Bulldogs dive into the new season with a victory vs. East Carolina University

UNC Asheville’s swimming and diving team scored a big win in their early season dual meet against East Carolina, 160-140.

The Bulldogs entered the 2022-2023 season with high hopes coming off last season, where they finished 8-0 and an unbeaten record in conference play. With their win over ECU, Asheville extended their winning streak in dual meets to 13 dating back to October 2020.

Sophomore diver Morgan Coughlen played a big factor in Asheville’s win during the first day of the meet, scoring 201.30 and 210.20 points in the 1-meter diving event. The diver expressed excitement following her performance, and said she feels much more prepared ahead of future dual meets.

“I think what I’ll take away from this competition is the environment and what to expect when competing this year. It is a whole new team and our diving program has grown, which changed how competing has felt. Now I feel better prepared for what to expect for our other dual meets,” she said.

On the second day of events, senior swimmer Delaney Carlton helped lead the way as Asheville secured a win in the 200-yard medley relay against the ECU Pirates.

“I’m pretty happy with my performance from the meet, and I can’t wait to work on getting stronger and faster as the season progresses,” Carlton said.

Coughlen said she was proud of how she and her teammates performed against a Power Five competitor like ECU.

“Everyone swam and dove really well. I know some of the swimmers had personal best dual meet times which is super great considering this is only our first meet. As far as diving goes, we all dove great and were overall consistent in what we practiced to what we competed,” Coughlen said.

Carlton said her and her teammates stayed locked in and hyped up throughout the meet, leading to some of them scoring their career-best finishers and times.

“I was absolutely psyched to see my teammates do so well this past weekend, I’m very proud of how everyone did. We have already been working really hard this year in the pool and the weight room and are ready to keep pushing ourselves to get better,” Carlton said.

Looking ahead into the season, Coughlen said she sees the Bulldogs gaining more and more success as a group going forward.

“We definitely bring the energy to the meets and support each other through it all, and I think that contributes a lot to our success. It’s easier to compete well when you’re having fun and you have the support of your teammates, and that’s exactly what this team does,” Coughlen said.

Carlton said she and her teammates are looking forward to the tough competition ahead and believes Asheville can match up with anyone on their schedule.

“We are always the most excited and supportive team out there, which pushes people to go above and beyond their expectations of themselves. That’s how we won against ECU, and we’re ready to do that again,” Carlton said.

The Bulldogs next meet on Oct. 22 with swimmers competing against Campbell in a home competition at the Justice Center Pool. The meet will be broadcasted on ESPN+.