February 16, 2016
Hokies to compete in ACC Women's Championships, Men's Diving Championships
ESPN3 to carry three days of the ACC Championships


BLACKSBURG - The Virginia Tech women’s swimming and diving team as well as the men’s diving team will compete at the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships beginning on Wednesday and running through Saturday in Greensboro, N.C. at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.

The event will be televised live on ESPN3 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with Dean Linke handling play-by-play and Warren Perry adding analysis. There is no charge for admission to the 2016 ACC Swimming & Diving Championships. Parking is available for $8 cash for a single day or $16 cash for all four days of competition.

The Tech women’s team went 9-3 in dual meets during the regular season and also finished tied for second at the Tennessee Fall Invitational. The Hokies were 2-1 against ACC competition with the lone loss coming to No. 5 Virginia. Tech defeated ACC foes Notre Dame and Pittsburgh in a dual meet in November.

The Hokies finished third at the 2015 ACC Swimming and Diving Championships and after a strong fall this year are looking for another great performance.

"The ACC is a fast and deep conference and we were proud of our third place finish last year. There are as many as eight schools that will be right there and it will be a strong challenge for us. Our ladies are prepared and have a history of rising up and competing together," head coach Ned Skinner said.

Entering the event this season, Klaudia Nazieblo holds the second fastest time in the ACC in 200 fly as well as the fourth fastest in the 400 IM and the seventh in the 100 back. Fiona Donnelly has the sixth fastest time in the 400 IM. Maggie Gruber is currently the sixth fastest in the 100 fly and ninth in the 200 breast while Jessica Hespeler is fifth in the 500 free.

"Our women have had a strong year of competing and we are excited to bring our very best to the ACC Championships. Nazieblo, Weronika Paluszek, Hespeler, and Gruber return to the ACC Championships looking strong and we know they will lead us in and out of the pool. We also have a strong crop of seniors including Paluszek, Alyssa Bodin, Mackenzie Stewart, Holly Harper and Gabrielle Bishop who look fast and will guide us this week. Ashlynn Peters and Leah Piemonte have been outstanding for us on the boards and we are excited to see what their week brings,” Skinner said.

Peters, a freshman, won the ACC Women’s Diver of the Week back in October and has put in strong performances all season. Her and Piemonte have both qualified for the NCAA Zone A Championships in both the 1-meter and 3-meter this year.

In addition to what they've accomplished this season, the women boast 2015 Honorable Mention All-American Nazieblo (200 fly) who earned two individual ACC bronze medals (100 back, 200 fly) last year. Paluszek has swam an NCAA B cut already this year in the 200 breast after an All-American campaign in the 200 breast as well as two fourth place finishes at the ACC Championships last year.

Hespeler in 2015 had three top 10 individual finishes at the ACC Championships while Gruber had three top 15 finishes. Hespeler, Paluszek, Nazielbo and Gruber won a bronze together last year in the 400 medley relay.

The men's divers are also looking to put in a strong performance at the championships and will be led by Logan Stevens.

"We are diving all 5 men on our roster- Logan Stevens will conclude his stellar ACC career and leads our men into the week. They all have been looking outstanding," Skinner said.

Stevens was named the ACC Male Diver of the Week on Jan. 19 after he scored a 326.40 in the 1-meter and a 353.55 in the 3-meter event against then-No. 21 Virginia and Towson.

The group of five divers competing includes Stevens, Ben Schiesl Jack Gigliotti, Eduardo Castro-Silva and Mauro Castro-Silva. Schiesl, Gigliotti, Eduardo and Stevens have all already qualified for the NCAA Zone A Diving Championships in both the 1-meter and 3-meter.

The ACC Championships also serve as the point decision in the Virginia529 Commonwealth Clash, the point rivalry series between the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. Currently the score for the Clash is University of Virginia 4 and Virginia Tech 3.5. Learn more about Virginia529 and this new competition at thecommonwealthclash.com.

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