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Blue Devils welcome ranked Virginia to Taishoff

Posted Thursday, January 19, 2006

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Durham, NC - Duke’s swimmers and divers return to Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion Friday for their third of four home contests this season. The action, which begins at 6 p.m., pits the Blue Devils against Atlantic Coast Conference rival Virginia, whose men are ranked 13th and women 20th in the nation.

The Blue Devil men (3-3, 1-2 ACC) and women (5-3, 1-3) are both coming off wins at Davidson last weekend with each posting their second-highest margin of victory this season. The women downed the Wilcats, 155-79 Saturday, and the men won, 140-94. The Blue Devils collected 18 event titles with seniors Katie Ness (200 freestyle and butterfly) and Julia Lewis (50 and 100 freestyle), sophomores Ryan Packer (50 and 100 freestyle) and Chris Sanders (one and three-meter diving) and freshman Lauren Gonzalez (one and three-meter diving) each picking up a pair of individual wins.

The Blue Devils dominated, sweeping the top three places in five different events: the women’s 200 freestyle, 200 IM, 100 freestyle and 200 backstroke and the men’s 200 backstroke. Freshman Emily Kelly swam the 200 IM for the first time in her career, leading her closest Davidson competitor by over six seconds with a time of 2:10.86. Freshman Kristin Cobb posted a personal-best time of 10:36.86 in the 1000 freestyle to take second, and junior Michelle Aristeo swam a season-high 2:09.11 200 backstroke to win that event.

With three dual meets left this season, the women have already surpassed their win total from the 2004-05 season, and the men have matched it. Both are sitting sixth in the current ACC standings in a season where the men posted their first ACC dual victory in seven years, defeating Maryland Nov. 5, and the women won their first ACC meet in 12 years against Miami the same day.

Virginia’s women are coming off a win at the Jan. 7 Matt Gribble Invitational at Miami, where they totaled 332 points to defeat Colorado State (196) and Miami (103). The men topped Princeton, 119-91, but gave up a 135-108 decision to No. 10 Tennessee Saturday at home.

The Blue Devils and Cavaliers will go head-to-head at 6 p.m. Friday in the Taishoff Aquatics Pavilion on Duke University’s West Campus. Following Friday’s meet, Duke will travel to East Carolina Feb. 28 before closing the season at home against Clemson Feb. 4.

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