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Nov. 3, 2011

Meet NotesGet Acrobat Reader

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina swimming and diving teams return to action on Friday against SEC foe Tennessee in the final home meet of the fall schedule. The meet is set to begin at 2 p.m. in the Blatt P.E. Center/Carolina Natatorium.

South Carolina head coach McGee Moody said his squad will need to put forth its best effort of the season to defeat a nationally prominent Tennessee program.

“(Tennessee) will bring fast swimming,” Moody said. “These are two teams that really know how to race at the highest level. They are outstanding programs. We are going to have our work cut out for us.”

The Gamecock women enter the weekend with a 3-1 overall record and 1-0 mark in the conference, while the Carolina men are 2-2 on the season and 0-1 in the SEC. The Gamecocks are coming off a dominant sweep of in-state rival Clemson in the programs’ last-ever meeting. South Carolina defeated the Clemson men, 162-137, and cruised to a 191-108 victory over the Tiger women.

South Carolina received several strong individual performances, as sophomores Rachael Schaffer and Amanda Rutqvist and juniors Matea Peteh and Bobby Cave collected two wins apiece. The Gamecocks also had another stellar day in the distance events, claiming the top four spots in the women’s 1,000 freestyle, the top two spots in the men’s 1,000 free, the top two places in the women’s 500 free and the top three in the men’s 500 free.

Carolina enters Friday’s meet with plenty of momentum on the boards after sweeping the diving events the last two weeks. Senior Courtney Forcucci earned SEC Female Diver of the Week honors for the second time this season after winning the one-meter (322.13) and three-meter (344.55) springboards against Clemson. Patricia Kranz garnered SEC Freshman of the Week honors after posting career-high scores of 287.40 and 334.35 on the one and three-meter boards, respectively.

“We did pretty well,” Moody said. “(Clemson) was one of the best meets I’ve seen us have on the road. We looked pretty sharp right from the start. We swam really well and stayed within our strategy and came out successful. I’m very proud of what our athletes were able to accomplish.”

The Vols enter Friday’s meet at 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the SEC and are coming off a 163-137 victory over Louisville, winning 10 of the 16 events. Last season, Tennessee fished third at the SEC Championships after going 6-2 (2-1 SEC) during the regular season. The Vols wrapped up the year with a 12th-place finish at the NCAA Championships. Seven of Tennessee’s 12 All-Americans are back this season led by junior Ryan Harrison, who won the 200 freestyle at the SEC Championships.

The Lady Vols boast a 4-0 overall record and 1-0 mark in the SEC and are coming off a 183-117 victory over Louisville, wining 15 of 16 events. Tennessee finished 2011 with a 5-2 (2-2 SEC) record and claimed fourth at the SEC Championships. The Lady Vols placed 12th at the NCAA Championships and return six All-Americans from that roster led by first team All-Americans Jenny Connolly, Kelsey Floyd and Lindsay Gendron. Connolly and Gendron earned six All-America certificates last season, while Floyd earned seven.

“If you look at this meet on paper, we are the ones that will have to step up and be faster,” Moody said. “The good news is we are back home and in our own pool. I think our athletes know what is at stake going into this meet. We’ve seen a lot of good things over the last three or four weeks and we have to continue to build on that.”

The Gamecock men are 2-21 all-time against the Vols and have not recorded a win in the series since 1989. The Carolina women are 12-13 all-time against the Lady Vols with their last win coming in 1995.

The men and women’s one-meter diving competition will start at 1 p.m. on Friday, with the swimming portion of the meet scheduled to begin at 2. Live results will be available at sportstiming.com.

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