CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The ninth-ranked Virginia men’s swimming and diving team defeated No. 11 Tennessee by a score of 163.5-134.5 Saturday at the Aquatic and Fitness Center. Juniors Scot Robison and Taylor Smith each won two individual events for the Orange and Blue.
It was the first dual meet loss of the season for the Volunteers, who dropped to 4-1. The Cavaliers also have a 4-1 dual meet record.
“What I liked out of the men’s meet was that I finally saw the intensity and the fire, and a team that respected one another,” UVa head coach Mark Bernardino said. “Scot (Robison) obviously came up huge for us. A lot of our first-years had season-best performances today, so we saw a little bit of maturation from that class to go along with the most cohesive team effort we have had all year.”
In the first event of the day, the 200 medley relay, Robison anchored the Cavaliers to a victory with a 50 free split and NCAA ‘B’ time of 19.48. The team of Eric Olesen, Simon Norstedt, Dan McMahon and Robison finished in a winning time of 1:30.28.
The Cavaliers continued its solid start, taking the top spot in the next three events. Smith won the 1000 free (9:12.19), John Azar won the 200 free (1:38.05, ‘B’) and Eric Olesen won the 100 back (48.96, ‘B’).
In the next event, Tennessee swept the 100 breast, to pull some momentum in its favor. But the Cavaliers were able to go 1-2 in the 200 fly before Robison claimed the 50 free (20.39) heading into the first diving break. McMahon won the 200 fly in 1:48.96 while freshman Matt Houser placed second in 1:50.43.
“Scot coming from behind in that relay really sent the tone for us,” Bernardino said. “Taylor kept the ball rolling, John Azar jumped right in and won the 200, and we were able to gain a lot of momentum and a lot of energy.”
Robison went on to win his second individual event of the day, claiming first-place honors in the 100 free (44.25, ‘B’). Teammate Peter Geissinger finished second in 45.71.
The Cavaliers followed up the 100 free with another 1-2 performance in the 200 back, led by senior Daniel Johnson, who finished in 1:48.94. David Wren took second in 1:49.04.
After Azar took second in the 200 breast (2:01.00), Virginia went 1-2-3 in 500 free, led by Smith’s winning time of 4:28.75. John Snawerdt (4:31.25) was second and Darren Ankosko (4:34.27) placed third.
In the 100 fly, Olesen (49.00) and McMahon (50.24) finished second and third, respectively, before Houser claimed a victory in the 200 IM (1:52.02).
The Cavalier men capped the day with a win in the 400 freestyle relay, with the team of Azar, Geissinger, Olesen and Robison finishing in 3:00.15, though the race was exhibitioned.
“Now we have to be able to stay healthy – that is critical,” Bernardino said. “We have not been able to do that on the men’s side. A lot of our athletes, all year long, have been out due to illness and injury. Hopefully we can get healthy; we are training at a high level and will continue to do that.”
On the boards, sophomore Briggy Imbriglia paced Virginia with a second-place finish on the 3-meter (314.93) and a third-place performance on the 1-meter (299.77).
Virginia returns to action in a conference dual meet at Florida State on Thursday, Jan. 14. The meet is scheduled for 3 p.m.