LOUISVILLE VS. TENNESSEE
- Thursday, October 24, 2019
- Ralph Wright Natatorium, Louisville, KY
- 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.
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 Eastman’s 44.44. Tennessee won 2:57.49 to 2:57.83, and with that win, won the meet by exactly a single point.