Duke Women, Pitt Men Victorious in ACC Openers

by Ian Murphy 1

October 11th, 2014 ACC, College, News, Previews & Recaps

The Duke-Pitt meet was a close one, with Pitt winning on the men’s side 170-128 and Duke taking home the win on the women’s side, 162-138, in the full meet lineup.

A pair of victories from Duke’s Isabella Paez and Maddie Rusch helped put the the meet out of reach of the Panther women, who fall to 0-1 on the season on the women’s side. Meanwhile, Pitt’s Scott Simmer took home a distance freestyle double for the Panther men who improve to 1-0 on the season.

The Duke women improved to 1-0, while the men fell to 0-1

Full results are available here

Women’s Meet:

Duke started strong, sweeping the 200 medley relays to take an early lead, The women would hold that lead with a strong performance in the butterfly races. The trio of Isabella Paez, 2:00.96, Colleen Wixted, 2:04.04, and Brittany Friese, 2:05.08,  combined to sweep the Panthers in the 200 fly and put the meet, which had been close at that point, on the border of being out of reach. Paez, 55.49, and Wixted, 56.71,  along with teammate Lindsey Cooper, 57.02, combined to sweep the 100 fly as well.

Despite the double victory from the freshman Paez in the butterfly races, the Blue Devils went with Leah Goldman on the fly leg of the medley relay. Goldman, who won the 200 IM, split a 24.78. Goldman was 23.59 in the 50 free, finishing second behind her teammate, sophomore Maddie Rusch. Rusch, a product of New Canaan, Connecticut, and Goldman were then one and two in the 100 freestyle.

Prior to the 200 fly sweep, the Pitt Panther women were hanging in with the Blue Devils, taking wins in the 1000, 200 free, and 100 breast.

The Blue Devils handily won the 400 free relay, setting up a runaway train with junior Chelsea Ye leading off with the fastest split, a 51.90, followed by Maria Sheridan, Maddie Rusch, and Isabella Paez.

Men’s meet:

The men’s side was less of a contest. The Pitt men’s team took home the meet in more convincing fashion.

After a slow start in the 200 medley relay, Pitt used their depth to their advantage to take home the meet. Pitt scored three individuals in all but two events, the 100 breast and the 50 free, and when a team scores like that, it’s a safe bet they are going to win.

The meet was highlighted by a sweep of the 200 backstroke for the Panthers, with Zach Lierley blowing out the rest of the field in 1:49.77, good for seventh in the ACC this season. His teammates Joey Notarianni and Matthew Tankle were second and third with times of 1:53.35 and 1:53.65, respectively.

Another pair of strong swims came from Scott Simmer, who took home both the 500 and 1000 wins. Simmer, a sophomore, came in at 9:30.82 in the 1000, good for fifth in the ACC, and 4:37.16 in the 500, good for eighth in the conference in this young season.

Going forward, Pitt will need to improve on their relays. Duke won both relays on the men’s side. This will be an area to watch for the Pitt men. They were first, fourth, and fifth in the 100 free, and were competitive with Dukes A 400 free relay, finishing in 3:02.93 compared to 3:02.17 from Duke, but the B relay was more than three seconds behind Duke’s B relay for third, coming in at 3:09.81. The stroke speed is there for Pitt to be competitive, but they will need to have more sprint free from the B relay to help them out in dual meets.

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Congrats to the Duke Women. Duke is going to be a powerhouse in the next couple of years. Coach Dan is putting together a string of great recruiting classes.

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