Oct. 19, 2006

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Coming off their most successful season in nearly a decade, the Tennessee Lady Vol swimming and diving squad will take to the water for the first meet of the 2006-07 season as they serve as host to the Louisville Cardinals on Friday.

Diving action is slated to begin at 4 p.m. with swimming events set for a 5 p.m. start at the Student Aquatic Center on the UT campus. Admission is free.

The Lady Vols, ranked 15th in the initial College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) poll, look to keep alive a streak of 14 consecutive wins in season-openers. Tennessee is 4-0 all-time against the Cardinals.

Tennessee returns six All-Americans from its 12th-place NCAA squad - Elizabeth Christy, Tiffany Clay, Megan Tomes, Christine Magnuson, Sam Maccherola, Carly Mathes - and a slew of swimmers and divers who set lifetime-best marks in 2005-06. Seven highly-touted newcomers will also get their first taste of action in the collegiate ranks.

"The first meet always brings a lot of excitement," Lady Vol Head Coach Matt Kredich said. "After two months of facing each other in practice, we are really excited to get a taste of outside competition."

Louisville got its season underway a couple of weeks early with a season-opening thrashing of Eastern Illinois on Oct. 6 in Charleston, Ill., 198-97. The Cardinals won every race contested in the meet.

"The Louisville coaching staff has done a phenomenal job in the past few years of both attracting and developing talent. It is an impressive program that is growing quickly in quality and depth. We expect some great competition tomorrow."

Last season, Tennessee stormed to a season-opening win over the Cardinals in Louisville, 180-114. In the meet, three Lady Vol swimmers bettered the NCAA "B" qualifying time as Megan Tomes (200y freestyle), Jacque Fessel (100y backstroke) and Tiffany Clay (100y breaststroke) got their seasons off to a rousing start.





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