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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.- The 12th-ranked Virginia men’s swimming and diving team is set to battle No. 11 Tennessee at 1 p.m. Thursday in the Aquatic and Fitness Center. Tennessee easily upset second-ranked and defending national champion Auburn two weeks ago.Virginia, meanwhile, will return to home competition after defeating Penn State and Michigan State last weekend.

The Virginia-Tennessee meet will be featured as the national “meet of the week” by

“Tennessee is loaded,” said UVa head coach Mark Bernardino. “They are absolutely one of the top five or six teams in the country, based on their stunning victory over Auburn. We knew they were good when we scheduled and we anticipate one of our stiffest tests. It falls in line with what we are trying to do here. If you want to be the best you have to test yourself against the best and see how you measure up. They don’t have a single weakness in their lineup. It will be a tough match-up.”

The Cavaliers will look to step up and exact some revenge for last year, when they dropped a tight 134-109 contest in Knoxville, Tenn.

UVa Rookie Taylor Smith will again play a vital role in the 1000 free, as he won it in 9:17.80. He will have to swim one of his best times of the season to beat Tennessee’s Geoff Sanders, who won the 1000 free (9:16.06) against Auburn. Darren Ankosko, the second-place competitor in the 1000 free, picked up a win in the 400 IM last weekend, swimming a time of 4:00.09, followed by teammates Tim Hayes (4:02.23) and Ian Vogt (4:02.67). Scot Robison and John Azar also posted first-place finishes, winning the 100 fly (49.70) and the 200 breast (2:03.70), respectively.

The Vols are led by Jonas Persson, Michael Wolff, and Octavio Alesi, who won multiple events against Auburn. Jonas Persson took the 100 and 200 freestyles in NCAA qualifying times of 43.62 and 1:36.40, respectively. Team captain Michael Wolfe followed suit in the 200 butterfly and 200 backstroke, swimming times of 1:46.12 and 1:45.54. Octavio Alesi is undefeated this season in every event at dual meets, as he won the 50 freestyle (20.34) and the 100 butterfly (48.17).

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