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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC swimming and diving falls to Louisville

North Carolina’s swimming and diving team traveled to Louisville, Kentucky, for a two-day meet starting on Friday. Despite a strong effort, both the men's and women's teams fell to the Cardinals.

What happened?

UNC's men’s and women’s teams are both ranked No. 20, but lost on the men’s side with a score of 241-112 and on the women’s side with a score of 209-144.

At the end of competition Friday, the Tar Heels trailed Louisville’s women’s team 93-74 and the men’s team 110-57, but hoped for a stronger showing Saturday. Instead, the Tar Heels only won two of the swim races and one of the diving events.

Louisville kept the lead by consistently winning races — 29 to be exact — over the competition. Louisville took two of the top-three slots in 28 races, a feat the Tar Heels only managed six times.

On Friday, senior Hellen Moffit won the 200-yard backstroke, senior Jorden Merrilees won the 500-yard men’s freestyle, senior Sarah Koucheki won the women’s 200-yard butterfly and UNC won the women’s 400-medley relay. The two races the Tar Heels won on Saturday were both thanks to Moffitt.

For the diving team, Elissa Dawson won the women’s 3m event and came in second in the 1m. Jack Nyquist won the men’s 1m and the 3m.

Who stood out?

Moffit won three of her four individual races during the meet. Two of those came on Saturday and were the only Tar Heel race victories of the day.

Moffitt came in second in the 200-yard IM, but finished first in the 200-yard backstroke, 100-yard backstroke and the 100-yard butterfly. She also helped the Tar Heels to victory in the 400-yard medley relay and to second place in the 200-yard medley relay.

When was it decided?

The Cardinals got out to a quick lead Friday after winning the first two events, the 200-yard freestyle relay and the 200-yard IM, in both the men’s and women’s races. UNC started to rebound on Friday with a victory in the women’s 400-yard medley relay.

But it wasn’t until Saturday that the Tar Heels’ fate was sealed. The Cardinals swept the first event of the day, the 200-yard medley relay, and won 17 out of the 19 races throughout the rest of the day.

Why does it matter?

Coach Rich DeSelm said one of the goals for the meet was to swim the best times they have, and the Tar Heels accomplished that. Although UNC would’ve liked to be come out on top, DeSelm said they understand they need to keep their eyes on the future and let this weekend motivate them.

The Tar Heels hope to continue improving, but have already faced difficult competition, including No.7 Georgia and No. 13 Tennessee.

DeSelm hopes facing such teams will prepare UNC for the final stretch of this season and for the NCAA Championships in March. 

Where do they play next?

UNC will compete in the NCSU/GAC Invitational on Nov. 17-19 in Greensboro.


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