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Wednesday February 1st

UNC swim and dive handily defeats South Carolina at Koury Natatorium

<p>UNC junior fly Boyd Poelke outpaces a South Carolina swimmer in butterfly during the UNC swim and dive meet against South Carolina at Koury Natatorium on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. UNC beat South Carolina 179-115 on the men’s side and 178-122 on the women’s side.</p>
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UNC junior fly Boyd Poelke outpaces a South Carolina swimmer in butterfly during the UNC swim and dive meet against South Carolina at Koury Natatorium on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022. UNC beat South Carolina 179-115 on the men’s side and 178-122 on the women’s side.

UNC swim and dive swept the University of South Carolina Gamecocks in a dual meet on Saturday inside Koury Natatorium with a score of 179-115 on the men’s side and 178-122 on the women’s side.

What happened?

The Tar Heels swept the South Carolina Gamecocks in their third dual meet of the season. The Tar Heels’ men and women both improved to 3-0.

The Tar Heels started off the meet with a loss in the women’s 400-yard medley relay. Shortly thereafter, the Tar Heel men exploded in the men’s 400-yard medley relay, making it North Carolina’s first event win of the match. Sophomore Walker Davis, sophomore Dylan Citta, junior Boyd Poelke, and fifth-year senior Tomas Sungalia swam the relay and came out on top by more than eight seconds.

In the next event, first-year Aislin Farris picked up North Carolina’s first women’s victory of the day. Farris won the women’s 1000-yard freestyle with a time of 10:12.89. First-year Lily Reader placed second in the event, swimming a 10:13.19. This is her fastest time in this event all season.

After a period of alternating event wins, the Tar Heels started to build momentum. Sophomore Skyler Smith won the 100-yard breaststroke with a time of 1:01.94- this is her best time in this event all season. Citta won the 100-yard breaststroke for the men’s side, completing the sweep of the 100-yard breaststroke for the Tar Heels. After this event, the Tar Heels won seven straight events. Through 14 events, UNC led the Gamecocks 84-47 on the men’s side and 74-57 on the women’s side.

The rest of the meet was nonetheless competitive, but North Carolina’s early wins and contributions from diving pushed them over the edge. 

Who stood out?

Citta and Smith swept both of their individual breaststroke events (100-yard and 200-yard) for the Tar Heels. Sungalia also had an impressive outing, coming in first in both of his individual freestyle events. This includes the 50-yard freestyle, which was arguably one of the most competitive races of the meet.

Senior Alexander Hart had a huge day on the diving side, placing first in the three-meter springboard by more than 80 points. Hart also had impressive dive scores, including a score of 76.50 on the final dive of the meet. Junior Aranza Vazquez placed first in the women’s three-meter diving competition and second in the one-meter.

When was it decided?

The Tar Heels won six consecutive events before the first break of the meet. These points combined created a gap between the Tar Heels and Gamecocks, but the meet was still up for grabs. The Tar Heels won the first three events out of the break, widening the gap and creating a divide that would have been hard for the Gamecocks to overcome. 

Huge dives from Hart and Vazquez contributed points to the Tar Heels’ success, making it evident that both the swim and dive sides have high hopes for the rest of the season. 

Why does it matter?

This win made the North Carolina men and women 3-0 on the season, and sets the Tar Heels up to have a successful run in conference meets and beyond. 

This is an especially big win for the men, as they are currently ranked 23rd in the CSCAA-Divsion I national poll. This meet continued the Tar Heels’ momentum, and extended their undefeated records.

When do they play next?

The Tar Heels will travel to Knoxville, Tennessee to compete in the Tennessee Invitational hosted by the University of Tennessee. The Tar Heels will compete in Knoxville from November 17th-20th.

@j_kidd03

@dthsports | sports@dailytarheel.com

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