Tennessee Men Edge Louisville by Single Point

by Robert Gibbs 30

October 24th, 2019 ACC, College, News, Previews & Recaps, SEC


  • Thursday, October 24, 2019
  • Ralph Wright Natatorium, Louisville, KY
  • SCY
  • Dual Meet Format
  • Live Results
  • Score: Tennessee 150.5, Louisville 149.5

Unlike the women’s meet, where the Lady Vols defeated the Cardinals by a wide margin, the score in the men’s action Thursday afternoon in Louisville was a much closer affair. The outcome wouldn’t be decided until the final relay, where a Tennessee win meant the Volunteers won the dual meet by a single point.

The very first event was a harbinger of what was to come, in terms of it being a close meet. Mitchell Whyte led off in 22.41, putting the Cardinals in the lead early. Tennessee’s Michael Houlie (23.67) and Louisville’s Evgenii Somov (23.79) essentially held pace with each other, but Tennessee crept up even more with Braga Verhage’s 21.03’s fly to split Nick Albiero’s 21.27. It came down to the anchor leg, and Alec Connolly split 19.44 for Tennessee on a 0.20 reaction time, while Mihalis Deliyiannis split 19.66 on a 0.31 reaction time. That difference in reaction times proved to be the difference, as the Vols won 1:27.07 to 1:27.13.

It’s worth noting here that Louisville’s top sprinter, Andrej Barna, hasn’t appeared in either of the Cardinals’ dual meets this season, and while nothing’s ever certain, his presence may have tipped the scales in Louisville’s favor today.

Tennessee’s Taylor Abbott took control of the 1000 free just after the first 200, and never relinquished the lead, winning 9:09.93.

In the 200 free, four men were within 0.12s of each other the halfway point, but it was Louisville’s Colton Paulson who had the fastest back half, and won in 1:38.40.

Nick Albiero made it two in a row for the Cardinals with a 47.31 victory in the 100 back, a time that’s under the NCAA ‘B’ cut. Teammate Whyte took 2nd in 48.13.

Michael Houlie interrupted the Cards’ winning streak with a 53.09 in the 100 breast, exactly a half-second ahead of Louisville’s Evgenii Somov.

Tennessee’s Marc Hinawi and Joel Giraudeau went 1-2 in the 200 fly, touching in 1:47.97 and 1:49.53, with Louisville’s Jarrett Jones tying for 2nd.

The 50 free feature each team’s medley relay anchor squaring off again, but this time Deliyiannis came out on top, winning 20.31 to 20.33.

After the break, Connolly put the Vols back in the win column quickly with a 43.94 victory in the 100 free. Heading into this weekend, Connolly was one of only four men who’ve been under 44 so far this season, and holds the top time in the nation with a 43.55 from last week’s Tennesee-Virginia dual.

The Cards battled back by taking four of the top five spots in the 200 back, with Daniel Sos leading the way with a 1:46.07 finish.

Next, Houlie and Somov faced off again in the 200 breast, with Somov getting the win this time, 1:59.24 to 2:00.53.  Abbott made it two in a row for Tennessee when he completed the distance double with a 4:27.00 win in the 500 free.

Louisville then matched Tennessee with back-to-back wins of their own. First, Albiero got his 2nd win of the day with a 47.90 in the 100 fly, although Tennessee swept the #2-5 spots. Then, Sos pulled off a fairly impressive 200 back/fly double with a 1:47.32 win in the 200 fly, almost four seconds ahead of the field.

That win meant the final relay would determine the overall outcome. Louisville swimmers  Albiero (44.55), Somov (44.08), Bartosz Piszczorowic (44.76) put the Cardinals one second ahead of the Tennessee team of Seth Bailey (44.92), Nolan Briggs (45.02), and Josh Walsh (44.55). Once again, it came down to the anchor leg, and Connolly ripped a 43.0 to Michael Eastmans 44.44. Tennessee won 2:57.49 to 2:57.83, and with that win, won the meet by exactly a single point.

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1 year ago

BIG swim by Alec

1 year ago

tennessee is swimming different this year. they look ferocious.

Rainbow Narwhal
Reply to  swimmer
1 year ago

They lost some firepower last year but new faces keep popping up and they keep reloading.

Swim Baron
1 year ago

“It’s worth noting here that Louisville’s top sprinter, Andrej Barna, hasn’t appeared in either of the Cardinals’ dual meets this season, and while nothing’s ever certain, his presence may have tipped the scales in Louisville’s favor today.“

It’s also worth noting that Tennessee’s Matt Wade was not at the meet and certainly would have tipped the scales BACK into Tennessee’s favor.

This comment is just silly. Why take away from Tennessee’s win with a “what if” scenario. If you want the points, stay healthy, stay eligible, or show up on meet day.

Reply to  Swim Baron
1 year ago

Such big athletes, such fragile egos…

Reply to  Swim Baron
1 year ago

Sounds like maybe you should just go straight to the results, since you don’t want any context…might save you a lot of emotions that could better be used on ‘something that matters.’

Reply to  Swim Baron
1 year ago

I find it very hard to believe that a diver would of out scored Louisvilles top sprinter. Crazy how a diver would have changed the outcome of the 400 free relay back in favor of the Vols even if Louisville had Barna. Barna swimming would have meant a Louisville win no doubt about it.

Reply to  GoCards?????
1 year ago

Wade was the SEC freshman diver of the year last year. He would have won both diving events…

JP input is too short
Reply to  Swimmer
1 year ago

And Barna could have won both sprint frees and turned both relays…