Saturday, Tennessee's men’s swimming and diving team rallied late to tie Georgia 150-150, while the women's team fell short with a final score of 169-139 at Gabrielsen Natatorium. Tennessee used a 1-2 finish in the final 400-yard medley relay to make up the 13-point deficit to tie the Bulldogs. Ryan Coetzee, Austin Hirstein, Gleb Ionichev and Kyle DeCoursey combined to finish first (2:57.61), and Ty Powers, Alec Connolly, Braga Verhage and Joey Reilman finished second (2:58.61).
“We knew we could get 1-3 in the relay, but we pulled Alec to swim on the B. Joey Reilman had a great last leg on the B to pull it out at the wall,” Tennessee head coach Matt Kredich said. “It was a great test and a lot we can pull from it.”
The Tennessee men won eight of the 16 events: Alec Connolly won the 100 freestyle (44.31), Kyle DeCoursey won the 200 freestyle (1:36.54), Ryan Coetzee won the 100 butterfly (46.56), and Peter John Stevens won the 100 breaststroke (52.91). The Vols also won the 200 medley relay (1:25.80) to kick off the meet.
“It was a great SEC battle,” Kredich said. “Each team threw significant punches during the meet.”
“There were some guys who didn’t win but gave us great points. They weren’t wins, but they kept us in the meet. It gave us a sense that we were in it and fighting.”
The women's team won seven out of 16 events: Erika Brown won the 50 freestyle (22.60) and the 100 butterfly (52.74), Meghan Small won the 400 IM (4:13.73), and Amanda Nunan finished first in the 1000 freestyle (9:53.43). The Lady Vols also won the 200 medley relay (1:39.58).
“We were unsure — Georgia took advantage of that,” Kredich said. “It was good to see Meghan Small back in the 400 IM after being hurt a lot in the last year.”
The springboard events in the diving well were bright spots for both teams: Colin Zeng won the 1-meter with a score of 396.15 and the 3-meter with 419.85, and Liam Stone added a second place finish on the 3-meter.
“Colin had a great event,” diving coach Dave Parrington said. “Liam had one of his best practices this season before competition and had a solid event.”
Rachel Rubadue won the 1-meter with a score of 282.08 and added another 3-meter victory with a score of 329.48.
“I was really pleased with Rachel,” Parrington said. “She was diving versus one of her former club teammates. She’s a good-natured rival.”
Tennessee’s final regular season meet of the season is at home on Friday at 1 p.m. against Florida, when the senior class will be honored.