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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

The UF swimming and diving teams will look to end their Southeastern Conference season on a high note against Tennessee on Friday and Saturday.

While the No. 5 men try to rebound from a loss to Auburn last week, the No. 7 women will hope for their sixth straight dual-meet victory.

The women's team takes on the Volunteers first, Friday at 7 p.m., while the men's team won't see action until Saturday at 1 p.m.

UF swimming coach Gregg Troy seems to have the Volunteers' number, going 21-0 all-time against them.

Despite the confidence boost from the Auburn meet, Troy doesn't want his women to get overconfident.

"It's a very improved Tennessee women's team," Troy said. "Tennessee's always raced us tough. We really get their best shot all the time."

The men's team is coming off a loss, but Troy was pleased with his swimmers' effort. He maintains they will have to be more consistent in the relays. "We had some guys a little erratic in their performance," Troy said.

Troy also hopes that this time around, the diving team will leave the men with more wiggle room.

Last week, the women's squad was bolstered by the diving performance of Jeana Bartell, Monica Dodson and Jennifer Funch. UF diving coach Donnie Craine will be taking all 3 to Knoxville.

Against Auburn, the trio combined for 32 points. Craine doesn't believe they'll be able to repeat that performance, noting the home-field advantage. "You go into their home floor, you have to give them the advantage," Craine said. "I think we can compete with them in the diving. Whether we're going to win or not, that's just a matter of the day. … I hope to go in and maybe steal an event from them."

The men's diving team will hope to forget its performance against the Tigers and recover against Tennessee. Grayson Patton and Aaron Leech only managed to tally three points for the Gators last weekend.

"Grayson was very good on (the) one-meter, one of his best events…but it still wasn't good enough," Craine said. "I'm hoping Aaron steps it up a little bit.

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This meet will be the last chance for swimmers to be evaluated against conference opposition before the SEC championships. This could motivate the younger athletes, whose spots on the conference team are on the line.

The Volunteers have all the motivation they'll need. "We're catching Tennessee at home, (it's) their last meet at home and it's their senior day. We'll get a really enthusiastic Tennessee group," Troy said.

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