Jan. 5, 2007

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - After nearly two months away from competition, the Tennessee swimming and diving team is prepared to start the second half of its 2006-07 season at Northwestern University on Saturday. The Lady Vols bring a 3-2 (2-1 Southeastern Conference) dual meet record to Evanston, Ill., for the 12th meeting between the two schools. UT will try to even the tally at six wins apiece, as Northwestern leads the all-time series 6-5.

"It has been almost seven weeks since we've competed, so we're really excited to get back into that mindset," Lady Vol Head Swimming Coach Matt Kredich said. "We are a much better team right now than we were seven weeks ago. Our skills are better, our conditioning is better, and I believe our team focus is more consistent, so I'm expecting some great performances this weekend."

The Lady Vols already have some stiff competition under their belts as the squad faced No. 1 Stanford, No. 3 Auburn, No. 18 Wisconsin, No. 19 Notre Dame, No. 21 Minnesota and No. 25 Kentucky in the fall. UT is 3-3 versus teams currently ranked in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America's (CSCAA) top-25 poll. Northwestern is not currently ranked.

Junior Christine Magnuson (Tinley Park, Ill.) had a stellar 2006 fall campaign having earned 15 (10 individual, five relay) NCAA provisional qualifying marks in seven different events. At the Minnesota Invite, Nov. 17-19, Magnuson won all four individual events in which she competed and was a member of two victorious relay squads.

Freshman Michele King began her collegiate career in fine form by swimming four events with a total of nine (four individual, five relay) NCAA provisional qualifying times. The York, Pa., native accumulated nine first-place finishes in the four meets contested in the fall of 2006.

Orange-clad divers have also had a successful season thus far. Junior Lauren LeRoy (Oshkosh, Wis.) won both the one- and three-meter events in Minnesota, and most recently the one-meter and one-meter shootout at the Georgia Diving Invitational and Shootout in Athens, Ga., over Jan. 3-5.

"We are in the midst of a tough stretch here," Lady Vol Head Diving Coach Dave Parrington said. "We're coming off a competitive three-day invitational meet. It is a fast turnaround to face an annual foe in Northwestern the next day, which is typically a strong program."

Tennessee welcomed Northwestern to Knoxville on Jan. 7 of 2006 and defeated the Wildcats, 194-158. UT was victorious in 11 of 19 events contested in that meet and returns all but one of its title-winners.

Currently, NU is 1-4 in dual-meet action having dropped decisions to current No. 4 California (102-191), No. 13 Indiana (120-174), Purdue (146.5-153.5) and No. 18 Wisconsin (114-129). Head swimming coach Jimmy Tierney's squad defeated Hawai'i, 133-93, on Dec. 19, 2006 in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Wildcats have not won a home dual- meet at the Norris Aquatics Center since Jan. 27, 2006.

"Northwestern is a very well-coached team that has a lot of similarities to us in terms of depth and talent through each event," Kredich said. "We are going to have to be very focused and very intense in order to win this meet."

Saturday's event will be divided into two sessions, the first beginning at 11 a.m. ET, and the second at 6 p.m. ET.

Order of Events

Saturday Jan. 6, 2007 - First Session at 11 a.m. ET
400y Medley Relay
500y Freestyle
100y Freestyle
200y Breaststroke
100y Butterfly
200y Backstroke
400y Individual Medley
200y Freestyle Relay

Saturday Jan. 6, 2007 - Second Session at 6 p.m. ET
200y Medley Relay
200y Butterfly
200y Freestyle
100y Breaststroke
50y Freestyle
100y Backstroke
1650y Freestyle
200y Individual Medley
400y Freestyle Relay





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