Pitt divers excel, but Seminoles swim past Panthers for victory


Pitt first-year Eben Vorster swims for first place Saturday in the 200-meter butterfly. John Hamilton | Visual Editor

By Steve Rotstein | Sports Editor

After inclement weather forced the Denison University Big Red to cancel their trip to Pittsburgh over the weekend, the Pitt swimming and diving teams were left with only one opponent — the formidable Florida State Seminoles.

The Panthers picked up several individual wins in both swimming and diving, but it wasn’t enough. The No. 18 Seminoles men’s team defeated Pitt, 191-109, and Florida State’s No. 24 women’s team picked up an even more lopsided 193-107 victory at Trees Pool.

“The ACC is a great swimming conference, and Florida State is traditionally one of the top teams in this league, so we knew today would be a challenge,” Pitt head coach John Hargis said Saturday in a press release.

Pitt found the most success in the diving portion of the meet on Friday, as senior Dominic Giordano — the defending NCAA champion in the 3-meter dive — took home first place in both the 1M and 3M, posting a score of 366.30 on the 1M and 419.03 on the 3M.

Panthers junior Meme Sharp — the defending ACC champion in the 3M and the school record holder in both the 1M and 3M — nearly followed Giordano’s sweep with one of her own. She won the 3M with a six-dive score of 304.50, but had to settle for second place in the 1M — losing by just a fraction of a point to Florida State’s Ayla Bonniwell, 288.60-288.53.

“We had some tremendously executed difficult dives today, but we also left a lot of points on the board in other areas,” Pitt diving head coach Julian Krug said Friday in a press release. “This was not a particularly sharp meet for us in diving, but we are certainly still on track to go where we want to go at ACCs and NCAAs later this season.”

The Panthers picked up seven individual wins in the swimming competition on Saturday, but the Seminoles proved to be too powerful for Pitt to overcome.

Junior Amanda Richey led the Panthers with three individual wins, capturing the 1,000 free, 500 free and 400 individual medley by a comfortable margin over her opponents. Richey notched a time of 10:01.67 in the 1,000 free, 4:57.93 in the 500 free and 4:24.44 in the 400 IM.

“Amanda once again proved that she is one of the best distance swimmers in the country,” Hargis said Saturday in the release. “She separated herself today and will continue getting ready for ACCs and NCAAs.”

First-year swimmer Eben Vorster, the reigning ACC swimmer of the week, had a strong sequel to his Pitt debut by winning two more events. Vorster secured first place in the 200 fly with a time of 1:49.25, and also won the 400 IM with a time of 3:58.11.

“Eben did well despite being a little under the weather today,” Hargis said in the release. “The kid hates to lose. It’s going to be amazing to watch what he can accomplish over the rest of his Pitt career.”

Panthers sophomore Aaron Sett won the 1,000 free with a time of 9:25.23, and first-year swimmer Valerie Daigneault rounded out Pitt’s seven victories with a first-place time of 2:01.08 in the 200 back.

The Panthers will travel to Columbus, Ohio, next to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes at noon Saturday, Jan. 21.

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