DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University head swimming and diving coach Dan Colella announced Tuesday, July 28 the Blue Devils’ schedule for the 2015-16 campaign, highlighted by four regular season meets at home in Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion. The demanding slate features dual meet opponents from six different conferences, including four ACC squads, two teams from the Big Ten and one from the SEC.
“We are really pleased with our 2015-16 schedule,” Colella said. “We have several of our annual meets, but have also added some new opponents who will provide our athletes some great competition and better prepare us for the championship season. We have a fairly young team and I think this schedule will provide them with a good mix of both conference and non-conference schools. We look forward to kicking things off with our opening meet against the University of Pittsburgh in October.”
The Duke men and women will open the season at home in Durham for the first time since 2009, welcoming ACC opponent Pittsburgh Saturday, Oct. 3. The meet will mark the first between the two programs in Taishoff in over 60 years. The Blue Devil women won their inaugural matchup with Pittsburgh in last year’s season opener, 162-138, while the men fell to the Panthers by a 170-128 score.
The Blue Devils continue their fall homestand by hosting Florida State and Queens University of Charlotte Friday, Oct. 23. The teams will then face William & Mary and Old Dominion in a two-day tri meet in Taishoff Saturday, Nov. 7 and Sunday, Nov. 8 before concluding the fall portion of the season at the annual Janis Hape Dowd Nike Cup Invitational in Chapel Hill, N.C., Nov. 19-21. The Duke women were fourth and the men seventh at the 2014 edition of the Nike Cup, with rising junior Peter Kropp punching his ticket to the NCAA Championship and breaking a conference record in the 100-yard breaststroke at last year’s meet.
The program will open the new year with a dual meet against SEC opponent South Carolina in Columbia, S.C., Friday, Jan. 8. Last year’s meeting with South Carolina saw the Duke women defeat an SEC opponent for the first time since 2011 with a 165-135 victory over the Gamecock women. The Blue Devils will remain in Columbia the following day to take part in the Gamecocks’ long course time trials.
The following week will present top-level competition as the squads head to Atlanta to take on ACC opponent Georgia Tech and Indiana and Michigan of the Big Ten Saturday, Jan. 16. The quad meet will be hosted by the Yellow Jackets at their Aquatic Center, which will also serve as the site for the 2016 Men’s and Women’s NCAA Championships.
Duke will round out the regular season by facing North Carolina Saturday, Jan. 30 in Taishoff, and by sending representatives to the College Cup Feb. 5-7 in Chapel Hill. The ACC Championships return to Greensboro, N.C., in 2016, with the women’s championship and diving events set for Feb. 17-20 and the men’s competition for Feb. 24-27 at the Greensboro Aquatic Center. The program’s divers will vie for a trip to the NCAA Championships at the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships in early March.
The Blue Devils will look to have representation at the NCAA Championships for the eighth consecutive season in 2016. The women’s championship is scheduled for March 17-19 in Atlanta, followed by the men’s national meet March 24-26 in the same location.
Kropp represented the Duke men in the 100 and 200 breaststroke at last year’s NCAA Championship and joined teammates Kaz Takabayashi, David Armstrong and James Peek on the Blue Devils’ 200 medley relay, which advanced to the consolation final at NCAAs. The group also earned the program’s first NCAA ‘A’ cut in a relay event since the new qualification standards were implemented and finished second at the 2015 ACC Championship.
On the women’s side, freshmen Leah Goldman and Isabella Paez were both selected to the NCAA Championships field a year ago. Goldman captured All-ACC honors with a third-place showing in the 100 butterfly at the conference championship. In addition, the Blue Devil women totaled eight dual meet victories in 2014-15 for the most since the 2007-08 campaign.
Duke Swimming and Diving 2015-2016 Meet Schedule
3rd 11am Pittsburgh Durham, NC
23rd 5pm FSU/Queens Univ. Durham, NC
7 – 8th 1 pm William & Mary/Old Dominion Durham, NC
19 – 21st All Day Nike Cup Chapel Hill, NC
2-4th All Day USA Winter National Championship Federal Way, WA
8th 4pm South Carolina Columbia, SC
9th TBA South Carolina LC Time Trials Columbia, SC
16th TBA GT/Michigan/Indiana Atlanta, GA
30th 11am North Carolina Durham, NC
5 – 7th All Day College Cup Chapel Hill, NC
17 – 20th All Day Women’s & Diving ACCs Greensboro, NC
24 – 27th All Day Men’s ACCs Greensboro, NC
TBD All Day Diving Zones TBD
17 – 19th All Day Women’s NCAA Championship Atlanta, GA
24 – 26th All Day Men’s NCAA Championship Atlanta, GA
Swimming news courtesy of Duke Swimming & Diving.