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GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Virginia men’s swimming and diving team opened the 2010-11 season with its first-ever dual meet victory over Florida, a 153-145 win Monday in Gainesville, Fla. The Cavalier women were edged by the defending national champions, 150-148.

The UVa men commenced the meet with a victory in the 200 medley relay. Matthew Murray, Taylor Grey, Peter Geissinger and Scot Robison finished in 1:32.34.

“It was a really wonderful start to the season,” head coach Mark Bernardino said. “We beat an excellent team in a very competitive meet. We have had a couple down-to-the-wire meets with Florida the last few years. Today was a very opportune time to compete and come out on top. It wasn’t the win that was most important; today was more about how we competed and how we raced and that was all positive for both the men and women.”

Murray took first-place honors in the 100 backstroke (50.78), leading the Cavaliers to a 1-2-3 finish in the event. David Wren (51.03) placed second while Parker Camp (51.21) took third.

Senior Matt McLean captured the 500 freestyle title in 4:25.92, leading another 1-2-3 finish for the Orange and Blue. Freshmen Jon Daniec (4:26.91) and Brad Phillips (4:28.43) placed second and third, respectively. All three times in the 500 free were NCAA ‘B’ cuts.

Grey went on to victories in the 100 breaststroke (56.59) and 200 breaststroke (2:02.12) while Camp claimed the 200 backstroke (1:49.68). Daniec also claimed a first-place finish the 1000 free (9:09.99).

Robison and Geissinger took the top two spots in the 50 freestyle. Robison finished in 20.78 while Geissinger touched at 20.89.

“It’s hard to know where you are right now – it’s so early in the season,” Bernardino continued. I don’t want to get overwhelmed. I want to look at it as a great opportunity to take our season in the right direction. We are going to place importance on what happens in February and March. But today our kids swam with a lot of poise, in particular our first years, both men and women.”

Both of the women’s relay squads were victorious over the Gators. The 200 medley relay team of Jenny Lewis, Amanda Faulkner, Hannah Davis and Kristen Moores picked up first-place honors, finishing in a mark of 1:42.86.

The 400 freestyle relay team of Lauren Perdue, Moores, Davis and Emily Lloyd capped the meet with a NCAA ‘B’ cut, clocking a time of 3:20.96.

Sophomore Lauren Perdue edged 2008 Olympian Elizabeth Beisel of Florida (1:47.42) in the 200 free, finishing with a time of 1:46.33. The 2010 ACC Freshman of the Year also took top honors in the 100 freestyle with a mark of 49.99.

Senior Liz Shaw also was a double-event winner in the 100 butterfly (54.54, ‘B’) and 200 butterfly (1:57.95) while newcomer Rachel Naurath was victorious in the 1000 free (9:54.00).

“Both of Lauren’s wins were huge,” Bernardino said. “Both were gutsy, tough and courageous swims where she had to hang on to win and she had what it took. Liz’s victories were huge as well. We did really well and I don’t know how else to explain it. If there is such a thing as a significant loss, this was it. We were going to go after the defending national champions and see what we could accomplish.”

Both the Cavalier men’s and women’s squads return to action Oct. 29. The men welcome Navy for a dual meet at 2 p.m. at the Aquatic and Fitness Center while the women head to Dallas for day one of the SMU Classic.

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