The Georgia Swimming and Diving teams will travel to Knoxville Saturday to face off against Tennessee in a pair of top 15 matchups.
Both the Georgia men’s and women’s teams currently hold a 2-2 record, and are looking to bounce back from losses against Texas in its last outing.
Like the Bulldogs, the Vols and Lady Vols both suffered defeats in their last meet against Virginia.
“We have to be more consistent in competition.” Associate Head Coach Lance Asti said. “We have to keep the momentum high throughout the entire meet. We had some pretty big swings against UVA,”
Despite senior All- American Zhipeng (Colin) Zeng missing the meet due to sickness, Tennessee’s dive team posted a strong performance as freshman Matthew Wade swept the springboard.
“We put it in the hands of some of the young guys.” Diving coach Dave Parrington said. “To see Matthew Wade step up and win both boards as a freshman was exceptional.... We anticipate having Colin back this weekend and it will be really exciting to see the squad back at full strength,”
The Lady Vols could be relying on some young divers Saturday as senior Rachel Rubadue is questionable.
“Rachel Rubadue has been struggling with an injury, and is kind of day-to-day at the moment.” Parrington said. “She would be the one we’d look to for leadership… Ana Celaya Hernandez is just a sophomore, but continuing to get better every time out so we look to continue to build on that,”
Rubadue is a two time All- American and five time SEC medalist. If she can’t go Saturday it would be a major blow to the 13th ranked Lady Vols.
Last year’s match against Georgia saw the Bulldogs get the best of the Lady Vols 169-139, and the men’s teams ending in a remarkable 150-150 tie.
“They’re a really competitive team.” Asti said. “They’re really deep in some of the longer events like the 200 fly, 1,000 mile, and the other longer strokes.”
Saturday’s meet will be the last in the Allan Jones Aquatic Center for 16 Tennessee seniors.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the senior class,” Asti said. “From where they were as freshman to where they have ended up as seniors they really have put a huge mark on this program… These are guys that have come in and been a great representative of the University of Tennessee.”
The senior class includes four school record holders and 28 All- American honors.
Senior day festivities will begin at 10:25 a.m. and the meet will follow at 11. The meet will air live on the SEC Network.