UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State swimming & diving returns to competition for the first time since November, as the Nittany Lions will head south to face Navy and North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in the Tar Heels’ Koury Natatorium Saturday at 11 a.m.
Penn State is most familiar with Navy with the men facing the Midshipmen in each of the past six seasons and the women in five of the past six seasons. The men’s series dates back to 1944 with the Nittany Lions holding a 4-3 edge, while the women first met in 1998 and have a 6-0 mark. The Nittany Lions swept the Mids in McCoy Natatorium last season.
Penn State last faced North Carolina in a scored dual meet in 2004. The Penn State women are 2-5 all-time against the Heels, first meeting them in 1980, while the men are 0-3 in a series that dates back to 1983.
Penn State In the Rankings (NCAA Top 50)
Event – NCAA/B1G –Time
500 Free - 13/5 - 4:38.77
1650 Free - 6/2 - 15:59.03
400 IM - 14/2 - 4:08.06
Event – NCAA/B1G –Time
100 Breast – 21/4 – 53.26
200 Breast - 36/7 - 1:56.96
The Nittany Lions
Penn State is competing for the first time in the New Year after a successful winter training trip to Naples, Florida, over the Holiday break. The Lions last competed just before Thanksgiving at the Ohio State Invitational, in which both the men and women placed seventh. The team’s combined for 28 B-cut swims in the first semester. Dual meets have proven challenging for both the men (1-5) and women (0-6), but both teams have faced very difficult slates. Three of the men’s six opponents in the first semester (No. 22 Virginia, No. 5 NC State, No. 7 Michigan) were ranked, while all of the women’s opponents (No. 13 Virginia, No. 20 Duke, No. 8 NC State, No. 3 Michigan, No. 17 Minnesota, No. 18 Wisconsin) have been ranked. Navy will be the women’s first unranked opponent, while No. 21 North Carolina will be its seventh ranked opponent of the year.
The North Carolina women are ranked 21st and are 2-2 in dual meets, while the men are 1-3. The Navy men are 8-1, while the women are 8-0. Caroline Baldwin leads the Tar Heel women and is one of the top sprinters in the nation with A-cuts in both the 50 and 100 freestyles.
Penn State will host a diving invitational Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 28-29 and the full team will return to competition Friday, Feb. 2 at 4 p.m. for Senior Day when it hosts Villanova.
Check GoPSUSports.com for coverage of the Penn State swimming and diving teams during the season. Follow the team on Twitter at @PennStateSWIM and on Facebook at http://facebook.com/pennstateswimminganddiving.