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Jan. 5, 2018

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- The Virginia men’s and women’s swim diving teams split a dual meet against Tennessee, while the Cavalier diving teams completed the final day of the Tennessee Diving Invitational on Friday (Jan. 5) at the Jones Aquatic Center in Knoxville, Tenn.

The No. 11 Virginia women’s team defeated No. 7 Tennessee, 177-123, while the No. 21 Cavalier men fell, 198-100, to the No. 12 Volunteers. Diving scores from the men’s and women’s 1-meter and 3-meter boards were added to the dual meet from the Tennessee Diving Invitational.

“The team had a tough competition on the road today at Tennessee, with both teams (Tennessee) highly ranked,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “It is a great challenge to start off the new year on the road and in the middle of our heavy winter training. The meet started off really tight with the women winning the medley relay by one one-hundredth. We are definitely pleased with how the women’s team looks at this point, especially in some tough training. We’re using this as a baseline for the semester and looking to build off of it next week at Virginia Tech and the following week when we host our last meets against NC State and UNC. The usual suspects were carrying the team. Sydney Dusel won the first board of the week (against Tennessee) at the Tennessee Diving Invite (ninth overall), but unfortunately came down sick and could not compete in the second board. The seniors were also leading us with Caitlin Cooper and Jenn Marrkand winning their events and being a part of a couple of winning relays. Definitely excited about the direction of the program and looking forward to the next few weeks.

“The men had a great opportunity to go against a great team in Tennessee as well. The thing that I am most excited about with the guys is that they had a lot of energy and were positive all the way throughout the meet. We had some great swims. To be honest, they surprised us with how well they swam. We are pretty pleased with where they are at this point in the season and they have taken a lot of steps forward in the four months our new coaching staff has been here. They keep us excited. They keep us proud. Likewise, with the women, we are looking forward to seeing how they progress for the rest of the season. Unfortunately, we left a couple of men and women at home because of illnesses, but had some people step up in their absence, which was nice to see as well. Hats off to both teams. I look forward to the next competition in a week against Virginia Tech.”

The Cavaliers started the day with a win from the women’s 200-yard medley relay team of freshman Abby Richter (Henderson, Nev.), junior Vivian Tafuto (Hummelstown, Pa.), freshman Anna Pang (SINGAPORE) and senior Caitlin Cooper (Atlanta, Ga.), respectively. The team recorded the win with a time of 1:40.47.

Cooper and senior Jennifer Marrkand (Westford, Mass.) captured two individual first-place finishes to lead the women. Cooper paced the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.35 and 100-yard freestyle with a time of 49.40. Marrkand led the 200-yard butterfly with a time of 1:57.61 and the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:50.64.

The women’s team also saw first-place swims from sophomore Morgan Hill (Olney, Md.) and freshman Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala.). Hill finished first in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:47.20, while Madden finished first in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:56.57.

On the men’s side, redshirt junior Brendan Casey (Santa Monica, Calif.) and freshman Matthew Otto (Newark, Del.) finished first in the 200-yard backstroke and the 200-yard breaststroke, respectively. Casey recorded a time of 1:46.67, while Otto finished with a time of 1:59.10.

The meet ended with a first-place finish from the women’s 400-yard freestyle relay team of Hill, Cooper, Pang and junior Eryn Eddy (Loveland, Colo.), respectively. The Cavaliers recorded a time of 3:18.17 to top the event.

In the Tennessee Diving Invitational, junior Kylie Towbin (New Canaan, Conn.) finished fourth in the women’s platform with 242.60 points. Senior Corey Johnson (Ambler, Pa.) finished 15th with a score of 209.20.

Freshman Tristan Gess (Lakewood, Colo.) finished 20th in the platform with a score of 245.75.

“Great day for us today,” head diving coach Jason Glorius said. “We did a lot of good things. I’m happy with how we did this weekend. We competed with confidence.”

The Cavaliers will return to action on Jan. 12 for a two day meet against Virginia Tech at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center in Christiansburg, Va.

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