Nobody from the North Carolina women’s swimming and diving team won a race at the ACC championships last week — but that didn’t stop them from almost winning the whole thing.
Even though no Tar Heel finished first overall in any of the individual events, the team fell just short of beating Virginia in the four-day meet in Atlanta. The Tar Heels finished in second in a pool of 13 with 1,255 points, just behind the Cavaliers’ 1,308.5 points.
“We found ourselves, as we thought we would, in the middle of an ACC title hunt battling the University of Virginia,” Coach Rich DeSelm said. “It came down to the last session and the last few events and our women were amazingly sharp, focused and driven and swam and dove their hearts out. We just came up a little short.”
Despite not having a top finisher, the team was able to keep the meet close because of its depth.
“This is — in the true sense of the word ‘team’ — this is a great team,” DeSelm said. “We did what we did this weekend on depth without a doubt. We didn’t have many people winning races, in fact we didn’t have many people in the top three.”
Senior Danielle Siverling, whose best results were second-place finishes in the 200-yard and 500-yard freestyles despite an impressive all-around performance in multiple events, said she was proud of her teammates even though none of them topped the podium.
“To be honest, I’m not disappointed,” Siverling said. “There isn’t much room for disappointment because we had such a good meet. Of the four ACC championships that I’ve been a part of, this was the most united team we’ve had.”
DeSelm said this unity is something he’s noticed building recently and is a good sign for the future.
“I told the team this: ‘The evolution of the team over the past few years is reminding me a great deal of my memories of some of the great UNC women’s swimming and diving teams,’” he said.