The club synchronized swim team put on its annual holiday show Thursday and Friday night to kick off its season.
The Friday night show began with a holiday-themed routine. Seats were filled and holiday decorations were attached to the walls across the pool.
The middle of the show was composed of the team's competition routines. The routines had not yet been completed and finalized for competition, a speaker said before the show. The coaches recognized the senior team members in front of the crowd, including tri-captains Britteny Tobler, Carrie Ryan and Audie McDougall.
The team performed the traditional candlelight routine as their final piece. The synchro team and two additional swimmers performed to holiday music while holding candles with the lights at the pool turned off. The show ended with a reminder that the only home meet would be on Feb. 14, against Lindenwood University and Ohio State University.
The team has performed this holiday show for years, said head coach Asha Bandal, who swam for the team when she attended the University of Richmond. Money raised from the show goes toward the team's travel expenses. The team now pays travel dues because they were changed from varsity to club status several years ago, she said.
The team competes against club and varsity teams during the season because of the sport's size, Ryan said. They have been successful in the past, placing 13th at the national competition last year, she said.
Tobler said the team had been able to get off to a good start before the season.
"We know how to work together well to get things accomplished," she said.
The team has choreographed more of its routine than it usually does by this point in the year, which will allow the members to work on perfecting their skills, she said.
The majority of the team has been working together for the last three years. This year's A-team is entirely seniors and one freshman, Aayla Anderson. It has been easier to work with only one new teammate on this routine, Ryan said.
The team's goal is to maintain or improve upon the No. 13 spot this season, Bandal said.
"The team has the potential: we have a lot of seniors," she said. "This is the first year since I graduated that there have been eight swimmers on the A-team."
Ryan said the team competed in a figure meet earlier this year and won.
The first competitive meet of the season will be at the College of William & Mary Invitational on Jan. 24. The south regional meet will be at the end of February, and nationals are held at the end of March.
Contact reporter Kaileigh Connolly at email@example.com