Hill Edges Brown as Virginia Takes Down Tennessee in Charlottesville


  • Results
  • Friday, January 11th
  • Hosted by Virginia
  • 25 Yard Course
  • Dual Meet Format


  • MEN: Virginia 158, Tennessee 142
  • WOMEN: Virginia 178, Tennessee 122

Virginia successfully claimed a win to start 2019 as SEC foe Tennessee traveled for a dual meet against the Cavaliers. Virginia’s Morgan Hill and Paige Madden picked up a pair of individual wins each. Hill swept the sprints, topping NCAA runner-up Vol Erika Brown in the 50 free 22.47 to 22.53. Hill also topped Brown, 48.55 to 49.29, in the 100 free. Brown’s best swim was arguably her 21.68 anchor split in the 200 free relay. She was also 3rd in the 200 free (1:48.03), which was won by UVA’s Madden in 1:46.09. Madden picked up her 2nd win in the 500 free, touching in 4:45.59.

UVA’s Zach Fong was a double winner for the Cavaliers on the men’s side as he swept the butterfly events. He was the only man sub-48 with a 47.59 in the 100 fly. Fong came from behind to top teammate Ted Schubert, 1:46.47 to 1:47.18, in the 200 fly.

Nikol Popov was Tennessee’s top performer with an individual winning double. She used her front-end speed to hold off Virginia’s Kaki Christensen (1:01.90) in the 100 breast, winning in 1:01.58. The two battled again in the 200 breast, with Popov again setting the pace up front to win 2:13.48 to 2:14.02.


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.-  The Virginia men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams set three Aquatic and Fitness Center records on Friday (Jan. 11) as the Cavaliers swept Tennessee in a dual meet. The No. 11 Virginia women topped No. 5 Tennessee 178-122, while the No. 16 Cavalier men defeated the No. 11 Volunteers 158-142.

Junior Sydney Dusel (Naperville, Ill.) opened the meet by setting an Aquatic and Fitness Center record on the 3m board with a score of 357.15. She followed with a win on the 1m board, scoring 303.45, to sweep the day’s events.

The women’s 200-yard medley relay team of sophomore Caroline Gmelich (Rumson, N.J.), freshman Alexis Wenger (Detroit, Mich.), sophomore Anna Pang (London) and junior Morgan Hill (Olney, Md.) opened the swim meet with a facility record. The four swam a time of 1:38.22 to place first in the event. The Virginia women followed with a facility record in the 200-yard freestyle relay with Hill, Pang, sophomore Kyla Valls (Miami, Fla.) and senior Eryn Eddy (Loveland, Colo.) recording a time of 1:30.13.

“I’m pleased with our performances today against Tennessee,” head swimming and diving coach Todd DeSorbo said. “They are a great team and very well coached. It’s always fun to win in front of the home crowd, especially against tough competition that is ranked higher. It provides a little motivation. Our goals as the season progresses are to get faster week-to-week and month-to-month, starting in October and rolling through March. The teams are beginning to hit their strides.

“It was a big day for our female divers and especially Sydney (Dusel) with a pool record on the 3m. Our women’s relays set the tone with two pool records as well. The guys had a full team effort to pull off the upset.”

The Cavaliers captured the top-three swims in three events as sophomore Emma Seiberlich (Audubon, Pa.) paced the women’s 200-yard backstroke with a time of 1:56.33. Redshirt junior Megan Moroney (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) and sophomore Marcella Maguire (Ridgefield, Conn.) followed, recording times of 1:57.08 and 1:58.05, respectively. In the men’s 200-yard individual medley, Schubert recorded the top time in the event at 1:50.28. Sophomore Robby Giller (Wilton, Conn.) placed second with a time of 1:51.00 as sophomore Matthew Otto (Newark, Del.) finished third with a time of 1:51.28. Virginia tied for first place in the 200-yard breaststroke as Otto and sophomore Keefer Barnum (Louisville, Ky.) both touched the wall with a time of 1:59.56. Junior Jacob Wells (Henrico, Va.) finished third with a time of 2:01.73.

Additionally, Virginia finished first in 11 events. On the women’s side, sophomore Paige Madden (Mobile, Ala.) and Hill each recorded a pair of victories. Madden topped the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:46.09 and the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:45.59, while Hill won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 22.47 and the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 48.55. Sophomore Abby Richter (Henderson, Nev.) paced the women’s 200-yard butterfly, recording a time of 1:59.00.

In the men’s competition, Fong swept the butterfly events, recording a time of 47.59 in the 100-yard butterfly and a time of 1:46.47 in the 200-yard butterfly. Sophomore Samuel Schilling (Excelsior, Minn.) led the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:37.43, while junior Joe Clark (Worcester Park, Great Britain) won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 47.83 and redshirt senior Brendan Casey (Santa Monica, Calif.) won the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:27.54.

The men’s 200-yard medley relay team of sophomore Cooper Wozencraft (Houston, Texas), freshman Oliver Rus (Norwalk, Conn.), Fong and Schilling paced the event, capturing first place with a time of 1:27.76.

In addition to Dusel’s performance in the diving events, senior Kylie Towbin (New Canaan, Conn.) finished second in both the 1m and 3m boards with a score of 279.15 and 341.03, respectively. Junior Bryce Shelton (Vienna, Va.) led the men’s team with a second-place finish and a score of 378.88 on the 3m board and a third-place finish and a score of 303.68 on the 1m board.

“Tomorrow we are right back at it with another tough dual against Virginia Tech,” DeSorbo said. “This will give us a great experience for the championship season where we will have to manage emotions and recovery to perform back-to-back at a high level.”

The Cavaliers return to action tomorrow, hosting Virginia Tech in a dual meet at the Aquatic and Fitness Center. Diving events will begin at 9 a.m. as swimming events will follow at noon. The Cavaliers will celebrate Senior Day prior to the start of the swimming session. The meet will stream on ACC Network Extra beginning at noon.


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The Tennessee swimming and diving team lost both meets to Virginia on Friday to open the final month of dual meet competition.

Led by freshman Matthew Wade’s sweep on springboard, the Tennessee men (4-3) won 8 of 16 events but lost to the Cavaliers 158-142. The Lady Vols were paced by a two-win day from sophomore Nikol Popov and won six total events in a 178-122 loss.

With senior NCAA champion Zhipeng (Colin) Zeng not competing while recovering from illness, Wade picked up the points for the Vols on the diving boards. He won the 1-meter springboard with a score of 350.78 and the 3-meter with 390.08. Both scores were career bests.

Friday notably marked the career debut of freshman newcomer Michael Houlie, the 2018 Youth Olympic Games record-setter in the 100-meter breaststroke. Houlie, a native of Cape Town, South Africa, won his first collegiate race — the 100-yard breaststroke — in 53.65.

Winners for the Tennessee men also included: junior Taylor Abbott in the 1650 freestyle (15:02.56), senior Kyle DeCoursey in the 50 freestyle (20.12), junior Alec Connolly in the 100 freestyle (44.36) and senior Joey Reilman in the 200 backstroke (1:45.57). The Vols also won the 200 freestyle relay to end the meet (1:20.03).

Popov continued her strong form in the breaststroke, reaching the wall first in the 100 breaststroke (1:01.58) and 200 breaststroke (2:13.48).

The 1650 freestyle and 400 individual medley rarely make appearances in dual meet competitions (usually represented by the shorter 1000 freestyle and 200 IM), but the Lady Vols took the advantage of the opportunity. Sophomore Amanda Nunan won the 1650 freestyle (16:22.95), and junior Tess Cieplucha took the 400 IM (4:12.54).

Lady Vol winners also included junior Meghan Small in the 100 backstroke (53.40) and freshman Trude Rothrock in the 100 butterfly (53.51).

UP NEXT: Tennessee hosts Georgia for senior day on Jan. 26 at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center. The meet starts at 11 a.m. and will be broadcast on the SEC Network.

Dave Parrington, Diving Coach

“I was pleased to see Matthew continue his development into an elite college diver after his breakout performance at Georgia. To get on the road — a tough trip for us with an evening workout and early competition this morning — I was happy with his composure and performance. He had career bests on both boards and it was an excellent job by him. We needed it with Colin still under the weather. it was great to see the freshman step up and get it done. Will did a nice job on both boards in a tough dual meet. I’m really proud of those guys and the rest of our men.

“On the women’s side, we ran into a bit of a buzzsaw. The Virginia women competed very well. Ana continues to improve her scores and development. I’m pleased with how we went up and competed in a tough road trip. Coming off a hard couple of weeks. We’re coming up on a much-needed training block before we get back to competition.”

Lance Asti, Associate Head Coach (Men)
“We were a little rusty. With the holiday training, we weren’t as ready to compete as Virginia, but there were certainly some bright spots. One of those bright spots was Taylor Abbott’s fight in the mile. He fell back quite a bit early in the race but came back to win. We were sparked by Michael Houlie in his first collegiate meet. He made an impact right away. We learned a lot about what we need to do for the next meet. We were down Colin (Zeng) today, but the rest of the male divers stepped up. Matthew Wade did a great job getting wins on both boards. Alec Connolly swam really well in the 100 freestyle. He had a lot of composure there, looked pretty sharp.”

Ashley Jahn, Associate Head Coach (Women)
“It was really good to get back racing again. Virginia is a very well-coached team and very competitive. it was a good first meet back. They showed us areas we can clean up. Certainly we want to win and we were on the other side of that today, but there were a lot of really good things that we saw to take into the next duals meets and SECs and NCAAs.

“Nikol has done a phenomenal job this season. She’s made improvements again today, in the 200 especially. She had more control to start and then building through the race. She showed more control than she did last year, and she’s on a great path.

“I think (Amanda) Nunan’s mile was great today. We don’t get the opportunity to race the 16450 or 400 IM often. We’re glad Virginia offered us that opportunity. We’ve got more 400 IMers than scoring positions, but (Emily) Sykes wanted an opportunity to race it. Trude had a really good day as well.”

Tennessee First-Place Finishers

1-Meter Springboard: Matthew Wade (350.78)
3-Meter Springboard: Matthew Wade (390.08)
1650 Free: Taylor Abbott (15:02.65)
100 Breast: Michael Houlie (53.65)
50 Free: Kyle DeCoursey (20.12)
100 Free: Alec Connolly (44.36)
200 Back: Joey Reilman (1:45.57)
200 Free Relay: Tennessee (1:20.03)

1650 Free: Amanda Nunan (16:22.95)
100 Back: Meghan Small (53.40)
100 Breast: Nikol Popov (1:01.58)
200 Breast: Nikol Popov (2:13.48)
100 Fly: Trude Rothrock (53.51)
400 IM: Tess Cieplucha (4:12.54)

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4 years ago

Kudos to UVA for a fine weekend of competing. No way I thought they could take down to Chinatown the fabulous Erika “Downtown” Brown! Oh well back to the drawing board as we get ready to win both Women’s and Mens SEC TEAM TITLES!!!

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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