Oct. 14, 2017

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Virginia men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams opened the season with wins over Penn State. The women’s team captured 14 first-place finishes as the men’s team secured eight events.

The No. 13 Virginia women’s team defeated Penn State 184-104, while the No. 22 men’s team edged the Nittany Lions with a win in the final event, the 400-yard freestyle relay, for a score of 151-149.

Penn State led the men’s dual competition by three points (143-140), heading into the final relay. Sophomore Joe Clark (Worcester Park, Great Britain), sophomore Ted Schubert (Ashland, Va.), junior Bryce Keblish (Fairfield, Conn.) and sophomore Ryan Baker (Arlington, Va.), respectively, swam a time of 2:59.91 to capture first in the event and top the Nittany Lions in the team standings.

“It was a great meet for both our men and women today against tough Penn State teams to kick-off our 2017-18 season,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “We did some things a little unorthodox during our pre-meet warmup to put a little extra stress on the team both mentally and physically. The team responded well and fought hard ‘All Day.’ It was fun to watch our team be engaged in their teammates, like family, from their first relay to the last. We constantly talk about the team being greater than the individual and it showed today.

“We had some first-years get their first taste of individual college wins as Marcie (Maguire), Emma (Seiberlich) and Paige (Madden) rolled through their events, the 100 back, 200 back and 500 free, respectively. Kylie Towbin dominated both boards and our fourth-year leadership was phenomenal as it is every day.”

The Cavalier women opened the meet with a first-place finish in the 200-yard medley relay as freshman Abby Richter (Henderson, Nev.), junior Vivian Tafuto (Hummelstown, Pa.), freshman Anna Pang (Singapore) and senior Caitlin Cooper (Atlanta, Ga.), respectively, recorded a time of 1:41.59.

Cooper and freshman Emma Seiberlich (Audubon, Pa.) paced the Cavalier women, as each won two individual events in the meet. Cooper topped the 50- and 100-yard freestyle events, recording a time of 23.11 and 50.85, respectively. Seiberlich finished first in the 200-yard backstroke (1:57.68) and the 100-yard butterfly (55.20).

Aiding to the women’s 12 individual first-place finishes, senior Jennifer Marrkand (Westford, Mass.) won the 200-yard butterfly (1:57.89), while sophomores Hill, Madeleine Vonderhaar (Lakeside Park, Ky.) and Mary Claire Tansill (Bristow, Va.) captured the 200-yard freestyle (1:49.40), 100-yard breaststroke (1:03.18) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:17.30), respectively. Freshmen Marcella Maguire (Ridgefield, Conn.) finished first the 100-yard backstroke (55.24), while Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala.) won the 500-yard freestyle (4:55.43).

In the diving competition, junior Kylie Towbin (New Canaan, Conn.) swept the 1-meter and 3-meter boards, recording a score of 286.95 and 329.03, respectively.

The women’s team concluded with a win in the 400-yard freestyle relay with Marrkand, junior Eryn Eddy (Loveland, Colo.), Hill and Seiberlich, respectively, finishing with a time of 3:22.95.

“For the men, they decided to help our new staff get our first win in dramatic fashion going down to the last relay,” DeSorbo said. “Penn State made it a great challenge through the front half of the meet and our men responded well with a big come back, winning six of the last eight events to set up a battle for winner take all with the last relay. Brendan Casey was big for us today with two individual wins and Bryce Shelton gave us a boost on the boards.”

Redshirt junior Brendan Casey (Santa Monica, Calif.) recorded a first-place finish in the 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 9:21.77 and in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:47.69. Schubert captured first in the 200-yard butterfly (1:49.34), while Baker placed first in the 100-freestyle (45.27). Junior Sam Magnan (Bethlehem, Pa.) won the 500-yard freestyle (4:30.25) and Keblish won the 100-yard butterfly (48.91), to round out the individual swimming events.

Sophomore diver Bryce Shelton (Vienna, Va.) recorded a score of 335.85 for first place in the 3-meter dive.

“Our distance squad carried the day and will continue to drive our program’s success as we move towards developing all sides of the program,” DeSorbo said. “I have to give a big pat on the back to our staff, it’s the best in the country. They are working hard for the program. We continue to take things day by day. Our team is learning our staff and our expectations. We have a lot look forward to. Our men and women are in a great spot and it is going to be exciting to compete three out of the next four weekends.”

The Cavaliers will compete against LSU and Pittsburgh in a two day meet beginning on Friday, Oct. 20.