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Women’s swimming and diving finishes in second place at the ACC Championships

The Virginia women finish in the top two for the 12th consecutive year

<p>Junior Morgan Hill was Virginia's leadoff swimmer for the 800-yard freestyle relay and helped set a new ACC meet record.</p>

Junior Morgan Hill was Virginia's leadoff swimmer for the 800-yard freestyle relay and helped set a new ACC meet record.

The Virginia women’s swimming and diving team traveled to the Greensboro Aquatic Center last weekend, looking to claim their 11th ACC title in 12 years and 16th in program history. The Cavaliers entered the four-day battle royale with the No. 5 seed nationally, behind NC State at No. 4. From Wednesday to Saturday, Virginia consistently beat out the competition to finish in the silver medal position.

From the start, the Cavaliers got rolling with success early in the relay competitions. In the 800-yard freestyle relay, the Cavaliers won for the 12th consecutive year with a time of 6:55.22. Their time was an ACC meet record and a school record. Moving over to the 200-yard medley relay, the Virginia women dropped over two seconds to record a school record time 1:35.21 and take second place. 

Individually, junior Sydney Dusel finished second overall in the 3m board, scoring 335.90 points in the finals.

"I could not have predicted a better start for the women today, a school record, a meet record and a podium finish for Sydney [Dusel] on the 3m [board]," Coach Todd DeSorbo said.

On the second day of competition, the Virginia women did even better. The highlight of the day came from junior Morgan Hill and her winning performance in the 50-yard freestyle with a PR of 21.68. Moreover, two more individual podium, second-place finishes came from sophomores Paige Madden and Abbey Richter. Madden swam a time of 4:38.13 in the 500-yard freestyle, and Richter swam a time of 1:55.92 in the 200-yard individual medley relay.

Capping off day two, the 200-yard freestyle relay team secured third position and All-ACC honors, swimming a time of 1:28.60.

Getting better and better as the meet went on, the Cavaliers recorded six podium finishes on day three. Two great storylines resulted — the veteran Hill earned her sixth conference championship with a win in the 100-yard butterfly, while freshman Alexis Wenger took second in the 100-yard breastroke in her first conference championships. Additionally, junior Meghan Moroney went from placing third in the 200-yard freestyle to grabbing second place in the 100-yard backstroke minutes later.

More All-ACC honors and podium finishes abounded — Madden in the 200-yard freestyle, senior Kylie Towbin in the platform event and the 400-yard medley relay team. 

The final day’s success came from five individual Cavalier podium finishes and one relay podium finish. Moroney and sophomore Emma Seiberlich went two and three, respectively, in the 200-yard backstroke. Hill earned another top-three finish in the 100-yard freestyle. The 400-yard medley relay team brought everything in by grabbing the last podium spot. 

The impressive final tally of All-ACC honors adds up to 33, and the women earned a point in the Commonwealth Clash for beating Virginia Tech. 

“We will likely have upwards of 15 women qualify for the NCAAs, and many of them just freshmen and sophomores,” DeSorbo said. “We are such a young team, still learning and improving quickly, and I believe they learned a lot this weekend. This team is much stronger than we were six months ago, and even a week ago. They'll be a team hard to beat in the future."

This week, from Wednesday to Saturday, the men’s team will also compete in the ACC Championships at Greensboro Aquatics Center and will try to bring an ACC title back to Charlottesville.