Kentucky, Tennessee to face off in the water as well this weekend
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/UK Athletics) – Not only will Kentucky and Tennessee face off in football this weekend, but the battle of the border will start Friday afternoon in Lexington as the RV/No. 12 University of Kentucky men’s and women’s swimming and diving team hosts No. 17/7 Tennessee.
The meet between the two Southeastern Conference foes is slated to begin at 2 p.m. ET at the Lancaster Aquatic Center and will be streamed on SECN+.
The Wildcats will face ranked opponents for the third time this season, as the Lady Vols clocked in at No. 7 in the CSCAA preseason poll with the Vols landing at No. 17. The Kentucky women’s team was ranked No. 12 while the men received votes to begin the year.
With nearly two weeks off from competition, Kentucky will look to rebound following losses against No. 23 Auburn and No. 4/3 NC State during a tri-meet on Oct. 22. The women’s squad has a pair of wins under their belt versus Indiana State and Ohio, and the men’s team bested Miami Ohio in their home opener.
Kyndal Knight was named the SEC Female Co-Diver of the Week on Oct. 19 following her wins on both the 1-meter (299.10) and 3-meter (361.50) against the Bobcats. Her impressive score on the 3-meter bested the field by 43 points en route to setting a new career high and she achieved Zone qualifying standards on both disciplines.
Also leading the Wildcats is Riley Gaines, who has several dual meet wins under her belt heading into the meet. The senior co-captain earned a pair of first-place finishes in the 100 free (49.28) and 200 free (1:47.35) at Auburn, also winning the 50 free (23.06) and 100 free (49.77) in the season opener at Indiana.
On the men’s side, Mason Wilby took fourth in both the 100 fly (48.96) and 200 fly (1:47.63) in UK’s latest appearance after sweeping the 100 fly (49.71) and 200 fly (1:48.80) versus the RedHawks. Jakob Clark was victorious in the 200 free (1:38.28) and 500 free (4:28.65) against Miami Ohio, also finishing second in the 1000 free (9:16.10) and 500 free (4:31.38) against the Hoosiers.
Kentucky and Tennessee faced off twice during the dual meet season last year before meeting yet again at the SEC Championships. The UK women narrowly beat the Lady Vols, 152-148, in Lexington on Oct. 29, 2020, before dropping a 178.5-121.5 decision in Knoxville on Jan. 14, 2021. The Wildcat men’s team fell to Tennessee, 194.5-105.5, at home on Oct. 30 and at Rocky Top, 216-84, on Jan. 15.
Tennessee will arrive in Lexington on Friday with a 2-1 record in dual meet action. Both the men’s and women’s squads posted wins over UNC-Wilmington and No. 7/13 Louisville but lost to No. 4/3 NC State. The Vols and Lady Vols finished third and fifth, respectively, at the SEC Championships a season ago.