DURHAM, N.C. – Back in competition for the first time in three weeks, the Blue Devil men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams face Tobacco Road rival North Carolina in the teams’ regular season finale Saturday. Events get underway at 12 p.m. from the Tar Heels’ Koury Natatorium and on ACC Network Extra.
Blue Devil Basics
The 21st-ranked Duke women enter the weekend with a 3-1 ledger in dual meets this season and a 1-1 mark against ACC competition while the men’s team sits at 2-2 (0-2 ACC). In their last action, both the men’s and women’s teams earned dual meet victories over Queens University of Charlotte and William & Mary on Senior Day in Taishoff Jan. 12. The Blue Devil divers excelled against the divers of UNCW on the same day, recording first-place finishes in all four events.
Several Blue Devil swimmers have posted times this season that rank among the top 50 in the country:
Maddie Hess – 43rd, 50 Freestyle (22.47); 40th, 100 Backstroke (53.01); 36th, 200 Backstroke (1:54.67)
Kylie Jordan – t20th, 100 Butterfly (52.34)
Easop Lee – 50th, 400 Individual Medley (4:13.52)
Alyssa Marsh – t16th, 50 Freestyle (22.12); 20th, 100 Freestyle (48.29); 16th, 100 Backstroke (52.27); 14th, 100 Butterfly (52.10)
Melissa Pish – t28th, 200 Freestyle (1:45.54); 49th, 1,000 Freestyle (10:00.22)
The Duke women’s 200, 400 and 800-yard freestyle relays all rank within the top 20 in the nation, as do the men’s 200 medley and 800 freestyle relays.
In diving, senior Evan Moretti and junior Nathaniel Hernandez rank among the ACC leaders on the one-meter, three-meter and platform, as does freshman Maddi Pullinger on the one-meter and platform and senior Mackenzie Willborn on the platform.
Duke at North Carolina
Saturday, 12 p.m. l Chapel Hill, N.C. – Koury Natatorium
ACC Network Extra l Live Results
Both North Carolina squads are coming off of dual meet losses to ranked Virginia teams last weekend in Chapel Hill. Saturday’s matchup with the Blue Devils marks the third straight ACC dual meet for the Tar Heels, who faced NC State earlier this month.
While North Carolina has held the upper hand historically in the all-time series between the schools, the Blue Devil men and women have come away with victories in each of the past two seasons. Last year’s meeting in Taishoff saw the Duke women take down the Tar Heel women by a 151-149 margin after a back-and-forth battle and the Duke men emerge with a 157.5-142.5 victory.
"It's North Carolina, cross-town rival," said head coach Dan Colella. "That in itself is great motivation for this team. Even the freshmen - like Lucy Callard who's been a Duke fan since she was a baby - she is super excited for this competition. We're going to have to be at our best tomorrow in order to come out with wins. The last two years we've come out on top, but we have to bring our 'A' game. The fact that it's the last dual meet for our seniors, UNC and we're at a stage in our training where people are feeling good in the water, we're expecting some great performances from both teams."
The Blue Devils and the Tar Heels will share hosting responsibilities for next weekend’s Janis Hape Dowd Nike Invitational. Preliminaries and finals Friday, Feb. 8 and Sunday, Feb. 10 will take place at North Carolina’s Koury Natatorium and both sessions Saturday, Feb. 9 will be held at Duke’s Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion.