Press Release courtesy of Pitt Athletics
The Pitt swimming & diving team opens its 2017-18 home schedule this weekend with a two-day tri-meet against two perennial collegiate swimming powerhouses: Virginia of the Atlantic Coast Conference and LSU of the Southeastern Conference.
The Panthers will face the Cavaliers and Tigers at Trees Pool on Friday and Saturday (Oct. 20-21), with competition beginning at 4 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. on Saturday. Both days will open with diving action before swimming starts about an hour later.
Both the Pitt men’s and women’s teams are coming off a season-opening defeat at Georgia Tech on Oct. 6, but the returning Panthers almost universally showed significant improvements in the opening meet compared to last season’s debut event.
“I’m excited with where we’re at this early in the season,” head coach John Hargis said. “As a coach, I look to the past to reference and compare where we were; we’ve made a great transformation since this time last year. These past two weeks, our kids have been motivated from losing at Georgia Tech, and the team has stepped up in practice. We’re expecting some fast swimming this weekend.”
This weekend’s Pitt opponents, Virginia and LSU, are both coming off season-opening victories. The Cavaliers pulled off a sweep at Penn State last Saturday, while the Tigers did the same against Tulane and Loyola from New Orleans.
The Panthers will need their top swimmers—Aaron Sett, Lina Rathsack, Brian Lovasik, Amanda Richey, among others—along with their premier divers—Meme Sharp and Joe Ference—to shine in order to knock off their accomplished visitors in this weekend’s dual meets.
Pitt’s young and talented roster, which features 20 student-athletes that made their collegiate debuts at Georgia Tech, will also look towards its depth to add a boost in the effort to defeat teams from the ACC and SEC this weekend at Trees Pool.
Coach Hargis is looking forward to another early-season test for his squad as Pitt swimming & diving continues to utilize a strategy of scheduling challenging dual meets to best prepare the Panthers for the all-important postseason in the spring.
“I think the true test of any team is how they compete against the best,” Hargis added. “In order for us to be ready at the end of the year for the ACC Championships, one of the best conference meets in thecountry, we have to be comfortable racing against the best. To schedule two perennial powerhouses like Virginia and LSU, and get them to come up to Pittsburgh, is extremely important for our preparations.”
Admission is FREE for all fans at Trees Pool for both days of the meet.