2018 ACC Men’s Wrap Up: Freshmen Impact, DeSorbo, and Wolfpack Dominance

by Robert Gibbs 30

February 25th, 2018 News


  • When: Wednesday, February 21st to Saturday, February 24th | Prelims 10:00am | Finals 6:00pm
  • Where: Greensboro Aquatics Center, Greensboro, NC (Eastern Time Zone)
  • Defending Champion: NC State Wolfpack
  • Psych Sheet: here
  • Live Results: here
  • Championship Central: here

The 2018 ACC men’s championships are in the books.  The NC State Wolfpack waltzed away with their fourth-consecutive victory, winning 10 of 13 individual swimming events, and all except one relay.  The Louisville Cardinals have now finished 2nd each of the four years they’ve been competed in the ACC since coming over from the now-defunct Big East conference in 2014.  Here’s just a few of the biggest storylines from this year’s championships.  Feel free to leave your own observations in the comments below.

The Kids Are Alright

In our fan guide, we mentioned that several teams had taken some big hits from graduating seniors and were in the process of rebuilding or reloading.  Well, the freshmen came through.  Across the board, freshmen scored more points than any class besides juniors.  Over a quarter of the men who scored 70 or more points were freshmen: Nicolas Albiero (Louisville), Robby Giller (Virginia), Giovanni Izzo (NC State), Eric Knowles (NC State) and Evgenii Somov (Louisville).  In fact, the only three individual swimming events that NC State did not win were won by freshmen (Albiero in the 200 fly and Somov in the breaststroke events).  Additionally, Notre Dame freshman Zach Yeadon turned in a very strong 2nd place finish in the 1650.  The influx of young talent should keep this increasingly-competitive conference making an impact on the national stage.

The DeSorbo Effect

This was the first year that former NC State assistant coach Todd DeSorbo helmed the Virginia Cavaliers, and there’s been a lot of hype about DeSorbo and the impact he could have on a program like Virginia’s.  It was even easier to be bullish on UVA men’s team after their women’s team exceeded expectations and grabbed a conference championship the previous week.  Still, the Virginia women had a stronger recent track record of success, so we tried to temper our expectations for the Virginia men this week.  Apparently that caution was unnecessary.  The Cavalier men came out swinging with a 3rd place finish in the 200 medley relay Wednesday, continued to put up very solid performances over the course of the week, and ultimately outscored projections by about 150 points.  DeSorbo and staff appear to have brought a certain energy to the team that’s probably best encapsulated in this video of sophomore Ted Schubert time trialing the 400 IM Friday night.  UVA consistently ranks among the top five public universities in the United States, and a top-notch program here should help keep the considerable talent in the mid-Atlantic region on the East Coast for college.

NC State Doesn’t Miss a Beat

This does not appear to be a case of Virginia’s gain being NC State’s loss.  In terms of performance, the Wolfpack didn’t miss DeSorbo at all, as they smashed their way into another conference championship, breaking a whole host of conference records, and even one American Record, in the process.  Ryan Held and Anton Ipsen each won three events, with Held being named Swimmer of the Meet, Coleman Stewart was the (unofficial) breakout star of the meet, and Justin Ress dropped a sub-41 split at the end of the week on that record-setting 400 free relay.  This is a team that could be scary good next month, and if either California or Texas fails to come in firing on all cylinders, NC State could be the first team in five years besides those two to earn a top two finish.

Final Scores

1. NC State – 1457
2. Louisville – 1170.5
3. Virginia – 983.5
4. Notre Dame – 941
5. Florida State – 828.5
6. VA Tech – 688.5
7. Duke -621
8. UNC – 568
9. Georgia Tech – 504
10. Pitt – 324
11. Boston College – 137
12. University of Miami (Florida) – 94

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Al Albertson
2 years ago

I’m still baffled by all the DeSorbo fuss. First year head coach. Unproven. Lots of hype. Show me more.

samuel huntington
Reply to  Al Albertson
2 years ago

he is a good coach. But UVA the past two weeks also shows that Augie was a pretty good recruiter but a terrible coach. all in all, it’s good to see UVA rebounding.

Al Albertson
Reply to  samuel huntington
2 years ago

And Sammy.

Reply to  samuel huntington
2 years ago

Speaking of Augie, how did U of A do versus expectations?

JP input is too short
Reply to  Aquaman
2 years ago

They don’t have much in the way of expectations after last year… let’s see in a week.

Reply to  Al Albertson
2 years ago

He’s signed some top recruits. They believe all the fuss. Go Hoos!

Reply to  Al Albertson
2 years ago

Perhaps open your eyes?

2 years ago

lol in the video of ted schubert’s 4 IM, you can see some kid on the bottom right pull his towel off while he’s deck changing (around 3:32)

Reply to  wahoooooowa
2 years ago

Crack kills

Reply to  wahoooooowa
2 years ago

He had to have something to wave while cheering on Ted!

2 years ago

Giovanni Izzo, another freshman, also had over 70 points for the Wolfpack.