Nov. 5, 2009
By Zach Stipe, Media Relations Graduate Assistant
KNOXIVLLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee women's swimming and diving team will look to remain undefeated in the Southeastern Conference when South Carolina travels to the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center for a 1 p.m. dual meet on Friday.
The Lady Vols (2-1 overall and 2-0 in the SEC) are fresh off a dominating 193-103 victory over Kentucky last week. UT captured 12 swimming events against the Wildcats, as seniors Alex Barsanti and Michele King, sophomores Jenny Connolly and Tori Richmond and freshman Kelsey Floyd each snagged first-place finishes in a pair of individual events. Connolly, Floyd and King also teamed with senior Jamie Saffer to kick off the meet by winning the 200y medley relay in a season-best and NCAA `B' cut time of 1:42.23. That performance ranks fifth in the country.
"We expect great competition from South Carolina," Lady Vol head swimming coach Matt Kredich said. "I felt like we let up a little bit at the end of the meet against Kentucky, and what we are looking for are more specific things form everybody in their races to avoid that this week. We are going to have some individual goals and some team goals that are independent of the competition. What I'm looking for is a lot of intensity from each person in each of their three of four races. I will be looking for more consistency and more high level focus from everybody."
Floyd is the reigning SEC Swimming and Diving Female Freshman of the Week after she nabbed victories in the 1000y free and 200y back in addition to her part on the 200y MR versus UK.
Connolly also was spectacular against the Wildcats, as she captured both the 100y back and 100y fly. She has won both of those races in all three meets this season.
On the boards, sophomore Gabbi Trudeau recorded a career-best score (295.80) en route to placing second on the 3-meter at the home-opener. Fellow sophomore Jodie McGroarty also nabbed a runner-up finish on the 1-meter in her first meet of the season. The Lady Vol divers should expect strong competition from the USC divers, who already have three women qualified for the NCAA Zones.
"As we go into our third consecutive week against a SEC foe, the level of competition continues to improve," Tennessee diving coach Dave Parrington said. "South Carolina has a history of exceptional divers and this year is no exception, as they bring two All Americans. We'll be well tested. Our divers are excited for the challenge and I look for continued improvement from every one. Jodie McGroarty continues to regain her health and I am hopeful she'll be able to contest both events this Friday."
The Gamecocks (0-4 overall and 0-1 in the SEC) dropped a 155-145 contest to Clemson last week in a meet that came down to the final relay. Junior diver Courtney Forcucci swept both board competitions against the Tigers, while classmate Claire Thompson touched first in the 200y and 500y free events.
Led by diver Taryn Zack's SEC-title-winning performance on the 1-meter board, South Carolina finished seventh at the conference championships last season. Zack, a junior from Edmonton, Cananda, and Forcucci, who transferred to SC from Houston this season, both earned All-America honors in 2008.
The Lady Vols and the Gamecocks have met 24 times with each winning 12 times. South Carolina, however, hasn't bested UT since 1993.