Women's Swimming
Three Illini to Compete in NCAA Zone Diving Championships

Olivia Kassouni has had a strong freshman season as she leads the Illini with the top three-meter dive (283.87).
Olivia Kassouni has had a strong freshman season as she leads the Illini with the top three-meter dive (283.87).

March 12, 2014

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Juniors Emily Fung, Erika Murphy and freshman Olivia Kassouni will represent the Orange and Blue this week at the NCAA Zone C Diving Championships, March 13-15, in Columbus, Ohio.

The one-meter competition kicks off on Thursday, followed by the three-meter dive on Friday and platform diving on Saturday. Each day of competition begins at Noon CT, with the finals, for the 18 divers that qualify, beginning around 3:30 pm CT.

Diving coach Chris Waters has stressed consistency leading up to this week's competition.

"We've been trying to keep it simple and focus on performing a list of six solid dives," Waters said. "They've been working on just that every day in training so now it comes down to execution."

Murphy is the only Illini with Zone C Diving Championship experience, as this marks Fung and Kassouni's first trip to the championships. Last year Murphy totaled a score of 210.50 in the one-meter dive in her first career Zone Diving Championship appearance.

Despite the inexperience, all three girls will be competing in both the one-meter and three-meter events.

As the season progressed, all three divers showed improvement culminating in the last home meet of the season against SIU and Olivet Nazarene, where each diver posted personal season highs in both diving events.

Kassouni scored a season high of 283.87 in the three-meter dive, while Murphy (269.92) and Fung (249.14) followed with their season bests.

In the one-meter, Murphy scored a season best of 276.30, while Fung (269.77) and Kassouni (263.17) performed the next best dives of the season.

"Each girl has gotten better as the season has gone along and that's how it should be," Waters said. "That said we haven't always let our progress show in competition. So our focus has been on overcoming some of the hurdles that arise in competition so we feel better prepared when the event starts."