The Wolfpacker

November 2019

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 101 of 139

100 ■ THE WOLFPACKER BY MATT CARTER I n 2019, for the second time in three years, NC State women's swimming and diving won an ACC title and then finished seventh at the NCAA Championships. This season, how- ever, head coach Braden Holloway, returns a significant portion of the roster that won the conference crown. "I think this year we're a little bit more versatile between the events, a little bit more spread out across the board, which is great," he said. "We lost some pretty big se- niors, senior leadership. We lost some pretty big heavy hitters in the distance events. "But I think overall, we have a great group returning and some great newcomers coming in, and our diving will be stronger. We didn't graduate any divers. On paper, we should be good again. Whether we're going to be better, it's really up to them." The key, Holloway noted, is that break- through at the NCAA Championships. "I think the next step for us is putting ourselves in position to get some women to win some national championships, whether it's relays or individual," he said. "That's the next step — getting one of those under our belt, and also getting as many people as we can [qualified] for the Olympic Games." Leading the returners is senior Ky-lee Perry, the school's fastest all-time swimmer in the 50 freestyle and the second fastest in the 100 freestyle. She reached the A finals (top eight) in both races to earn All-Amer- ica honors at the NCAA Championship this past March. Holloway noted that Perry is having the best fall of her career. Sophomore Sophie Hansson is also back after she finished third in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke races at the NCAA Cham- pionships. She is the top returning finisher in both events, and her coach thinks that Hansson is a strong candidate to win that elusive national title. AIMING HIGH A Talented Wolfpack Squad Hopes To Make Noise At The National Level Sophomore Sophie Hansson finished third in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke races at the NCAA Championships last year, and is the top returning finisher in both events. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS WOMEN'S SWIMMING PREVIEW ■ Key Meets • At Virginia, Jan. 24: The Cavaliers are the one ACC team rated higher (at No. 2) in the preseason coaches' poll. • ACC Championships, Feb. 19-22: NC State has won the meet two of the last three years, and Virginia owns the other title in that span. The two will renew their rivalry in the pool in Greensboro, N.C. • NCAA Championships, March 18-21: NCSU is hop - ing for its best finish ever, topping the seventh-place showings in 2017 and 2019. The national meet is in Athens, Ga. Three Swimmers To Watch Sophomore Kylee Alons Part of a talented group of sophomore swimmers at NC State that helped spark the Pack to an ACC title a year ago, her name is already all over the Wolfpack record books. She has top-10 times in the 50 freestyle (second), 100 freestyle (10th), 100 butterfly (first), 200 butterfly (first), 100 backstroke (fourth), 200 backstroke (fourth) and 200 individual medley (seventh). Sophomore Sophie Hansson Head coach Braden Holloway is hoping to have that breakthrough national championship moment in women's swimming, and Hansson offers an excellent chance at that. She is the top returning finisher from last year's NCAA championships in both the 100 and 200 breaststroke. Senior Ky-lee Perry The 2017 ACC Freshman of the Year rebounded from an elbow injury that wiped out most of her sophomore campaign to become an individual All-American for the first time, earning it in both the 50 and 100 freestyle in 2019. She owns the school record in the former and will seek to break it in the latter this year.

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