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    Sept. 25, 2013

    CHICAGO – The 2013-14 UIC men’s and women’s annual swimming and diving teams will kick off their season this Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Red versus Blue Intrasquad meet at the Flames Natatorium.

    Paul Moniak enters his 13th season as head coach of the Flames and forecasts high potential for both teams this season.

    “Expectations are actually pretty high this year with five male seniors and four female seniors,” said Moniak.  “We are very happy where both teams are at this point and are excited to start competing.”

    The men’s team welcomes six newcomers this season, who look to make a huge impact, while the women’s side welcomes three new members. Last season, the men’s and women’s team took home third and fourth at the Horizon League Championships, respectively.

    The men’s team looks to start this season as they welcome back an excess of talented returnees, including senior Joel Demuth. Demuth returns after taking first last season in both the 100 yard freestyle and as a member of the 400 free relay team at the Horizon League Championships.

    Christian Grobe returns after a third-place finish in the 200 breaststroke, as well as setting a school record time of 2:00.82.

    Brian Sivak looks to break more UIC records, after doing so last season with a time of 1:50.20 in the 200 backstroke at the Horizon League Championships.

    Demuth, Sivak, Vince Errichiello, and Mike Reed all return looking to defend their first-place title after winning gold in the 400 free relay at the Horizon League Championships with a time of 2:59.02.

    Woody Lord looks to be a solid contributor this season as he holds a UIC record on the one-meter board with a score of 340.65.

    “We have an incredible group of seniors and combine that with a great incoming class and other good returnees, we hope to be in the mix for the Horizon League Championship,” said Moniak.

    On the women’s side, expectations are also high as numerous school record holders return to help bolster UIC up the Horizon League standings after back-to-back years with fourth place finishes at the conference meet.

    Melanie Waszak is coming off a stellar junior year after she took first in all of her individual events at the Horizon League Championships last season. She was also a member of three winning relay teams. Waszak set school records in the 500 free, 200 free and 200 butterfly, and broke her own Horizon League and Championships record in the 200 fly with an NCAA B qualifying time of 1:59.26.

    Senior Monica Pinkus returns after her second-place finish in the 200 breast at the Horizon League Championships. Pinkus holds school records for her performances in the 100 (1:01.38) and 200 breast (2:15.40).

    “The leadership starts with our six captains, three on the women’s side (Anne Jacobsen, Alisa Penkala, and Waszak) and three on the men’s side (Sivak, Josh Jacobson, and Lord),” said Moniak. “We are proud and happy to have these six individuals, and they’ll provide great leadership for the team. In addition, some top returning performers, Monica Pinkus and Veronica Gibson on the women’s side, and Mike Reed, Joel Demuth, and Vince Errichiello on the men’s side.”

    The Flames will open their regular season at home on October 5, hosting Wright State at the Flames Natatorium.  UIC’s winter training trip will be held in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Jan. 1-9 before finishing out the regular season.  The 2014 Horizon League Championship meet will be hosted by Cleveland State beginning on Feb. 26 and continuing through Mar. 1.