INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, March 22. THE Lady Volunteers did it again, as the Big Orange opened the second night at the NCAA Division I Women's Championships with a third straight relay victory.
The foursome of Lauren Solernou (24.40), Molly Hannis (26.15), Kelsey Floyd (22.92) and Faith Johnson (21.48) smoked the field with a winning time of 1:34.95 in the 200-yard medley relay. That gave UT a relay sweep thus far, having already won the 200 free and 400 medley relays on the first night of competition. Not bad, considering UT had zero relay victories in the history of the program coming into the meet.
Floyd has definitely been the MVP of the meet thus far for the Big Orange, putting up key relay legs in all three of the team's wins. She turned in a 21.48 anchor leg to close out Tennessee's 200 free relay victory, before clocking a 50.98 fly leg in the 400 medley relay to help with the night-one relay sweep.
California, the two-time defending champions in the event, finished second in 1:35.53, as Rachel Bootsma beat the rest of the backstroke field by more than a second with a 23.40 leadoff. Caitlin Leverenz (26.97), Cindy Tran (23.15) and Kaylin Bing (22.01) provided the other three legs.
The Arizona Wildcats clinched third-place honors as Lauren Smart (24.57), Ellyn Baumgardner (26.53), Megan Lafferty (23.29) and Margo Geer (21.20) clocked a 1:35.69. Florida finished just outside of the top three, taking fourth in 1:36.06.
Texas A&M (1:36.08), Southern California (1:36.17), Stanford (1:37.17) and Auburn (1:37.17) also competed in the championship finale. Notably, Wisconsin won the B final with a 1:37.26.
Tennessee jumped into the team lead with 190.5 points, while Georgia fell to second with 169 after taking 14th in the 200 medley relay tonight. Arizona (159), California (136) and Southern California (116) rounded out the top five after the first event of the evening.