Sept. 11, 2012
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.—The Virginia swimming and diving program released the 2012-13 schedule Tuesday (Sept. 11), head coach Mark Bernardino announced.
“It is certainly one of the more aggressive schedules that we’ve had over the course of the last 15 years,” Bernardino said. “Our opponents come from the ACC, Big Ten, Big East, SEC and probably the premier mid-major program in the country in the Naval Academy.”
The Cavaliers, who have won five straight Atlantic Coast Conference Championships on both the men’s and women’s sides, will open the season with a dual meet against Navy at the Aquatics and Fitness Center on Oct. 26. UVa will then travel to Pittsburgh to face the Panthers, who will become an ACC team in 2013-14, on Oct. 28.
The following weekend, Virginia hosts South Carolina on Nov. 2-3, before heading to Bloomington, Ind., for a meet against Big Ten schools Penn State and Indiana. For the meet with South Carolina, the diving portion is split into two days, while the swimming will all take place on Saturday, Nov. 3.
“The Penn State-Indiana and the Wisconsin-Virginia Tech double-dual meets are meets that will run over a two-day period of time and we’ll cover the vast majority of events that will be held in the NCAA meet,” Bernardino said. “ So they are non-traditional in the dual-meet sense because there are added races in the meets, but it is going to prove to be a very interesting schedule and should help prepare us for the championship season.”
The Georgia Invite will cap the fall semester in Athens, Ga., Nov. 30-Dec. 2.
“The Georgia Invite is probably the single most outstanding invitational in the country,” Bernardino said. “It will bring the national champion Cal-Berkeley Bears, Auburn, Alabama, Penn State and it will be hosted by national runner-up Georgia.
“That meet will be run to the exact specifications of the NCAA Championship meet so it’s truly a dry run. Plus, given the level of teams that will be at that meet, it will simulate the NCAA Championships and what they are all about to a high degree, so it should be exciting.”
The Cavalier diving crew will head to Knoxville, Tenn., to start off the new year at the Tennessee Diving Invite Jan. 3-5.
“We truly believe that by competing with the best divers, our divers will become hardened to that tough competition and it will elevate their games,” Bernardino said. “Oftentimes some of the best divers attend the Tennessee Diving Invite, plus many of the best diving schools will be at the Georgia invite, so our divers will see the best of the best during the course of the season.”
One of Virginia’s biggest dual meets of the year will take place on Jan. 19, as the Cavaliers host ACC rival North Carolina a day before hosting Duke on Jan. 20.
The Cavaliers’ last meet before the championship season will be a home competition against Wisconsin and Virginia Tech Jan. 25-26.
“It’s a challenging schedule that has been designed to bring out the best in our student-athletes,” Bernardino said. “We created this schedule to find out who can compete on a weekly basis with the best of the best. I think we’re going to learn a lot about our swimmers as we go through the course of the season and find out who can step up in the big meets. They will be the ones who advance to swim at the ACC championships.”
Virginia will have an additional meet in February. That competition will be announced at a later date.
Greensboro, N.C., will be the host of the ACC Championships this season, with the women’s meet being contested Feb. 20-23, and the men’s meet running Feb. 27-March 2.
The NCAA Zone Diving Championships will held in New Brunswick, N.J., March 14-16, while Indianapolis, Ind., will be the site of the 2013 NCAA Championships. The women’s national meet will be March 21-23, while the men’s meet will be the following week, March 28-30.