained and practiced since they arrived as freshmen in fall 2006.
â€œItâ€™s home away from home,â€ said Nora Kennedy, a senior. â€œWe have had ups and downs here, but this is where itâ€™s happened.â€
As the they host the Rebels, the Rams will also look to improve their conference record to 6-1 while staying in second place of the Mountain West Conference. The Rebels come into Fort Collins with a conference record of 2-4 (2-8) after losing to UC Santa Barbara last weekend.
â€œItâ€™s gonna be emotional, the last time our families will be here watching us, and the last time our entire team will be cheering us on,â€ Loftness said.
As the season nears a close, the Rams look to continue their success with UNLV on Saturday and at rival Wyoming the next week, all in preparation for conference meet in late February.
Kennedy explained this is going to be two big conference meets for the Rams and added she and her fellow seniors want to go out on top.
â€œIt means a lot to finish on a high note,â€ she said. â€œWe want to keep it going.â€
Sports reporter David Debesche can be reached at email@example.com.