Tennessee Vols morning report: 2020 spring game date set

The date for the Tennessee Vols football Orange and White game and a letter from Phillip Fulmer lead our Volunteers news for Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020.

In less than a week, the Super Bowl and National Signing Day will both be over. At that point, winter sports will be the sole talk of the Tennessee Vols, and the plans for the spring will be in high gear. After all, people start looking to spring right when football season ends.

Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with that way of thinking. We have spring dates to bring you related to the football program, and the UT athletic director released a statement to the public Wednesday about the state of the program.

There is lots of other news to cover as well, though. We have a women’s basketball game to preview, honors in multiple sports and a track and field even to cover. So there are plenty of things happening in Knoxville today. Let’s start with the spring news.

Football spring practice, orange and white game set – Patrick Brown, GoVols247

Spring practice for the Tennessee Vols football program will begin on Monday, March 9, and the Orange and White game will take place on Saturday, April 18. The date of the spring game was initially tweeted out by UT’s football account Wednesday morning. As usual, it will be televised on SEC Network.

Tennessee has gone back to a more traditional format for the Orange & White Game under Pruitt with the first-team offense and second-team defense forming one team and facing the first-team defense and second-team offense. Jarrett Guarantano threw four touchdown passes to earn MVP honors as the White team with the first-team offense and second-team defense won 28-10 in last year’s Orange & White Game, which was a 6:30 p.m. kickoff, a departure from the usual mid-afternoon time slot.

Phillip Fulmer addresses Vol Nation – Phil Kaplan, Knoxville News Sentinel

Athletic director Phillip Fulmer addressed Rocky Top in a letter Wednesday about the state of the Tennessee Vols. Here is a bit of what he discussed.

The first few weeks of Spring classes are in the books, and many of our teams are hard at work every day pursuing excellence academically and athletically. Campus will be buzzing with activity over the next three months, and there will be numerous opportunities to support and cheer on those student-athletes who represent our great university.

Kellie Harper previews Vanderbilt – UTSports

Coming off a win against the LSU Tigers, the No. 22 ranked Tennessee Lady Vols, who are 16-4 and 6-1 in the SEC, will visit the Vanderbilt Commodores, who are 12-8 and 2-5 in the SEC, Thursday night. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. ET. Here is a bit of what Kellie Harper said about the program on Wednesday and specifically playing at Memorial Gym.

“Obviously the gym, the setup, is unique, and I can imagine as a coach, being a little frustrated, being at the other end. You know, the communication has to be really solid by the team.”

Rebeka Mertena earns SEC tennis honors – SECSports

For the first time in her career, Tennessee women’s tennis sophomore Rebeka Mertena earned SEC Women’s Tennis Player of the Week. She earned it for her play in the ITA Kickoff Weekend.

She defeated two ranked opponents in straight sets, defeating Kansas’ Malkia Ngounoue (#93) 6-3, 6-2 and Virginia’s Rosie Johanson (#35) 6-1, 6-3. In doubles, Mertena and her partner have gone 2-1.

Women’s Swimming and Diving makes scholar All-America team – CSCAA.org

With a 3.27 GPA, the Tennessee Lady Vols Swimming and Diving team was named to the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America Scholar All-America Team for the Fall 2019 semester. They were among 762 programs to make the list.

Teams were selected on the basis of their Fall 2019 grade point averages and represent 17,685 student-athletes. Over sixty percent of the selections (470 teams) belong to women’s programs.

Track and field to compete in Texas Tech Invitational – TexasTech.com

Indoor track and field for the Tennessee Vols continues this weekend as they get set to compete in the Texas Tech Invitational, hosted by the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The event begins Thursday and will last through Saturday.

The Sports Performance Center will play host to 12 ranked teams, including the nation’s No. 1 men’s (Florida State) and women’s (USC) programs. The batch of premier programs visiting Lubbock also includes Arizona, Florida State, Miami (FL), NC State, Ohio State, Texas A&M and Virginia Tech. Big 12 competitors making their way to campus include Baylor and Iowa State.