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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC swimming and diving finish long weekend with split against NC State

Tough competition was exactly what Coach Rich DeSelm and the North Carolina swimming and diving teams wanted Saturday against N.C. State – and that’s exactly what they got.

Coming off their final home dual meet Friday, two blowout victories against Duke, the Tar Heels got all they could handle. The men fell to the Wolfpack 180-118, while the women took another close victory 155.5-145.5.

DeSelm said he scheduled the two meets back to back to simulate what the ACC and NCAA meets will feel like.

“It’s important that our team go through this experience and know how to handle the demands of multiple events, multiple sessions, multiple days,” DeSelm said.

Although the difficulty of the weekend was planned, for the men, the outcome against N.C. State was not.

“Going over there I thought it was going to be a lot closer than it ended up being,” freshman Henry Campbell said.

Campbell was one of the Tar Heels bright spots, recording career-best times in both the 1,000-yard freestyle and the 200-yard individual medley.

“I felt good in the water,” Campbell said. “(DeSelm) did a pretty good job getting us ready. A lot of us distance guys did pretty well. I know Josh Beals had a season-best time as well.”

Despite some personal successes, Campbell said the team still needs to keep focused and get ready for the upcoming championships.

“There was a little frustration from losing because nobody wants to lose, especially as badly as we did, when we definitely thought we could have done better,” Campbell said. “So I’d say there was some frustration but we’re still a team so it’s alright.”

The women’s team got what they wanted, pulling out another close victory. The team hasn’t lost to N.C. State since 1982.

“I think everyone was a bit nervous,” junior Emma Nunn said. “We really haven’t had that much practice with swimming at night and then showing up the morning.”

The Tar Heels depth was key to the women's team' victory, especially coming off the Duke meet the previous night.

“Even if we don’t have a superstar in every event, we have people in every event who are going to beat the other team,” Nunn said.

Leading the charge of strong performances were Nunn and senior Danielle Siverling, who both won two individual events.

“We’re a well-balanced team,” DeSelm said. “And they had it on the line to be undefeated in the ACC and we were able to meet that goal.”

With the win over N.C. State, the Tar Heel women finished undefeated in the ACC regular season for the first time since 2007. Even the lack of rest couldn’t slow them down.

“I think this was beneficial to do this close to conference,” Nunn said. “I think a lot of people surprised themselves with how well they did the second day.”

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