Jan. 29, 2010
By Zach Stipe, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Senior Michele King's dominant performance in her final home dual meet wasn't enough for the 12th-ranked Tennessee women's swimming and diving team to overtake seventh-ranked Florida on Friday at Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.
Despite four event wins and four NCAA `B' cuts from King, the Lady Vols fell to the defending SEC-champion Gators, 170-130.
A few minutes after Curran performed the national anthem, the Big Orange kicked off the meet by capturing the 200y medley relay, edging Florida by .20.
Florida followed by winning four of the next five events and took a 74-57 lead into the first diving break.
Tennessee kept the meet close behind standout performances from King and breastrokers Barsanti and junior Martina Moravcikova, but Florida's Kara Salamone swept the diving events and the Gators controlled the distance events to improve to 10-2 overall and 4-1 in the Southeastern Conference.
The Lady Vols dropped to 3-4 overall and 3-2 in the SEC.
"It was bittersweet," Lady Vol head swimming coach Matt Kredich said. "Our seniors competed from well to extremely well, and they kept us in the meet. It was frustrating we couldn't perform better in some of our races. We were inconsistent today."
King won the 50y free (22.86) and the 100y free (50.21), and led off the victorious 400y free relay. Joining the York, Pa., native on the meet-ending relay that clocked a season-best time (3:21.65) were Connolly, Floyd and sophomore Caitlin Perks.
Barsanti also capped her dual-meet career at AJIAC in stellar fashion, snagging a first-place finish and a runner-up.
The Hummelstown, Pa., native swam a season-best time of 1:02.37 in the 100y breast to lead a 1-2-3 Lady Vol sweep in the event. Moravcikova touched second (1:02.78) with Saffer in third (1:02.84). All three marks were B cuts.
Barsanti and Moravcikova flip-flopped in the 200y breast, as the junior edged the senior, 2:16.85-2:16.91, to grab the event win.
Connolly was the only other individual event winner for the Orange and White.
The West Lafayette, Ind., native won the 100y fly in a B-cut-mark of 54.31. In addition, Connolly recorded a season-best and B-cut 100y back effort (54.36), but finished just behind reigning world and NCAA champion Gemma Spofforth of Florida, who touched in 54.03.
Capturing a pair of thirds for the Lady Vols in the pool were Floyd and sophomore Tori Richmond.
Floyd, a four-time SEC Female Freshmen Swimmer of the Week, was the third to touch in the 200y free (1:49.86) and 100y fly (54.90). Her butterfly performance was a season best.
Richmond took third-place accolades in the 200y fly (2:03.06) and the 200y IM (2:02.87), earning a season-best in the latter.
Weaner hung close with Spofforth in the 200y back, but ultimately finished second in 1:59.73, as the 2008 Olympian pulled away to win in 1:58.46.
Akerfelds touched third in the 500y free (4:54.71).
In diving, sophomore Jodie McGroarty finished third on both the 1-meter (274.48) and the 3-meter (289.88). Her score on the 1-meter board was a season-best mark. Classmate Gabrielle Trudeau added a runner-up placement in the 1-meter competition (280.20).
"I was pleased with our performances today," UT diving coach Dave Parrington said. "You always hope to win, but I'm pleased to see Jodie rounding back into shape and glad to see Gabbi do well on the 1-meter. We're building."
It's on to the championship portion of the season now for the Lady Vols, as they compete next in Athens, Ga., from Feb. 17-20, at the SEC Championships.