Last season, the Vols triumphed over both teams, beating the Gamecocks and the Wildcats by scores of 128-111 and 135-104, respectively. Historically, the Vols are 25-2 against South Carolina, their first meeting coming in 1970, and 39-3 against Kentucky, as the series dates back to 1937.
Friday’s opponents will be the first conference matchup for the Vols this season.
“It’s a great opportunity for our team, half of which haven’t ever run through the T for a home meet at Ray Bussard Aquatic Center, to learn first-hand about SEC?competition,” UT head coach John Trembley said. “Kentucky is a great program. They have some tremendously talented athletes, both from international and US waters. They bring a very seasoned group to Knoxville. Our new swimmers will be challenged as well as our best swimmers. South Carolina has had a coaching turnover, so they are a team that will be looking to develop over the next few years.”
The Vols come off a victory against the Cardinals at Louisville, Ky., this past Saturday, 165-130.
“Our team has really not been challenged yet,” Trembley said. “They have not performed as their training has warranted. Hopefully they will pull-together quickly.”
This meet marks the only double dual meet on the year for the Volunteers.
“It is an unusual format,” Trembley said. “It is a double dual-meet which means the aquatic center will be like a three-ring circus. That could add to the confusion but it could also add to some excitement. We look forward to putting together a great competition.”
The meet begins at 3:00 in the UT Student Aquatic Center. Next Friday (Nov. 2), the Vols face defending national champions Auburn.