GVSU preps for postseason in ‘Last Chance Dive’

GVL / Mohamed Azuz
Grand Valley swimmers diving in during the preliminary rounds of their meet last Satruday.

GVL / Mohamed Azuz Grand Valley swimmers diving in during the preliminary rounds of their meet last Satruday.

Lucas Rains

The Grand Valley State University swimming and diving program will be as dangerous as any in the conference — and perhaps in the nation — if its swimming and diving teams can click at the same time in the postseason.

GVSU will host its first ever “Last Chance Dive Meet” at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday at the GVSU Pool as part of an effort to ensure both of its diving teams are more than ready to do their part when the teams travel to both championships in the coming months.

The purpose of the event is to give GVSU divers a chance to experience a format similar to the one used in the conference and national meets.

Assistant coach Steve Burciaga, the diving coach, thought of the idea for the meet and said he believes it will significantly benefit the Lakers. Burciaga said becoming familiar with the format will be a crucial aspect of the program’s postseason success.

“This will give our divers a chance to gain experience in the 11-dive format,” he said. “This will prepare them for conference and nationals.

“Two weeks outside of conference, it’s a great time to do this. When nationals come around, we will have this in the back of our minds.”

The Laker men are currently ranked No. 2 in the latest NCAA Division II polls while the Laker women currently hold the No. 9 spot in the rankings.

Senior diver Katie Vulpetti said she is looking forward to the event.

“We are pretty excited. It’s something new for us and it’s a little different,” Vulpetti said. “I really don’t know what to expect. It’s going to be a good experience, especially at our home pool.”

She also said how important it will be for some of the younger Laker divers.

“It will definitely be a confidence booster for the freshmen,” she said. “Our main goal is to get another 11-dive meet under our belts.”

Sophomore standout Taylor Wiercinski said the meet will be a chance for GVSU to get national cuts out of the way in one final opportunity to compete before the big meets.

“We’re all hoping to do well,” Wiercinski said. “The main thing is getting consistent with our dives and eventually placing well at conference and nationals.”

Alma College and Hope College will also compete in the event, and Burciaga said he hopes more teams will participate in the future.

“It’s something that I want to grow,” he said. “We’re looking to get five or six teams next year.”

After the meet, GVSU will gear up for the GLIAC Championships, which start on Feb. 12 in Geneva, Ohio. The NCAA Division II Championships will follow one month later on March 12.