By Dalton Ray–
The men’s and women’s swim team swept in-state rival Kentucky Saturday night at Ralph Wright Natatorium. The women won 190-110 while the men doubled up the visiting Wildcats 200-100.
Head coach Arthur Albiero was very happy with the performance of both teams.
“Anytime you play the local rival people always talk about it,” Albiero said. “For us it’s just another match against good competition, and we needed to continue to match forward progress. That was my challenge for them and they stepped up. We found little improvements in a bunch of areas.”
Both squads jumped up early on Kentucky and didn’t look back. The early relay finishes helped the Cardinals get breathing room, then cruise to the finish line.
Trevor Carroll won three events in the 50-free, 200 free and the 500 free. Grigory Tarasevich and Andrea Cottrell both took home the two backstroke events along with being a leg in the winning relay teams. Kelsi Worrell won the 100-free and 100-fly.
Both men and women started off by finishing first and second in the 200-medley relay. Two events later, they finished one-two in the 200-yard freestyle.
Senior Kelsi Worrell said getting up early on is a big goal.
“Coach (Albiero) always previews the match,” Worrell said. “He’ll try to predict the score based on our preview meets and theirs and when we get a win we weren’t expecting, it gives us more confidence. It’s really big and that energy carries over.”
Louisville won 16 of the 26 swimming events. Kentucky claimed the number one spot in three of the four diving events.
Worrell was very excited after the win.
“We had so much energy and we just had a blast,” Worrell said. “I just love being with the team and love winning. I had so much fun today. And to demolish UK is just icing on the cake.”
With this win the Cardinal’s senior night meet will be Jan. 29 against Indiana. The team loses eight members as a part of this year’s graduating class.
After the season finale the Cards will head into the conference championships in Greensboro, North Carolina. After getting a taste of this tournament last year coach Albiero knows what he and his team are getting into.
“We know the ACC is going to be a bear,” he said. “It’s an incredible conference with great competition and it’s becoming one of the best conferences in the country. We want that to spring us ahead into the NCAAs. You want to be where your feet are but you also want to keep your eyes on the prize.”
The ACC conference championships for the women start on Feb. 17, with the men starting up on Feb. 24.