By Dalton Ray–
Indiana traveled to Ralph Wright Natatorium on Jan. 29 as fans bid farewell to the seniors on U of L men’s and women’s swim and dive team. The Hoosiers swept the Cardinals after 12 seniors were honored prior to the meet.
The 12th-ranked men lost 175-125 while the ninth-ranked women fell 159-139. Coach Arthur Albiero wasn’t happy with the result but enjoyed the festivities and effort.
“Senior day is always filled with mixed emotion,” Albiero said. “I remember back to recruiting these guys and seeing how far they’ve come, that’s what it’s all about as a coach. It’s always hard to fall on the short end of the stick but I’m proud of the way the group fought.”
The women’s team is losing a fair amount of talent off of the 2016 senior-class including the two-time NCAA champion Kelsi Worrell. Andrea Kneppers, Devon Bibault, Mary Ingmire and Lucy Kramer are the remaining members of the graduating class for the women’s team.
The men’s 2016 senior-class consists of Nate Bond, Pedro Coutinho, Bryan Draganoksy, Ruben Izarra, Sean Piner, Nolan Tesone and Dexter Thomas. Albiero is cognizant of what the group of seniors accomplished.
“People always ask me, ‘How do you replace key people?’ The answer is you don’t,” Albiero said. “Each person brings something unique to the table. This group has meant so much to the program. They’ve been front and center the last four years. They’ve had a big part of the raise of the program and they have a legacy.”
The U of L men’s team fell behind early against Indiana and couldn’t catch up. The U of L women’s team held a slight lead, but loss the edge with four events left.
Worrell won two relays, 200-meldey and 400-free, and then 200-fly and 200 back. Grigory Tarasevich won win the 100 and 200 back along with helping the team win the 200-meldey relay. Tesone blew away the Hoosiers in the 200-IM.
Afterwards, Tesone explained how much the University of Louisville meant to him.
“I love being here with my friends and family,” he said. “This is such an amazing school and the whole athletic department comes together and rallies behind each other. It’s been awesome to be apart of this program and it’s changed my life.”
The men fell behind early in some close races and the losses in those events tallied up. As the U of L men pulled back into contention, the ninth-ranked Hoosiers pulled away. The U of L women lost the lead after the 12th-ranked Hoosiers swept the 500-free.
Albiero said the matches were different for the men’s and women’s team.
“For the women it came down to a couple 100’s here or there,” Albiero said. “Even in men’s diving we got down early on. We won our fair share and we needed a couple more to go our way. It’s apart of the game and it’s why we love what we do.”
Next for U of L is the Louisville Invitational on Feb. 13 and 14. After the invitational, U of L heads to the ACC championships. Both teams travel to Greenburg, NC. The women’s team competes from Feb. 17 to Feb. 20. The men’s team competes Feb 24 to Feb. 26.