Virginia Women, NC State Take Battle of ACC Heavyweights in Raleigh

paige-madden-
Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The Virginia swimming and diving teams concluded their final dual meet of the season on Saturday (Jan. 23) against NC State at the Willis R. Casey Aquatic Center.

  • Women: #2 Virginia 153, #6 NC State 144
  • Men: #6 NC State 190.5, #10 Virginia 107.5
  • Results

Virginia Swimming & Diving Press Release

The No. 2 Virginia women’s team recorded a come-from-behind win against No. 6 NC State, defeating the Wolfpack 153-144. The No. 10 Cavalier men fell 190.5-107.5 in the meet to the No. 6 Wolfpack.

The women’s team battled to the last event in a closely contested meet against the Wolfpack. Senior Paige Madden, sophomore Jennifer Bell and freshman Alex Walsh led the team with wins in more than one event.

Sophomore Paige Madden swam a time of 1:45.75 in the 200-yard freestyle and a time of 4:45.77 in the 500-yard freestyle to win both events.

Madden also swam anchor for the women’s 400-yard freestyle relay team as she, along with teammates freshman Reilly Tiltmann, sophomore Lexi Cuomo and senior Kyla Valls turned in a time of 3:18.67 to finish first.

Freshman Alex Walsh captured the top time of 1:53.26 in the 200-yard backstroke and the top time of 1:57.10 in the 200-yard individual medley to help the Cavaliers edge the Wolfpack at the meet.

Bell swept both springboards as Virginia had the top-two divers in both events. Bell recorded a score of 249.83 on the 1m, while Jocelyn Porter placed second with a score of 247.50. On the 3m board, Bell finished with a score of 274.73 and sophomore Charlotte Bowen placed second with a score of 260.78.

Junior Alexis Wenger also captured a first-place finish for the Cavaliers. She swam a time of 59.92 in the 100-yard breaststroke to win the event.

Four Cavaliers from the men’s team won events as freshman Matt Brownstead turned in the fastest 50-yard freestyle time at 20.04.

Junior Justin Grender (Cincinnati, Ohio) went 1:44.63 in the 200-yard backstroke to win the event, while senior Matthew Otto swam a 1:59.09 in the 200-yard breaststroke for first place.

Junior Casey Storch rounded out the swim meet with the fastest performance in the 200-yard individual medley. He swam a time of 1:48.40 for the finish.

Additionally, senior Tristan Gess placed second on both boards, scoring 278.48 on the 1m and 274.43 on the 3m board.

“I’m happy with how our teams performed today and throughout the weekend,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “This is a tough trip every time we come down south with two meets back-to-back with quick turnarounds. It takes a toll and it really showed today, but I was impressed with our team’s grit and willingness to battle despite the circumstances. I like the tough turnaround as it prepares us well for the upcoming championship season. We had some ups and downs, but the ladies were able to pull off a win and the men battled hard. Now we turn our focus towards championship season. I’m excited for what’s to come for this team.”

NC State Release

Despite not having its usual packed house of fans, the Wolfpack squads brought their own electric atmosphere to the Casey Aquatic Center for the top-10 showdown.

The Pack got off to a fast start in the 200-yard medley relay, with NC State’s winning teams on both the men’s and women’s sides posting their fastest non-invitational marks of the year.

Katharine Berkoff (24.28), Sophie Hansson (27.34), Sirena Rowe (22.89) and Kylee Alons (21.93) combined for a 1:36.44 time to kick off the meet. The mark was good for a new pool record and was just split seconds off of an NCAA A cut.

On the men’s side, Kacper Stokowski (21.73), Rafal Kusto (24.05), Luke Sobolewski (20.86) and Giovanni Izzo (19.76) went 1:26.40 for the win.

The Pack men also added a meet-closing victory in the 400-yard freestyle relay with Stokowski (44.74), Hunter Tapp (43.25), Izzo (44.00) and Luke Miller (43.31) finishing on top in 2:55.30.

Trailing by just four team points going into the final relay, the Wolfpack women were just barely out-touched in the event as Berkoff (50.14), Heather Maccausland (49.19) Rowe (49.19) and Kate Moore (50.12) placed second.

Alons continued to show her prowess in multiple events as she completed a perfect triple for the second weekend in a row. The reigning ACC Women’s Swimmer of the Week won the 50-yard freestyle (22.47), 100-yard freestyle (48.85) and the 100-yard butterfly (53.04) just as she did last Friday against rival UNC. Alons led all women’s swimmers in scoring on the day with 27 points.

The Pack men took first in all but four events with a well-rounded attack from multiple performers. In total, they went 1-2-3 in four different events: the 1000-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle, 200-yard butterfly and 500-yard freestyle.

NC State kicked off individual event action with Ross Dant (8:58.89), James Plage (9:06.82) and Curtis Wiltsey (9:16.33) dominating the 1,000-yard freestyle. Dant’s first-place mark was just over half a second off of his best time of the season.

Eric Knowles then led the way in the 500-yard freestyle (4:22.81) as he, Dant (4:25.38) and Plage (4:25.50) claimed the top three times.

On the boards, Bayne Bennett and Patrick O’Brien each picked up an individual victory. Bennett posted a winning score of 296.48 on one-meter, and O’Brien followed up with the 278.33 top finish on three-meter.

Miller won the 200-yard freestyle yet again in 1:36.11, with Tapp (1:36.85) and Knowles (1:37.14) touching shortly after him.

The Wolfpack women’s one 1-2-3 sweep of the day also came in the 1,000-yard freestyle with Moore (9:52.79), Yara Hierath (10:00.21) and Kay Foley (10:12.24) racking up the points.

Berkoff set a new pool record in the 100-yard backstroke (52.26), and Abby Arens (200-yard butterfly, 1:58.33) and Hansson (200-yard breaststroke, 2:11.98) also picked up top finishes.

On the men’s side, Stokowski made his Wolfpack debut with a 47.69 win in the 100-yard backstroke before Kusto (100-yard breaststroke, 54.35), Tapp (100-yard freestyle, 44.20) and Noah Henderson (100-yard butterfly, 47.47) added first-place results.