The Tar Heel men delivered a solid performance in the tri-meet. Senior Ozzie Moyer and junior Jack Nyquist won the one-meter and three-meter diving events, respectively. Sophomore Michael McBryan earned a first-place finish in the 200-yard breaststroke, as did senior Sam Lewis in the 100-yard butterfly.
The Tar Heel women could not keep up with the swimming powerhouses, earning just two first-place finishes. Junior Hellen Moffitt placed first in the 100-yard butterfly and sophomore Elissa Dawson won the three-meter diving event.
“I think our energy was a little flat,” senior Ally Hardesty said. “Once you get started and start off in a little bit of a stump, it’s hard to get back up. We had some races where we were coming back and fighting, but it wasn’t enough in the end.”
But Saturday was a different story.
Both UNC teams swept Duke in the last dual meet of the season, as the women seized a 179-121 win and the men earned a 156-142 victory.
“I think we leave (Saturday), not just because we won the meet, but we leave (Saturday) feeling a little stronger about who we are and what we can accomplish versus (Friday) night,” DeSelm said.
Going into the final five events, the Blue Devil men possessed the lead. But the Tar Heels won three straight events, and junior Eugene Tee clinched the victory for the UNC men in the 400-yard individual medley.
After being tied at 75 at the intermission, the Tar Heel women won six of the final seven events to pull away for the win. The team sealed its victory with 1-2-3-4 finishes in the 100-yard freestyle and in the 400-yard individual relay.
“During the break we had a meeting, and I asked them if this was worth fighting for,” DeSelm said. “They didn’t have much of a choice to answer, but it was a resounding yes.”
“We weren’t happy with how we did (Friday) night, and I think the challenge (Saturday) was to regroup, turn around, get ourselves focused on the team and teammates, and taking care of yourself and your responsibility. And by and large, I think we did that (Saturday).” — DeSelm on his team’s performance against Duke.
Lewis’ performance in the men's 100-yard butterfly was instrumental in the Tar Heels’ comeback win over the Blue Devils. In one 25-yard burst, Lewis overcame a half a body length deficit to win by 0.15 seconds.
Three numbers that matter
6: The number of Taishoff Pavilion records the Tar Heels set on Saturday at Duke.
10: Each team won 10 of 16 events against Duke. In the tri-meet, UNC’s teams only won a combined six events.
20: Tar Heel seniors honored Friday night. Saturday’s meet marked the last time the Class of 2016 will ever compete together again.
UNC will compete in the Carolina College Invitational at Koury Natatorium starting on Friday and lasting until Sunday. The preliminaries will be held each day at 10 a.m. followed by the finals at 6 p.m.