Vols return in good form after spring break
Tennessee’s busy fourth week of spring practice began Tuesday after an 11-day layoff for spring break.
But despite the respite, head coach Phillip Fulmer seemed pleased with the Vols’ effort during their 21/2-hour workout at Haslam Field.
“We’re glad to get back to practice,” Fulmer said. “The kids came back in good shape. We had a number of guys who haven’t been out to practice that were able to participate, so in that way the break helped us. And it didn’t look like we had a lot of fall-off in execution or conditioning.”
The team is idle Wednesday before practicing the following three days. Participants in the annual UT Coaching Clinic will see a light practice Friday and then view Saturday’s game scrimmage at Neyland Stadium. The Vols have only five practice dates remaining before the April 8 EdAmerica Orange and White Game.
“There are just a few practices left and, honestly, we’ve got to take advantage of every one of them to get close to where we would call a successful spring,” Fulmer said.
Lady Vols drop to sixth in ESPN.com/USA
A tough weekend has dropped Tennessee (27-4, 2-4 SEC) to sixth in the latest version of the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll.
The Lady Vols will look to get back on the winning track this week by venturing to Lexington, Ky., over March 29-30 for a three-game series against the Kentucky Wildcats (14-16, 2-10 SEC).
After a week out of the top position, the Arizona Wildcats (29-3) swept No. 11 Louisiana-Lafayette (23-6) in a three-contest set in Tucson, Ariz., last weekend to advance back into the No. 1 spot. Texas (35-3) equaled its highest ranking in program history at No. 2 with a 4-0 slate and a pair of triumphs over No. 19 Nebraska (20-6). Last week’s No. 1 team, UCLA (28-2), suffered a 3-2 upset to No. 15 Northwestern to fall into third. Alabama (29-4, 9-0 SEC) advanced from seventh to fourth, and Stanford remained fifth after four consecutive triumphs.
Tennessee dropped from second to sixth with Oregon State (25-2) advancing one position to No. 7. California (29-3) suffered a shocking 8-3 loss to East
Carolina at the Pirate Invitational in Greenville, N.C., to fall two spots to eighth. Arizona State (34-3) and Georgia (28-8, 9-3 SEC) round out the ESPN.com/USA Softball top 10.
Other Southeastern Conference schools in the national rankings include: LSU (No. 12), Auburn (No. 17) and Mississippi State (No. 22).
The ESPN.com/USA Softball Collegiate Top 25 poll is voted on by NCAA Division I coaches representing 15 different ASA regions and 11 different collegiate conferences. The poll is also voted on by selected softball media members.
The Orange & White will open its series with Kentucky on Wednesday, March 29, with a doubleheader scheduled for 3 p.m.
06’ Coca-Cola Big Orange Caravan hits streets April 10
The University of Tennessee Athletics Department rolls out the 17th annual Coca-Cola Big Orange Caravan beginning April 10.
The caravan, featuring stops in eight Tennessee cities and four additional locations outside the Volunteer State, runs through May 17.
“This annual tour is a great way for our coaches to get out and meet the fans that fill our stadium and arena each season,” said Mike Hamilton, men’s athletic director. “This year we’ve made a few changes to the caravan to give our fans the opportunity to have more interaction with the coaches and former players.”
Appearances will be made by Head Football Coach Phillip Fulmer, Head Women’s Basketball Coach Pat Summitt, Head Men’s Basketball Coach Bruce Pearl and Bob Kesling. This year’s caravan is visiting Selmer, Memphis, Cookeville, Cleveland, Chattanooga, Greeneville, Johnson City and Nashville, along with trips to Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.
“Tennessee has a tremendous fan base,” Hamilton said. “The caravan is a great opportunity for us to get into the communities and give our fans the opportunity to be a special part of Tennessee athletics.”