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Akerfelds, Connolly Lead Lady Vols Past Arkansas and Vanderbilt
Aleksa Akerfelds

Aleksa Akerfelds

Oct. 17, 2008

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee women's swimming and diving team improved to 4-0 with victories over Arkansas and Vanderbilt in a double-dual meet on Friday at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.

The Lady Vols defeated the Razorbacks 197-103 and overpowered the Commodores 248-48. Arkansas beat Vanderbilt 252-47. Arkansas now stands at 1-1, while Vanderbilt dropped to 2-3.

"We started out with a lot more intensity today," Lady Vol head swimming coach Matt Kredich said. "I think we did a better job executing on our starts and turns as well as with our preparation."

The Lady Vols won 11 of 16 events and were led by freshman Jenny Connolly and sophomore Aleksa Akerfelds, who each won two individual events.

Connolly took first in the 200y back (2:03.51) and the 100y fly (55.33), and was also a member of the winning 200y medley relay (1:43.99). Joining Connolly on the 200y medley relay were senior Katie Gehring, junior Jamie Saffer and sophomore Morgan Farrell.

Akerfelds captured the 1000y free (9:54.91) and the 500y free (4:51.72).

"Aleksa swam against some tough competition today and did an outstanding job," Kredich said. "She put in some great races this weekend."

In diving, UT freshmen Jodi McGroarty and Gabrielle Trudeau each earned NCAA Zone qualifying scores in 1-meter diving while placing second and third, respectively. McGroarty's score was 264.75, while Trudeau tallied 260.40. In addition, McGroarty captured first in 3-meter diving (300.90) in her collegiate debut, also with an NCAA Zone qualifying score.

"It was great to have Jodie McGroarty compete for UT in her first collegiate competition," UT head diving coach Dave Parrington said. "Coming from Great Britain, the college dual meet system is new to her and she was nervous and excited. She won the 3-meter in the final two rounds which I think is a great sign of things to come. It's great that Jodie and Gabbie already have earned Zone qualifying times."

Also winning events for Tennessee were sophomore Tricia Weaner in the 100y back (55.18), senior Brittany Nauta in the 100y free (51.48), Gehring in 50y free (23.60) and Saffer in the 100y breast (1:03.93).

The all-senior team of Gehring, Nauta, Carly Mathes and Ashley Quinn closed the meet with a victory in the 200y free relay (1:34.40).

"Our sprinters were a lot sharper today," Kredich said. "Atlantis Wilkins and Katie Gehring had an outstanding day for us in the sprints. I was also impressed with Tricia Weaner. She had a great 100y back race and Jenny Connolly had another great meet. Tori Richmond also did great today. She showed she has a lot of versatility."

Wilkins, a freshman, was runner-up to Gehring in the 50y free in 23.77, while Richmond, also in her first year, placed fourth in the 200y fly (2:03.57) and third in the 200y back (2:05.84).

For Arkansas, Katie Kastes won two events. The Razorbacks' sophomore took first in the 200y free (1:50.40) and the 200y fly (2:00.81). Also winning for Arkansas were Leah Pierce in the 200y breast (2:17.98), Jamie Marks in the 400y IM (4:22.59) and Madison Palmer in 1-meter diving (272.98).



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