Virginia Closes Home Schedule with UNC, Duke
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. The 11th-ranked Virginia women’s swimming and diving team and the 13th-ranked men’s team close out the home portion of their schedules this weekend. The Cavaliers welcome No. 14 North Carolina to the Aquatic and Fitness Center on Saturday in a meet that will be broadcast on the Internet on ACC Select. The men will swim at noon while the women will begin at approximately 3 p.m.
On Saturday at the AFC the Virginia Athletics Department will hold a Fan Fest in the gymnasium from noon until 3 p.m. The Fan Fest will feature inflatable games, face painting and free giveaways, while supplies last. Admission is free.
On Sunday, UVa will play host to Duke at 1 p.m. in the team’s final home meet. Eight Cavalier seniors will be recognized: Megan Evo, Haley Parker, Kristen Wallace, Tony Colella, Ryan Hurley, Pat Mellors, Pat Reams and Lee Robertson. Live results for both the North Carolina and Duke meets will be available at VirginiaSports.com.
Both the Virginia men and women are coming off a road loss to Florida two weeks ago. Against the Gators, four Cavaliers were double-event winners, including Mei Christensen (100 back, 200 free relay), Matt McLean (500 free, 1000 free), Liz Shaw (100 fly, 200 fly) and Scot Robison (50 free, 100 free).
The UNC men (4-2 dual meets, 2-0 ACC) placed fourth among a competitive field in the Dallas Morning News Classic last week in Dallas, Texas. Michigan was first, followed by Florida and host SMU. North Carolina’s Tyler Harris has posted the fastest times in the ACC this season in both the 200 IM (1:46.54, B) and 400 IM (3:44.00, A).
The Tar Heel women (4-2 dual meets, 2-0 ACC), meanwhile, earned a second-place finish behind Florida at the Swimming World Carnival hosted by Rutgers. Three Carolina women have the fastest times in the conference in three different events this season, including Whitney Sprague in the 1000 free (9:50.45), Layne Brodie in the 100 breast (1:02.59) and Laura Moriarty in the 200 breast (2:14.69, B).
Last year in Chapel Hill, the Cavalier women came away with a 191-109 win. Then-freshman Liz Shaw broke the ACC record in the 200 butterfly, which she later when on to break again at the conference championships. Shaw also won the 100 fly and 200 IM a year ago. The Virginia men, meanwhile, suffered a 151-149 loss to the host Tar Heels, their first setback in 10 years to UNC.
“Obviously we have a very formidable foe with the Tar Heels coming in here on Saturday,” Virginia head coach Mark Bernardino said. “It should be one of the most exciting college meets of the season. This rivalry continues to be the best in ACC swimming. Both teams like to go at it with a lot of emotion and intensity. This year promises to be no different than in the past.”
Duke visits the Aquatic and Fitness Center after picking up a win the road against Gardner-Webb. The men (5-1 dual meets, 1-1 ACC) earned a 110-88 victory while the Blue Devil women (7-1 overall, 3-0 ACC) defeated the Bulldogs 113-89. Ashley Twichell of Duke has the fastest time in the conference this season in the 500 free (4:46.01, B) and the 1650 free (16:06.76, B). On the boards, Abby Johnston has the highest marks among ACC divers this year with a score of 366.25 on the 3-meter and 329.35 on the 1-meter.
The meet with Duke will be the final home contest of the season for Virginia, marking the final competition for Virginia’s senior class.
“It’s never easy to say goodbye to a group of athletes that have stood by the program for four years,” Bernardino said. “This group of men and women is no different. They have all enjoyed stellar careers as athletes and equally important, as students and community leaders within the university. We want to send them out winners in their final home meet.”