Panthers Women's Swimming To Begin 2017-18 Season With Panther Relays Saturday

Photo by Erika Helo
Photo by Erika Helo

BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford women's swimming team will begin its 2017-18 season on Saturday at the Paul C. Duke III Aquatic Center, hosting the Panther Relays.

This event kicks off the five-month season that features 10 different meets and the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Championships on Feb. 14-17.

The Panther Relays is a team-oriented meet comprised of only relays and will have mixed-gender events, the only meet of its kind all season.

Among the teams competing will be Penn State-Altoona, Franciscan, Jamestown Community College and Genesee Community College.

"Our women's team is hard working and they're committed to each other," Head Coach Douglas Alban said. "That's been our theme at the beginning of the season, and they all surprise me more and more every day."

Leading the way for the Panthers in junior Jillian Wright.

Wright finished fifth in the 100-breaststroke with a time of 1:15.94 and fourth in the 200-breaststroke at 2:43.97 at the 2016 AMCC Championships.

"Jillian is coming off a massive year last year," Alban said. "She saw some huge time drops, and hopefully she can take down some school records this year."

The team has five newcomers on its roster of six, including three freshmen: Danica Andrews, Britney Ciorra and Lilyth Moreno.

Junior Beyleigh Duda joined the team in the spring last season and Kayla Broad joins the team as a sophomore this season. Both will add some quality depth to the team.

"Just like the rest of the girls, these two are in there every day doing exactly what I ask of them and really working to help this team out," Alban said. 

Despite a small roster size, Alban believes the team's attitude and work ethic will be enough to carry them through competitions successfully.

"These girls are just so committed to hard work," Alban concluded. "They're buying into the program, which is very exciting. It's what last year's team did and they saw some huge time drops. They're excited to be here, and I think they all see the potential in themselves and the team as a whole moving forward."