DURHAM, N.C - Head swimming and diving coach Dan Colella has announced the slate for the 2011-12 season, which features matchups against seven ACC opponents. The schedule also includes four home meets.
Duke's 2011-12 campaign kicks off with the annual Blue/White meet on October 8 in Durham, N.C. The teams then travel to a dual meet at Maryland on October 22.
Despite strong similarities to last year's slate, 2011-12 will see the Blue Devils travel to Virginia Tech to take on the Hokies, UNC Wilmington and conference foe Florida State on October 29. Duke swimming and diving has not made the trip to Blacksburg, Va., since 2009.
"One of the things we like to do each year is to add some new teams," Colella said. "Over the last few years we've been trying to add more and more ACC programs, and picking up Virginia Tech and Florida State was a nice addition to the schedule. Virginia Tech has a brand new facility and they will be hosting the ACC championship later on this year so it's a great chance to kind of get a test run in the facility."
Following a dual meet at N.C. State on November 5, the Blue Devils return to the Nike Cup on November 17-19 in Chapel Hill, N.C. Another highlight will be the teams' trip to Columbia, S.C. on January 14 for a challenging meet against South Carolina and Queens University of Charlotte.
Duke will face the men's and women's four-time defending conference champion Virginia Cavaliers at home on January 21 before hosting North Carolina on January 27.
The program features an eight-member senior class that will be recognized at home on January 28 against Clemson.
This year's ACC Championships will be hosted by Virginia Tech at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center, with the women and divers competing February 15-18 and the men February 22-26. The teams will then wrap up competition at the NCAA Championships, with the women slated for March 15-17 in Auburn, Ala. and the men on March 22-24 in Seattle, Wash.
The Blue Devils are coming off a successful end to the 2010-11 season in which a combined 27 school records were broken at the ACC Championships. The men's swim team earned a fifth-place finish at the conference meet, while the women took seventh.
Last season's achievements also included a pair of top-20 finishes for both programs at the NCAA Championships, as well as two individual national titles. Abby Johnston captured gold on the three-meter springboard, becoming the first female Duke diver to earn a national title. Nick McCrory established a new NCAA Championship record on the men's platform to repeat as an NCAA Champion.
"We are looking forward to building on the momentum that we are coming off of in regards to last year's success," Colella said. "To have broken 32 school records and accomplishing the things we did at the ACC Championship was great."