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Quotes From Our Senior Class! What being a Tiger has meant to them!

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013

“The Wittenberg Swim and Dive team has become my family over the past four years. Coming to Wittenberg as a freshman was extremely intimidating; having an instant group of people to rely on was a life saver. I don’t know what I would have done without our Tiger family!”
Leah Barnhouse ‘13

“Swimming for all four years has shown me that when teamwork and hard work come together great things can happen. This was an everyday experience while being a Wittenberg Tiger. Set a goal and then show yourself and your team you have what it takes to make and exceed that goal.”
J.B. Easley ‘13

“There are not enough words to describe the great friends and countless memories I have made since being a part of this team. The people on this team have made me who I am today, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Brendan Eggers ‘13

“Being a member of the Wittenberg Swim team is easily one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable parts of my college career. The people I have met and the relationships that I have forged will last forever and I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to be a member of the team. Swimming for the Tigers instilled values such as hard work, teamwork, and perseverance into each and every one of us, and I will carry these lessons with me for the rest of my life.”
Andrew Koukis ‘13

“My swimming career hasn’t been about times, records or national cuts, but it’s been about everybody on this team who are truly nuts. I couldn’t ask for a better team, so I wanted to take the time to thank them now. We have worked our tails off, so it’s time to take a bow. Being done with swimming is truly surreal; words cannot describe how I currently feel. Part of me wishes I were sitting in a freshman’s seat, so I could put the past 4 years on repeat.”
Ward McNulty ‘13

“Being a member of WSD for the past four years has been an incredible experience. At times, I had doubts about making it this far, but sitting here having completed four years as a Wittenberg athlete, I’m glad that I never gave up. Swimming here has taught me life lessons in friendship, team work, dedication, and discipline. Even though my swimming career ends here, I will always be a proud Wittenberg Tiger.”
Rachael Nuzzo ‘13

“Thanks to all the coaches for putting up with me and helping me through difficult times throughout the past four years I don’t know what I would have done without having the team as support. Jim is a great coach and really funny when you get to know him.”
Katie Reed ‘13

“When I finally went a life time best at Conference this year I had one of those moments where I was like “This is why I came to Witt.” Having all the love and support from the team and having them be just as happy as me, if not happier, as me to finally accomplish something I had worked 4 years for made that moment something I will never forget in my life. Transferring here and only having been able to be a part of something this amazing for two years allowed me to not take any second of that moment or this team for granted. As someone who came into this team after bonds have been formed, I can tell you from an outside perspective that this team has something special that is almost impossible to find anywhere else. “
Claire Shannon ‘13

“I have been involved in many different organizations and clubs during my four years at Witt. None of them compare to the experience I had while on the swim team. The bonds and emotional ties that bring us together create long lasting friendships. We are there for each other through thick and thin! If you would have told me my freshman year the things that I was going to accomplish I would have never believed you; and if you wouldn’t have pushed me I’m not sure I ever would have found out. Tiger up!“
Jane Tsivitse ‘13

Experience Lutherstadt Wittenberg in the eyes of team member Allie Fisher!

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

I am not really sure where to start but my time studying abroad in Lutherstadt Wittenberg has been one of many wonderful experiences (most of which are pretty comical). I have learned so much and created some great new relationships. I’ve met many Wittenberg Germany community members as well as Witt students who I wouldn’t have normally seen or interacted with on a regular base at Witt. This has been one of my favorite parts by far. I have even traveled the world with some of these new friends, getting to travel for spring break to Turkey.

Turkey was one of the coolest and strangest experiences I have had by far! As three broke college kids we wonder around going from tourist attraction to tourist attraction and of course we stuck out like sore thumbs. We were great targets and were constantly getting ripped off and finding ourselves losing money left and right from over paying. We were also constantly approached and asked over and over again daily if we would like to eat at their restaurants, or shop in their shops, or take a bus/boat tours but it started to become a joke with many shop owners because we passed by every day. We however did find ourselves saying “No” more than any other word in Turkey, but this was an experience none of us would have traded for the typical spring break trips everyone else took.

Here in Wittenberg, just three weeks ago, we had a host family week, which proved to be difficult but very rewarding. Each of us was placed into a different house of a local family where we became part of the family for seven whole days! It doesn’t seem like a lot but it was a long time out of our comfort zones alone. In my family, I had a mom and dad and a seven year old sister. My dad was the only one who spoke English which was great but he wasn’t always around so I was speaking a lot of German! However this experienced improve my German language skills tremendously and also helped me have the feeling of a home and family while I was an ocean away. Lastly, having a little sister was wonderful and the language barrier never really seemed to get in the way when we played and talked. We were just being kids.

Germany has taught me a lot so far and is still teaching me more and more each day. With the final month of my trip approaching I am preparing to enter a German elementary school where I will be working with a class of first graders and I can’t wait!!! Teaching is one of my biggest passions, aside from swimming of course, and I can’t wait to help teach my first grade class English. This experience is one I will never take back and has provided me with many amazing opportunities I wouldn’t have otherwise received.

Oh yeah! Here in Germany I also got to visit with and see Jessica Koncazk, a former swimming, for the weekend when she was passing through! The networks we make always seem to surprise me and never seem to disappear.

However, even with all the awesomeness Germany has to offer and has given me. I am excited to get back and see everyone again and to get back into the pool next season with my Tiger Family!!

Allie Fisher (class of 2015)

Florida Training Trip 2012-2013

Friday, January 18th, 2013

The Wittenberg Swimming and Diving team took a trip down to Ft. Lauderdale, FL for their annual training trip. Seniors Ward McNulty and Katie Reed have taken the time to reflect on this team tradition.

My Florida Reflection by Ward McNulty ’13

My final WSD Florida training trip was a whirlwind of emotions: excitement, exhaustion and satisfaction. After pulling out of the Buccaneer parking lot for the final time, I left Deerfield Beach with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. As the sentimental thoughts set in of my last WSD training trip, my last flying W sandcastle, my last trip to the Whale’s Rib, I acknowledged the fact that I will truly never again be in such pristine physical shape in my life; at no other point in my life do I plan on exercising 6 hours a day for a week straight…. We did it!

The grueling practices pushed our bodies to the limit and put our mental strength to the test, but the team remained physically and mentally tough for the entirety of the training trip. The practices were challenging and brutal- but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. When we were not putting our bodies to the test, we enjoyed the sunshine, the beach and copious amounts of ice cream. Our muscles and minds are fueled up and ready to go. I am excited to see the result of all of our hard work pay off at conference this year! Tiger UP!

My Florida Reflection by Katie Reed ’13

December 28th
We were supposed to leave for Florida at 1pm however our two buses arrived late. While we were waiting for the buses to arrive the team bonded in the lobby of the HPER center and a few of us took advantage of the facilities by watching the women’s basketball game, playing racquetball, or attempting play volleyball on an empty racquetball court.

Bus # 1 is definitely the cool bus. We didn’t have WI-Fi or any outlets but we had Pitch Perfect (which was hilarious) and Modern Family which we watched a majority of the bus ride (also hilarious). Commentary and other conversations with teammates made the ride enjoyable and the boy’s attempt at singing 100 bottles of coke on the wall was funny too.

December 29th
We were still on the bus most of the morning and continued to watch Modern Family. We arrived at the Buccaneer mid afternoon and we all split up into our different rooms. Two members from each room were designated to go grocery shopping before we left for night practice. Grocery shopping was definitely an interesting experience. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a group of people buy so much food in my entire life. When looking into each room’s grocery carts you could tell which rooms had experience cooking and who did not. I have a feeling a majority of the boys plan on trying fancy grilling techniques.

On the way to practice as we were crossing the bridge from Deerfield to Boca Raton, looking out into the water we could see Iguanas sunbathing on the docks. This is definitely something you don’t see in Ohio.

After grocery shopping we left for night practice which is from 6-8pm. The first night the diving team practiced all our voluntary dives. Jim’s plane was delayed so we coached each other and got use to the new set-up the first night. The water was warm and the boards were smooth. I feel like I could get use to this.

December 30th – January 4th
Diving has been going well. We have morning practice from 7-9am and night practice from 6-8pm. Sometimes we leave earlier or stay later to do dry land or lifting. One day during the trip we had a non scoring meet against Allegheny. It was a fun experience to bond with another team and just have fun doing what we love best.

Overall, all the divers have been improving little by little and it’s evident that the swimmers have too. The first day I learned 2 new dives and I’ve been working on improving all of my optional dives. Eric has been working on his inwards fronts and approaches and is doing really well at fixing a few technical errors. Megan and Kevin have been working on all of their voluntary and optional dives. Both of them have come a long way since the beginning of the season. Kevin and Eric seem to have really enjoyed the hot tub, and Megan and I attempted Synchronize diving (its good thing we don’t compete it). Everyone has been improving since day one of Florida. Of course there have been a few smacks here and there and a little butting heads towards the end. But, for two-a-day practices, weight lifting, cardio, abs and lunges into oblivion- we’ve been working our butts off so we’re bound to get a little cranky.

It’s a good thing we get a long break in between practices it gives us time to explore Deerfield, shop, eat sleep, tan at the pool, go to the beach, swim in the ocean, or play volleyball. Volleyball was always a fun time however, finding an open court was always tricky. As a team we’ve improved our volleyball techniques and have had a few good volleys’ here and there. Unfortunately, we didn’t live up to the Universities volleyball team’s standards. I think we’ll stick to water instead of land.

During the trip we spent New Year’s on the beach. A bunch of us went to the beach with the sparkling apple cider the Buccaneer provided us with and watched other teammates set off fireworks and count down to the new year. Good thing it’s been warm outside and in the 80’s. We couldn’t do this in Ohio with blizzard and all (Thank goodness for warm weather!).

Living with members on the team has also been interesting. Everyone has their own dietary needs and living styles. It’s been a great bonding experience all around and I feel like I know my teammates much better. Unfortunately we leave after AM practice on the 4th and have to venture back into cold snowy Ohio.

January 5th
We traveled all night on the bus and have continued to watch modern family and the batman trilogy (bus #1 is still the coolest bus). While Florida has been a great experience and all of us have come back a little bit tanner and buffer, I’m sure everyone is excited to get off and sleep in their own beds and relax tonight.

The Power of Service

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

WSD Pledge Against Violence

For members of Wittenberg University’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, one practice each November stands out from the seemingly endless string of workout sessions associated with the sport. It is a day to build camaraderie through an hour-long competition against teammates, and it is a day to reflect on a cause bigger than any opponent the Tigers face each year.

During the team’s annual Hour of Power Relay, the Tigers join hundreds of other college, high school and club teams across the country to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. The team’s Nov. 13 practice marked the sixth straight year that Wittenberg participated in the event, which was started in 2005 at Carleton College after Ted Mullin, a member of the men’s swimming and diving team, died of a rare soft-tissue cancer called sarcoma.

All money raised each year goes to the Ted Mullin Fund for Pediatric Sarcoma Research at the University of Chicago. The amount of good will and team unity cannot be measured, however, evidence that service to others offers the greatest rewards.

“This event is very meaningful to each team member in different ways,” said Jane Tsivitse, class of 2013 from Wyoming, Ohio, who organized the 2012 Wittenberg Hour of Power Relay with Ward McNulty, class of 2013 from Glencoe, Ill. “It’s great that we can come together for an opportunity like this. It’s easy to lose sight of what is really important. This provides us with a much-needed sense of perspective.”

In 2010, Bob Rafferty ’02 and Ross Ballinger ’06 compiled an Hour of Power Relay video, featuring the Tiger swimming and diving teams.

Perspective is sometimes difficult to find in the world of college athletics. Through the innovative Tiger GAME Plan initiative, Wittenberg student-athletes have numerous such opportunities, through community engagement and activism, global awareness and an emphasis on academic and athletic achievement.

The Hour of Power Relay consists of a sprint relay in which team members take turns swimming 50-yard lengths of each different stroke. The team is divided into six lanes of eight to nine team members each, mixing the men’s and women’s teams together and including the members who compete only as divers during meets.

Prior to diving into the pool, team members huddled to reflect upon their experience, with several mentioning personal connections to cancer, including family losses and survivor stories as well. It provides an important time for team members to come together and reflect.

For more information about the Hour of Power Relay and the Ted Mullin Fund for Pediatric Sarcoma Research, visit Carleton’s website at: To make a contribution to Wittenberg’s Hour of Power fundraiser, contact Head Coach Natalie Koukis at (937) 327-6446 or via e-mail at

Members of the 2012-13 Wittenberg swimming and diving teams took time out from a recent practice to pledge their commitment to ending sexual violence.

Recently, team members took time out from their training to adopt a different cause, taking a pledge not to “condone or remain silent about sexual violence.” Team members made a video showing their vow to confront this important issue, which studies indicate is a significant problem on college campuses across the country.

The team members’ initiative to not only support the cause of combating sexual violence but taking a public stand against it speaks volumes about Wittenberg’s mission to develop the whole mind, body and spirit.

The Tiger men’s swimming and diving team has posted a 5-2 dual meet record through the first half of the 2012-13 season, capped by a strong third-place finish in the annual DePauw Invitational Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. The Tiger women check in at 6-1 in duals at the midway point of the campaign. The opening half of the season was punctuated by a thrilling first-place finish in the DePauw Invitational as the Tigers edged the host team by one point. Follow the Tigers all season long via

Story By: Ryan Maurer
Photos By: Erin Pence


Tigers Rally To Pick Up First Place At DePauw Invitational

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

GREENCASTLE, Ind. – Two days of intense competition at the DePauw Invitational came down to one final relay. It couldn’t have gone better for the Wittenberg women’s swimming and diving team.

The Tigers took first place in the meet-ending 400-yard freestyle relay, finishing in a blistering 3:33.67 to break the school record by more than three seconds, in addition to breaking pool and meet records. By touching out the rival team from DePauw, the quartet of senior Jane Tsivitse (Wyoming, Ohio/Wyoming), junior Sarah Wilson (Centennial, Colo./Arapahoe), freshman Maggie White (Westfield, Ind./Westfield) and freshman Dani Lacy (Louisville, Ky./Louisville Collegiate School) secured a one-point victory for Wittenberg in the meet.

The Tigers finished with 861 points to edge out the host team as DePauw totaled 860. Rhodes was a distant third in the eight-team field with 533 points. On the men’s side, seventh-ranked DePauw lapped the eight-team field with 1,161 points, followed by Rose-Hulman with 726 and Wittenberg with 591. No other team managed more than 288 points in the competition.

The meet started on Friday for the women with a pool and meet record in the 200-yard freestyle relay as Lacy, sophomore Allie Fisher (Tinley, Ill./Victor J. Andrew), Tsivitse and senior Ward McNulty (Glencoe, Ill./New Trier) touched the wall in first place in a time of 1:37.83. The day ended in similar fashion as the Tigers’ 400-yard medley relay quartet of Wilson, junior Molly Gustafson (West Hartford, Conn./Conard), Tsivitse and Lacy took first place in a time of 3:54.12. That time was also a pool and meet record, and more importantly, it was good for an NCAA B Cut.

In between on Friday, Gustafson earned an individual provisional qualifying standard time in the 100-yard breaststroke, and Tsivitse broke the Wittenberg record in the 200-yard butterfly. Those two were at it the next day as well, teaming up with Wilson and McNulty to set a meet record in the 200-yard medley relay. In addition, Gustafson lowered her top time in the 100-yard breaststroke and Tsivitse added a school, pool and meet record in the 100-yard butterfly with an NCAA B Cut time of 57.44.

Lacy capped her weekend with a phenomenal split in the the aforementioned 400-yard freestyle relay as she touched the wall in 51.83, which would have been good for an NCAA B Cut if it was the lead leg or in an individual race.

The men were led by sophomore A.J. Burt (Wyoming, Ohio/Wyoming), who took first place in the 200-yard Individual Medley and second in the 100-yard breaststroke. Sophomore James Dumstorf (Louisville, Ky./St. Xavier) added a win in the 200-yard breaststroke, while freshman Stephen Stuthers (Pittsburgh, Pa./Central Catholic) placed third in the 400-yard Individual Medley after winning the preliminary race.

At the Rose-Hulman Diving Invitational, sophomore Eric Roberts (Willits, Calif./Willits) took third place in both the one-meter and three-meter events for the men, while the women were paced by senior Katie Reed (Cincinnati, Ohio/Northwest), who placed seventh off the three-meter board.

Tigers Participate In National “Hour Of Power” For Cancer Research

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Springfield, Ohio – For the sixth straight year, Wittenberg University’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams took on perhaps the most challenging opponent of all, joining hundreds of other college, high school and club teams across the country to raise awareness and funds for cancer research as part of the annual Hour of Power Relay.

Wittenberg participated in the event, which honors those who are fighting or have succumbed to cancer, on Tuesday, Nov. 13, in the HPER Center Natatorium. The Tiger teams’ involvement in the Hour of Power Relay fits with the university’s emphasis on community service through its innovative Tiger GAME Plan initiative.

The national Hour of Power Relay program was started in 2005 at Carleton College after Ted Mullin, a member of the men’s swimming and diving team, died of a rare soft-tissue cancer called sarcoma. The event has grown to include more than thousands of student-athletes annually, all of whom raise money for the Ted Mullin Fund for Pediatric Sarcoma Research at the University of Chicago.

Over the first six years of the Hour of Power Relay, nearly $300,000 has been raised. In addition to raising money and awareness about sarcoma, which disproportionately affects adolescents and young adults, the event aims to promote team spirit.

Wittenberg’s Hour of Power, organized in 2012 by seniors Ward McNulty (Glencoe, Ill./New Trier) and Jane Tsivitse (Wyoming, Ohio/Wyoming), was an hour-long sprint relay in which team members swam 50-yard lengths of each different stroke. The team was divided into six lanes of eight to nine team members each, mixing the men’s and women’s teams together and including the members who compete only as divers during meets.

Prior to diving into the pool, team members huddled to reflect upon their experience, with several mentioning personal connections to cancer, including family losses and survivor stories as well. It provides an important time for team members to come together and reflect.

“This year’s event was extremely successful, raising a little more than $180,” Tsivitse said. “This event is very meaningful to each team member in different ways. It’s great that we can come together for an opportunity like this.

“It’s easy to lose sight of what is really important. This provides us with a much-needed sense of perspective.”

For more information, visit Carleton’s website at: To make a contribution to Wittenberg’s Hour of Power fundraiser, contact Head Coach Natalie Koukis at (937) 327-6446 or via e-mail at

Written By: Ryan Maurer

Strong Tiger Team

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

What a season so far! The team is about to host their first home meet this Friday against Ohio Wesleyan University at 6 PM at the HPER Center Natatorium. The team has already started off with lifetime best times and scores. Congratulations to swimmers and divers from the past two meets: Jared Crum, Andrew Walsh, Madeline Kraft, Jane Tsivitse, Dani Lacy, Maggie White, Kevin Duhl, Cameron Mackintosh, and Ed Young!

The team hopes to see you at their first home meet this Friday. The team will also compete against DePauw University this Saturday at Erdmann Natatorium. The meet starts at 3pm.


Alumni Meet 2012

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

We just finished up our Alumni Meet. We had a huge turnout! We cannot thank our Alumni enough for their generosity and support. Thank you for kicking us off to what is going to be a tremendous year for Wittenberg Swimming and Diving.

Strong Tiger Team!

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

This is most definitely the best pre-competition season I have seen in all of my years of coaching! We have a strong group of returners and a huge group of first-year students adding a whole new positive dynamic to the team. As a coach I am full of pride in what we have accomplished thus far. We are already starting to see the benefits of our training, in strength, speed, and overall fitness and are looking forward to getting into competition season.

This weekend we are excited to welcome over 20 alums back for our annual alumni meet during homecoming weekend. It is invaluable to learn from those who created the history which we build upon daily, and it always proves to be full of fun and laughter. Then we will move on to our red/white meet next week, when we get to see exactly how all of our team spirit will be channeled into cheers, banners, posters, and of course fast swimming!

Please check back frequently for team updates and messages from current athletes, and feel free to leave comments – we are eager to hear from our extended family!

With Tiger Pride,

Coach Koukis

The 2012-13 Season Has Officially Started!!!

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

The team officially started their season this past Monday, September 17th. More information will be provided soon.