Over the weekend, the No. 11 Virginia women and the No. 16 Virginia men swept both Tennessee and Virginia Tech to cap off the last home meet of the season. On Friday, the women defeated No. 5 Tennessee 178-122, while the men beat the No. 11 Volunteers 158-142. On Saturday, the women, for the second day in a row, routed their opponent, Virginia Tech, 171-115, and the men also topped the Hokies, 159-140.
The first day of competition saw incredible, record-breaking performances on the women’s side along with a full team effort on the men’s side. Kicking off the meet on the diving board, junior Sydney Dusel set an Aquatic and Fitness Center record on the 3 meter board with a score of 357.15, following up with a win on the 1 meter board to sweep the day’s events.
In swimming, the women’s 200-yard medley relay team of sophomore Caroline Gmelich, freshman Alexis Wenger, sophomore Anna Pang, and junior Morgan Hill came up with a facility record time of 1:38.22, placing first in the event. In the next relay, the 200-yard freestyle squad with Hill, Pang, sophomore Kyla Valls, and senior Eryn Eddy set another facility record, clocking a time of 1:30.13.
In the men’s competition, senior Zach Fong swept all the butterfly events and the 200-yard medley relay. In diving events, junior Bryce Shelton led the way with a second-place finish on the 3 meter board and a third-place finish on the 1 meter board.
The Cavaliers captured the top-three swims in three events: women’s 200-yard backstroke, men’s 200-yard individual medley, and the men’s 200-yard breaststroke. Additionally, Virginia finished first in 11 events.
"It was a big day for our female divers and especially Sydney (Dusel) with a pool record on the 3m,” Coach Todd DeSorbo said. “Our women's relays set the tone with two pool records as well. The guys had a full team effort to pull off the upset."
The following day, the Cavaliers were back at it for their last home meet of the season and Senior Day. Continuing their success from the first dual meet, they recorded more stellar performances and school records.
The standout performance of the meet goes to Fong for setting both the school and pool record in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 45.53. In the diving events, the record-setting day continued with Dusel and junior Kylie Towbin tying a facility record score of 367.5 on the 3 meter board.
In addition to the wins on the boards, the women’s team won 14 events, including sweeping the relay events. Sophomore Paige Madden captured first-place in three events 1000-yard freestyle, 200-yard backstroke, and 200-yard butterfly. Junior Morgan Hill won the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly.
On the men’s side, redshirt senior Brendan Casey completed a pair of victories in the long-distance 1000-yard and 500-yard freestyles. Sophomore Keefer Barnum decisively won both breastroke events. In the relays, the 200-yard medley relay team again finished with the top time.
"I'm proud of our teams today, backing up the energy, hype and performance from yesterday against Tennessee," DeSorbo said. "It's always tough to go back-to-back duals and match the emotion and performances, and our teams are doing well with that. We had a lot of emotions today as we celebrated the last home competition for 15 of our seniors. They've led this program all year and we are excited to have them push us through the championship season.”
Virginia will return to action in another back-to-back battle against rivals North Carolina and N.C. State in two weeks on Jan. 25 and 26.