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Lady Flames Top UNC Asheville for 21st Straight Victory

January 19, 2019  Asheville, N.C.  RSS
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Gianni Pitto won three events at UNC Asheville, giving her 18 individual event wins this season.

Gianni Pitto won three events at UNC Asheville, giving her 18 individual event wins this season.

Liberty earned its 21st straight dual-meet victory, downing the host UNC Asheville Bulldogs, 136-129, Saturday at the Justice Center Pool.

The Lady Flames improve to 13-0 on the season, extending the Lady Flames' program-record dual meet winning streak to 21. The Lady Flames have also downed their last 14 CCSA opponents in dual meets. UNC Asheville falls to 3-6 on the season.

This is the first time in program history that Liberty's swimmers and divers have competed in different states on the same day, as the Liberty divers defeated Georgia Southern in a diving-only meet, 31-7, today in Statesboro, Ga.  

Liberty Event Winners

• 200 medley relay (Payton Keiner (26.62), Gianni Pitto (29.79), Alicia Finnigan (26.02), Hannah Baker (23.78)) – 1:46.21

• Fr. Emma Hazel – 100 backstroke (57.87)

• Fr. Gianni Pitto – 100 breaststroke (1:04.81), 200 breaststroke (2:20.32), 200 IM (2:08.60)*

• So. Lindsey Cohee – 200 butterfly (2:03.90); 100 butterfly (56.90)*

• Jr. Colleen Donlin – 50 freestyle (24.00)

• Jr. Brittany Weiss – 100 freestyle (53.27)

• So. Emily Manly – 200 backstroke (2:09.19)

• 200 freestyle relay (Hannah Baker (24.64), Colleen Donlin (23.51), Elizabeth Magnusson (24.49), Ricki Lee Hodges (24.69)) – 1:37.33*

* - Achieved the top time while swimming as an exhibition

Notable
• With the win sealed, Liberty swam the last three events as exhibitions. 

• Liberty is now 4-0 all-time against UNC Asheville in women's swimming & diving, defeating the Bulldogs four years in a row. 

• Liberty's 21-dual-meet winning streak is the second longest active winning streak in NCAA Division I women's swimming & diving. Only Stanford (25) has a longer active winning streak in dual meets than Liberty.

• Liberty's 13 wins are tied with the 2014-15 Lady Flames for the second most in a single season in program history. The program record for dual-meet wins in a season is 14, set in 2012-13 when the team went 14-2 overall.

• Pitto has now won a team-best 18 individual events this season. She has won the 100 breaststroke and 200 breaststroke every time she has competed in those events in dual-meet action in her collegiate career.

• Liberty posted 1-2-3 showings in both the 100 backstroke and 200 backstroke.

• Donlin's 50 freestyle victory was her seventh win in eight dual meets so far this season.

• Cohee has won the 200 butterfly in two straight meets.

Up Next

Liberty will host its last regular-season dual meet next Friday and Saturday, welcoming Campbell and Marshall to Liberty Natatorium. Friday's action starts at 6 p.m., while Saturday's first event will be at 11 a.m. Prior to Saturday's session, Liberty will honor its seniors (Shelby Black, Alicia Finnigan, Ricki Lee Hodges, Corrilynn Lynch, Elizabeth Magnusson, Ashley Mauzy and Siani Null) with a Senior Day ceremony.