In front of a packed Koury Natatorium on senior night, the results were not favorable for UNC. The Tar Heel men defeated the Cavaliers 201.5-98.5, but fell to the Wolfpack 186-112. The women faired worse, getting swept by their opponents, losing 178-122 to UVa. and 162-138 to N.C. State.
“Once you get started and you start off a little bit in a slump, it’s hard to get back up,” said senior Ally Hardesty, who contributed to three top-three finishes in freestyle events on Friday.
UNC did not have much time to lick its wounds, however, with a meet at Duke (6-4, 2-2 ACC/7-3, 3-1 ACC) the next morning. The Tar Heels would fair much better on the day than they did the previous night, sweeping the Blue Devils in a tightly contested meet, 156-142 for the men and 179-121 for the women.
UNC got off to a slow start, with the women’s score tied and men trailing by 15 points at the first diving intermission.
“At 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 give an answer, but it was a resounding yes.”
After that point, it was all UNC the rest of the way, with both teams furiously racking up points in nearly every race that followed. Highlights included a 1-2-3 finish for Hardesty, senior Lauren Earp and sophomore Caroline Baldwin in the women’s 100-yard freestyle and senior Sam Lewis making up half a body length in the final 25 yards to take the men’s 100-yard butterfly by 0.15 seconds.
The departing seniors made major contributions to both meets for UNC. But even with the high emotions, they found time to have some fun in their final dual meets as Tar Heels.
Senior Ozzie Moyer turned in first- and second-place finishes on Friday in the one-meter and three-meter dives. But the highlight of his night came when he stepped onto the board and his final dive was announced as “4-0-5 Dab on ‘em!” followed by Moyer dabbing for the crowd before beginning his routine.
“It was a running joke whether I was gonna do it or not,” Moyer said.“I didn’t know that I was going to (dab) until a couple of minutes before that dive, but I thought it would be a good way to go out. … I’d rather be happy going out than sad.”