Oct. 15, 2009
By Zach Stipe, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - It took a pool record swim in the final event for Louisville to edge past the Tennessee women's swimming and diving team 152-148 on Thursday at Ralph Wright Natatorium.
The Lady Vols were ahead 144-139 heading into the 400y free relay, but the Cardinals' tandem of seniors Whitney Campbell, Anna Dishuck and Liz Halet, and junior Sarah Andrews touched the wall in a pool-best and NCAA B-cut performance of 3:23.97 to earn its first win ever against the Orange and White.
"We missed a lot of opportunities to win this meet," Lady Vol head swimming coach Matt Kredich said. "We did not respond well to the challenge Louisville gave us today. We knew they were a very good team and they performed well."
Campbell paced the Cardinals with wins in the 50y free (23.07) and 100y free (50.95) to go along with her meet-clinching free relay victory.
Also winning a pair of individual events for Louisville was senior Leslie Vankwinkle. She captured the 200y free (1:50.02) and edged Tennessee freshman Breanna Folk 2:03.36-2:04.75 in the 200y IM.
UT was led by sophomore diver Gabbi Trudeau, who qualified for the NCAA Zone Diving Meet on the 1-meter while winning the event with a score of 2:68.72. Additionally, she finished second on the 3-meter (271.28).
"I'm certainly happy with Gabbi's performance on the 1-meter," Tennessee diving coach Dave Parrington said. "But obviously the final result of the meet is disappointing. Louisville is vastly improved on the boards and it was obvious they were a little more prepared for this meet, as we are preparing for the championship season down the line. However, I thought (freshman) Skye Sanders performed well in her first meet."
Sanders, from Knoxville, placed fourth on the 3-meter (244.35) in her collegiate debut.
Collecting an NCAA B-cut in the season-opener was senior Jamie Saffer, as she grabbed first in the 100y breast (1:02.71). She also swam a leg on the winning 200y medley relay (1:43.08).
Later in the meet, Connolly broke former Lady Vol and Olympic silver medalist Christine Magnuson's pool record in the 100y fly, winning the event in 54.65.
Junior Aleksa Akerfelds was the only Big Orange athlete to win two individual events, claiming the 500y free (4:59.03) and the 1000y free (10:07.08).
Tennessee's only other event victory came in the 200y back when junior Tricia Weaner (2:00.51) led a sweep of the first three places. Freshman Kelsey Floyd (2:00.83) was second and Connolly (2:01.32) was third.
King picked up a pair of runner-up finishes behind Campbell in the 50y (23.35) and 100y free (51.02) events, while Maddie Garrett picked up a second-place finish in the 200y fly (2:05.55) and was third in the 500y free (5:04.55).
For the Cardinals, Jackie Sherrard won the 200y free (2:04.55) and Therese Bergstrom captured the 200y breast (2:16.05).
The Lady Vols are now 7-1 all-time versus Louisville, but now stand at 0-1 as the 2009-10 season begins.
UT will look to rebound at noon on Saturday as it travels to Baton Rouge, La., to face LSU.
"We've got LSU on Saturday and I know they're licking their chops, because they're every bit as good as Louisville if not better," Kredich said. "The question will be: `Are we ready to compete?' We'll practice early tomorrow and then head down to Baton Rouge to find out."