KNOXVILLE, Tennessee, January 8. IN a dual meet where every finish was vital, the 12th-ranked Tennessee Lady Vol swimming and diving team went above and beyond the challenge by winning 12 events to secure a 166.5-132.5 win over the ninth-ranked Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday afternoon at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.
The win over UVA marks the first top-10 victory for the Big Orange (5-0, 2-0 SEC) during the Matt Kredich era, with the chance to earn two more this season against SEC foes Georgia and Florida.
“Our team loves to race, loves to compete and Virginia offers us a great challenge,” Kredich said. “I’m real proud of the way we rose to the challenge. We won a lot of close races and we won some events by a large margin, but we were looking to win those close races.”
Overall, the Orange and White had four individuals win multiple events on the day.
Sophomore Kelsey Floyd won three events at the dual meet, highlighted by setting a new Lady Vol standard in the 200y fly with a first-place time of 1:56.68. The Lexington, Ky., native broke the longest standing individual swimming record of 1:57.90 set by Tori DeSilvia in 1996. The new mark also results in all of swimming records being shattered under Kredich’s guidance.
Floyd also notched wins for the Orange and White in the 200y back and 100y fly. Floyd swam a time of 1:59.36 in the 200y back and touched in at 1:56.68, while senior Tricia Weaner made a late charge to place second in the 200y back with a time of 2:00.71.
Freshman Lindsay Gendron swam a career-best and AJIAC pool record mark of 9:45.71 in the 1000y free to win the event. With the victory, the Bloomington, Ill., native has won an event in every meet she has competed in this season. Senior Aleksa Akerfelds finished runner-up in the event, edging out UVA’s Rachel Naurath by .07 seconds with a mark of 9:53.40.
Gendron added another first-place finish in the 500y free after swimming a 4:48.80 in the event.
Junior Jenny Connolly continues to shine in her signature event, the 100y back, grabbing first with season-best, pool record and B cut time of 53.84 seconds. Lauren Solernou, a freshman, also had a season-best mark in the event, claiming second in 55.32 seconds.
For the fourth time in as many dual meets, senior Martina Moravcikova won the 100y breast event. The Prague, Czech Republic, native earned the victory in 1:02.49. She then went on to win the 200y breast after touching in at 2:16.57, another AJIAC record. Junior Kirstyn Colonias passed Virginia’s Kelly Flynn in the last 25 yards of the event to grab second in 2:17.58.
Tennessee opened the dual meet on a positive note as the quartet of Connolly, Moravcikova, Floyd and Gendron claimed first in the 200y medley relay with a season-best and NCAA B cut time of 1:40.66. UT also took third in the event as Colonias, sophomore Brooke Watson, Solernou and freshman Alex Frasier touched in at 1:44.14.
The Lady Vols closed the meet with a victory in the 400y free relay as Connolly, freshman Mary Kate McNeilis, Frasier and Gendron combined for a time of 3:20.11.
In the diving wells, junior Gabrielle Trudeau was the top finisher for the Lady Vols on both boards. Trudeau won the 3-meter competition with a zone score of 287.48 and took the top spot in the 1-meter event after another zone score of 295.28.
“Gaby made some real positive changes that I spoke to the team about after the invitational as she had some technical things she had to work on,” UT head diving coach Dave Parrington said. “She made a move in the right direction, so I’m pleased, as it showed in the results. The scores reflected she dove better and we need to keep building on that.”
Sophomore Lauren Perdue led the way for Virginia by winning the 50y (22.70), 100y (49.51) and 200y (1:46.91) free events. Gendron (200y free) and Connolly (100y free) each finished runner-up, while McNeilis swam a time of 23.42 to nab third in the “splash-and-dash.”
Claire Crippen won the only other event for the Cavaliers, swimming a time of 4:20.01 in the 400y IM.
The Lady Vols are off until Jan. 22, when the team hosts No. 2 Georgia at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center. The dual meet will be senior day for five members of the team and is slated to begin at 3 p.m.
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