KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Lady Vols won 10 of 13 events on their way to defeating Vanderbilt 155-86 Wednesday night at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center.
It was the final home dual meet for the 11th-ranked Tennessee squad (8-0, 3-0 SEC), which was coming off a historic weekend victory over No. 2 Georgia. The Lady Vols showed no signs of slowing down four days later as the freshman class helped lead the way and the veterans showed off their versatility.
"Heading into this meet I was a little concerned with something of a letdown from what was really an emotional day on Saturday with the ceremony for the last meet for the seniors and a big win over Georgia," Tennessee swimming and diving coach Matt Kredich said. "A concern would be the team would have something of a letdown, but I thought we were really good. We competed very well."
Just a glance at the roster proves the Lady Vols freshmen have been major contributors to the team's unbeaten record this season. Of the 22 members of the Tennessee squad, 10 of them are freshmen.
On Wednesday, the freshmen stepped up to provide six of the team's nine individual race victories.
Mary Griffith and Anna DeMonte both won a pair of races each. Griffith touched the wall first in the 100-yard freestyle in a career-best 51.99 seconds and the 200-yard freestyle in 1:51.11. She has now won four races in dual meets as a freshman.
For DeMonte, the Vanderbilt meet ended up being a career day. The newcomer from Ann Arbor, Mich., won her first two races in dual meets for Tennessee, winning the 200 individual medley (2:03.31) and the 100 backstroke (56.01). Both were her career-best times as a Lady Vol. She also came in second in the 200 breaststroke.
"It was just really good to get up after being a little tired -- after having something almost like a practice before -- to swimming those best times of the season, so it was a good foretelling of the season," DeMonte said.
Other freshman individual winners included Caroline Finkbeiner in the 500 freestyle (4:57.44) and Amanda Carner in the 200 backstroke (2:01.52).
"I'm just really proud of our freshmen especially for stepping up," Kredich said. "A bunch of our freshmen went faster than they did on Saturday, so for a Wednesday night meet, I'm impressed."
The upperclassmen certainly did their part in Wednesday's victory as well.
Senior Kelsey Floyd was a two-race winner in some less familiar events, winning the 100 breaststroke in 1:05.68 and turning around two races later to take the 50 freestyle in 22.93, a career-best and NCAA B cut time.
Junior Lindsay Gendron, a mainstay in the freestyle events, won the 100 butterfly in 54.52. She was also third in the 100 breaststroke.
"I think putting people in different events gave their races kind of a fresh look and they got excited to race some different events," Kredich said. "Vanderbilt was really competitive with us in just about every event, and that added some excitement to each race."