January 25, 2014
H2Okies sweep UNC Wilmington in final dual meet of 2014
Tech earns wins in 23 of 32 events
UNC Wilmington (Women)125.5
Virginia Tech 169.5
UNC Wilmington (Men)112
(13) Virginia Tech 181

WILMINGTON, N.C. -- The Virginia Tech swimming and diving teams won 23 of the 32 events on Saturday afternoon, as the H2Okies swept a pair of dominant victories over UNC Wilmington in their last dual meet before the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships.

The men, who entered the weekend ranked No. 13 in the country, continued their stellar spring season, taking home 13 victories on the day.

Junior CJ Fiala, who transferred from UNCW prior to this season, took home a pair of victories against his former school, clocking a 20.92 to win the 50 freestyle and swimming the anchor leg of the 200 medley relay, which touched the wall in 1:31.60 to start the day with a win.

Sophomore Michal Szuba took top honors in the 1650 freestyle (16:01.15), while junior Owen Burns (1:41.05) and freshman Brandon Fiala (1:41.27) took the top two spots in the 200 freestyle.

Junior Harrison Cefalo (58.05) and freshman Zach Switzer (58.90) finished first and second in the 100 breaststroke, while junior James Crabb (1:50.73) and sophomore Lucas Bureau (1:53.13) swept 1-2 in the 200 butterfly.

Senior Ryan Hawkins had another dominant day in the diving events, taking home wins on both the 1-meter (382.50) and 3-meter (393.60) boards. Jared Butts and Logan Stevens rounded out the top three in both events.

“Our men performed admirably while still being very involved in their training regimen,” Head Coach Ned Skinner said. “Brandon and CJ Fiala are both emerging as great competitors for us. We feel like our men’s team has strong balance in every event and that includes great performances on the boards.”

The men will return to Blacksburg with a 181-112 over UNCW, raising their season record to 13-2. The H2Okies have dropped just a single decision in 2014, tallying a 5-1 record in the new year.

On the women’s side, freshmen Jessica Hespeler and Fiona Donnelly continued their standout freshman seasons, as Hespeler earned a pair of wins on the day in the 200 freestyle (1:52.62) and 500 freestyle (5:02.76), while Donnelly took victories in the 100 and 200 butterfly events in 57.65 and 2:07.19, respectively.

The divers turned in another dominant performance, sweeping the top four spots in both events and breaking both Seahawk Natatorium records. Junior Kaylea Arnett took home her third 1-meter win in as many weeks with a score of 348.90, a new pool best, while freshman Ashley Buchter earned the victory in the 3-meter event while setting a new facility record with a score of 353.47.

“This was a really nice way for our seniors to end their dual meet careers with a victory,” Skinner said. “We were pleased with the energy on the pool deck and our team’s willingness to go out and race while still in a training phase. The divers continue to impress and Coach Piemonte has done an outstanding job in bringing them along. Margaret Parcell, Jessica Hespeler and Fiona Donnelly were all standouts for us today and helped us get a win against a UNCW program, and a head coach in Dave Allen, that was have always had a lot of respect for.”

As a team, the women earned a 169.5-125.5 victory over the Seahawks, their second win in as many weeks after a 263-98 win over Miami last week.

This weekend’s contest marked the H2Okies final dual meet weekend of the season. In two weeks, on Feb. 8-9, Tech will play host to the Virginia Tech Invite at Christiansburg Aquatic Center before the Women’s ACC Championships on Feb. 19-22 and the Men’s ACC Championships on Feb. 26-Mar. 1.

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