Daigneault and Eddy Both Triple, Virginia Men and Women Defeat Pitt

by Robert Gibbs 3

October 21st, 2018 ACC, College, News

  • Charlottesville, VA
  • Saturday, October 20, 2018
  • Full Results
  • Scores:
    • Men: Virginia 180.5, Pitt 114.5
    • Women: Virginia 172.5, Pitt 122.5


The women’s meet got underway with an easy Virginia 1:40.33 victory in the 200 medley relay, as all three Cavalier times finished ahead of all three Pitt teams.

Pitt’s Sarah Giamber won the first individual event as she just touched out UVA’s Abby Richter 10:07.65 to 10:07.67 in the 1000.

That was the first of four individual victories for Pitt, with the other three all coming from Valerie Daigneault.  The junior swept both backstrokes, recording times of 54.66/1:57.07, and she also took the final individual event, the 200 IM, in 2:01.57

The Cavaliers were led by Eryn Eddy, who tripled en route to sweeping the 50/100/200 freestyle events in 23.05/ 50.20/ 1:49.76.

Vivian Tafuto doubled up for the Cavs, winning the fairly unusual event combo of the 500 free and 100 breast in 4:39.87 and 1:03.46, respectively.

Kaki Christensen won the 200 breast in 2:15.77, leading a UVA 1st-5th sweep, and Morgan Hill led a 1st-4th sweep in the 100 fly, winning in 54.99.

The Cavaliers touched first in the final race, the 200 free relay, with Morgan Hill throwing down a 22.41 split after anchoring the medley relay in 22.12.

Things looked pretty similar on the men’s side, albeit without anybody earning three individual victories.

Virginia rolled to a 1:28.39 win in the 200 medley relay, with solid splits all around, including a 19.69 anchor by Lewis Burras, and a 21.12 fly split on the B relay by Bryce Keblish.

Four men earned double victories on the day, three of them being Cavaliers.  Brendan Casey swept the distance freestyles, going 9:15.94 and 4:31.45.  Justin Grender doubled up the backstrokes with times of 49.14 and 1:47.36, while Keefer Barnum did the same in the breaststrokes (54.60/2:00.74).

Pitt’s Samy Helmbacher recorded two of their three individual wins, taking the 200 free in 1:37.86, and the 200 IM in 1:48.34.  Teammate Blaise Vera took the 50 free in 20.33.

Other individual event winners included Zach Fong (1:47.75 200 fly), Burras (44.70 100 free), and Keblish (48.30 100 fly).

Pitt Release

Courtesy of Pittsburgh Athletics

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.—The Pitt swimming & diving teams combined for seven individual event victories in a competitive meet against Virginia’s ranked teams on Saturday at the UVA Aquatic and Fitness Center.

After the majority of swimming races and diving events were decided by narrow margins, the Pitt women (1-3, 0-3 ACC) were defeated by No. 10 Virginia (5-2, 2-1 ACC) by a score of 172.5-122.5, while the Panthers’ men’s team (1-3, 0-3 ACC) also fell to the No. 15 Cavaliers (2-0, 1-0 ACC) by a margin of 180.5-114.5.

Winning events for the Panthers, junior Valerie Daigneaultcontinued her perfect start to the 2018-19 season, earning victories in the 100 back (54.66), 200 back (1:57.07) and 200 IM (2:01.57). Daigneault is now 9-for-9 in placing first in her individual events through three meets.

Junior Sarah Giamber also earned a win for the Pitt women, dramatically winning the 1000 free by .02 seconds with an impressive time of 10:07.65.

Leading the Pitt men, junior Samy Helmbacher triumphed in the 200 free (1:37.86) and 200 IM (1:48.34), while sophomore Blaise Vera continued his strong start to the season by claiming top spot in the 50 free with a career-best time of 20.33.

“For our young team to compete with one of the top programs in the ACC like we did today is pretty remarkable,” Pitt head coach John Hargis said. “I’m so proud of our student-athletes. We won some great races and lost some close races, too. In the end, those loses cost us a little bit. Those races that come down to the wire can change momentum in a meet, and they did today.”

Hargis also highlighted the improvement in Pitt’s recent performances head-to-head against the Cavaliers, who won the ACC women’s title last season and took third in the league on the men’s side.

“Two years ago, we came down to Virginia early in the season and really struggled,” Hargis added. “Today, we proved that we’re making significant progress as a program. We were fractions of seconds away from winning a few more races and scoring more team points that could’ve changed the meet. Again, I couldn’t be more proud of our team and the progress we’re making. It’s exciting for the future.”

Pitt diving coach Katie Hazelton also took several positives from Saturday’s meet, including the performances of Krista Jones on 1-meter springboard (3rd, 264.68) and 5-meter platform (4th, 190.95).

“We saw some great things today from our divers,” Hazelton said. “Krista is showing impressive consistency from meet to meet. We also saw some mental maturity and grit after some early setbacks today. The 5-meter platform showed great promise and debuted a few freshmen on platform. I’m excited to start taking their optional dives up to 10-meter next week.”

After more impressive showings from Pitt freshmen divers Nick Garberina, Amy Read and Serena Buchwald, Coach Hazelton is happy with how her athletes have started the season and is looking ahead to more success at upcoming meets.

“With three dual meets in a row, it has been a great taste of what it takes to be successful at the top of the ACC,” Hazelton added. “Now we will take some time to refine techniques and build our competition diving lists.”

The Panthers are off next weekend before Pitt heads to Notre Dame for another challenging ACC meet against the Fighting Irish and Virginia Tech on Friday, Nov. 2 (diving at 5 p.m.) and Saturday, Nov. 3 (swimming at 10 a.m.).

Virginia Release

Courtesy of Virginia Athletics

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.- The Virginia men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams swept Pittsburgh on Saturday (Oct. 20) at the Aquatic and Fitness Center in Charlottesville, Va. The Cavaliers recorded a first-place finish in 25 of 32 events during the competition, capturing their first ACC dual meet win of the season.

The No. 10 Cavalier women (2-0, 1-0) topped the Panthers (1-3, 0-3) 172.5-122.5, while the No. 15 Virginia men (2-0, 1-0) won their matchup against Pitt (1-3, 0-3) 180.5-114.5.

“Great day today with our second dual meet being a definite improvement upon our first dual meet a couple of weeks ago,” head coach Todd DeSorbo said. “That’s definitely our goal every season, to just progress meet to meet and get better. Our training progresses. Obviously, we should be getting in better shape. We are getting more powerful, more explosive, tougher, learning our races better. So, our goal is to get better week to week and dual meet to dual meet. For the most part, that showed today. Really pleased with where they (team) are at. It’s a tough time of year. October is one of our biggest training months of the year. The team is tired, but definitely had a lot of energy and fed off the crowd, the alumni and family. That helped energize the team today. I’m really pleased with how they did.

Sydney Dusel on the boards again today, winning both events. She’s doing a fantastic job for us under our new diving coach, Drew Livingston. He is doing wonders for us. The guys went 1-2-3 on the 1m as well, a significant improvement over last year, so we are excited about that. The team is being carried by captains and upperclassmen, and our first-years are continuing to step up on both the men’s and women’s side. We are excited about the team. We are excited about each meet, each week. We are excited about the future and looking forward to seeing how the team progresses. We are also looking at getting healthy. We had several people out today due to injury or sickness. It’s kind of that time of year, so we are just looking to get healthy as we head into Auburn and Louisville.”

Virginia opened the day sweeping the diving events with junior Bryce Shelton (Vienna, Va.) capturing a career-best score on the 1m board (360.45). Junior Sydney Dusel (Naperville, Ill.) topped the women’s 1m board (279.98) and the 5m platform (229.95), while freshman Walker Creedon (Cary, N.C.) led the men’s 5m platform (297.00).

Virginia opened the swim meet with redshirt junior Megan Moroney (Deerfield Beach, Fla.), junior Madeleine Vonderhaar (Lakeside Park, Ky.), sophomore Anna Pang (London) and junior Morgan Hill(Olney, Md.) pacing the women’s 200-yard medley relay (1:40.33), while the men’s team of junior Joe Clark (Worcester Park, Great Britain), sophomore Keefer Barnum (Louisville, Ky.), senior Zach Fong(Moorestown, N.J.) and freshman Lewis Burras (Dubai) topped the men’s race (1:28.39).

In the women’s competition, senior Eryn Eddy (Loveland, Colo.) led the team with three individual first-place finishes, winning the 50-yard freestyle (23.05), 100-yard freestyle (50.20) and the 200-yard freestyle (1:49.76). Senior Vivian Tafuto (Hummelstown, Pa.) led the 100-yard breaststroke (1:03.46) in addition to placing first in the 500-yard freestyle (4:59.87). Sophomore Emma Seiberlich (Audubon, Pa.) placed first in the 200-yard butterfly (2:00.70), while freshman Kaki Christensen (Darien, Conn.) finished first in the 200-yard breaststroke (2:15.77). Hill finished first in the 100-yard butterfly (53.99).

On the men’s side, three swimmers each won a pair of events. Redshirt senior Brendan Casey (Santa Monica, Calif.) captured first in the 1000-yard freestyle (9:15.94) and the 500-yard freestyle (4:31.45). Freshman Justin Grender (Cincinnati, Ohio) swept the backstroke events, picking up a win in the 100-yard backstroke (49.14) and in the 200 (1:47.36). Barnum placed first in both the 100-yard breaststroke (54.69) and 200-yard breaststroke (2:00.74).

Additionally, Fong paced the 200-yard butterfly (1:47.75), while Burras finished first in the 100-yard freestyle (44.70) and senior Bryce Keblish (Fairfield, Conn.) won the 100-yard butterfly (48.30).

Virginia concluded the meet with the top time in both the men’s and women’s 200-yard freestyle relay. Eddy, Pang, Seiberlich and sophomore Abby Richter (Henderson, Nev.) recorded a time of 1:33.88. The men’s team of junior Ryan Baker (Arlington, Va.), Grender, Keblish and Burras, edged Pitt for the win in the men’s race with a time of 1:21.24.

The Cavaliers will return to action at home on Friday (Oct. 26) against the No. 25 men’s team and No. 16 women’s team from Auburn.

Watch Todd DeSorbo‘s recap of today’s meet

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Honky Tonk Man

Again, what happened to Whiteside


Chill. Kid’s not gonna be back in the pool and that’s all you need to worry about. The Hoos are gonna have a great year regardless.

Honky Tonk Man

I’m sorry…there is no reason to chill. Not that I care all that much but it is a reportable story that affects uva as well as the rest of the acc. He was a breakout best freshman on uva 2 years ago. Got injured. Redshirted with swimswam article mentioning at semester last year. Had a decent summer coming back from injury. Was mentioned in all uva preview articles on swimswam.

Swimswam reports on all big personnel changes for major teams and reasons. This should be no different

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