DURHAM, N.C. – Duke University head swimming and diving coach Dan Colella announced Wednesday, Aug. 27 the Blue Devils’ 2014-15 season schedule, which features three regular season meets at Taishoff Aquatic Pavilion.
“We will be facing some of our usual competition that we’ve had on the schedule for the last couple years, but we’ve also added some new programs to change things up,” Colella said. “As always, we’re looking to set up a schedule that will challenge us throughout the year and best prepare us for championship season.”
After opening the fall with the traditional Blue/White intrasquad meet Oct. 4, the Duke men and women will kick off the season on the road at Pittsburgh Oct. 11. The Blue Devil men will go up against the Panthers for the first time since 1954 while the women will face Pittsburgh for the first time. The teams will then return home to welcome UNC Wilmington Oct. 25 and Virginia Tech Oct. 26 for the first dual meet competitions of the year at Taishoff.
The Blue Devils will make a trip to the state of Virginia Nov. 7 and 8, traveling to non-conference opponents William & Mary and Old Dominion. At the end of November, the squads will once again compete at North Carolina’s Janis Dowd Nike Cup Invitational in nearby Chapel Hill. The divers will wrap up the fall semester Dec. 5-7 at the AT&T Winter National Championships in Greensboro, N.C.
Duke will open 2015 at home, hosting South Carolina and Harvard for a tri-meet Jan. 10. Colella’s teams will face the Crimson for the first time in program history.
“With the addition of Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Louisville to the conference, we are excited to be able to start adding some new programs to our schedule,” Colella said. “We’re opening the season with Pittsburgh which should be a great matchup for our first meet of the season. We’re also looking forward to heading up to Virginia and facing William & Mary and Old Dominion, and then opening the spring semester with our traditional meet against South Carolina and adding Harvard to that mix.”
The teams will then visit a pair of ACC opponents in Georgia Tech Jan. 17 and North Carolina Jan. 30 before sending representatives to the College Cup in Chapel Hill in early February.
The 2015 ACC Swimming and Diving Championships will return to Atlanta for the first time since 2011, with the divers and women’s swimmers competing Feb. 18-21 and the men’s swimmers Feb. 25-28. The program’s divers will vie for a trip to the NCAA Championships at the NCAA Zone B Diving Championships in early March.
Duke will aim to have representation at the NCAA Championships for the seventh consecutive season in 2015. The women’s championship will be held at the Greensboro Aquatic Center March 19-21, while the men’s championship meet is slated for March 26-28 at Iowa’s Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.
Following the conclusion of the competition season, the Blue Devils will compete at the College Long Course Invitational in Chapel Hill in early April. The program will then host an end of the year Blue/White intrasquad meet Apr. 17 in Taishoff.
The Blue Devil women are coming off of a seventh-place showing at the 2014 ACC Championship and a 51st-place finish at the 2014 NCAA Championship. The squad sent a record six swimmers to NCAAs last spring, including the first relay in program history. 2014 graduate Christine Wixted led the way for the women, garnering honorable mention All-America accolades in the 200-yard breaststroke.
On the men’s side, 2014 graduates Hunter Knight and Nick McCrory competed at the NCAA meet, with McCrory capturing his fourth national title in platform diving. He became the first athlete to win four championships in that event, in addition to earning All-America honors on the 1-meter springboard and pacing Duke to a 21st-place finish in the team standings. McCrory also won all three diving events at the 2014 ACC Championship and was joined by sophomore Michael Miller (All-ACC – 400 IM) in guiding the Blue Devil men to an eighth-place finish in the conference.