A calm first day of December for the Tennessee Vols wasn’t without its own stories. Alontae Taylor made the biggest news with his revelation on Twitter that he would enter the 2022 NFL Draft and not play in the bowl game.
Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with continuing coverage of the aftermath of the women’s basketball team’s biggest blowout win of the year. Interviews with the coach and multiple players all made news on that front.
Beyond going further with the recap of that game, we’ve also got some Tennessee Vols awards coverage to bring you. Both one football player and one volleyball player were recognized by the SEC for something specifically. We’ll touch on that too, but let’s start with the one game that took place Wednesday.
Kellie Harper, players recap Tennessee Tech win – Maria M. Cornelius
Ranked No. 11 in the AP Poll and No. 10 in the Coaches Poll, the Tennessee Lady Vols moved to 7-0 on Wednesday with a 76-48 win over the Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles. Afterward, Kellie Harper spoke with the media along with Alexus Dye, who led the team with 20 points, Tess Darby, who hit four three-pointers and Tamari Key, who had a double-double.
“Obviously, we gave up too many points, in my opinion, in the first quarter,” Tennessee Coach Kellie Harper said after Wednesday’s matchup in Knoxville at Thompson-Boling Arena. “Their game plan was to try to pull us out. We were over-helping and had to make some adjustments.”
As he wraps up his final season with the Tennessee Vols football team, senior defensive lineman Matthew Butler was recognized by the Southeastern Conference Wednesday. Butler represented UT on the SEC Football Community Service Team. He was one of the players who took advantage of the COVID eligibility ruling, and it paid off with his best season in 2021.
Matthew Butler is a team leader on and off the field who earned his undergraduate degree in political science. He was a member of the 2018-19 VOLeaders Academy that visited Rwanda and was a recipient of the 2021 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and a nominee for the 2020 SEC McWhorter award.
Football wasn’t the only sport whose SEC Community Service Team was announced Wednesday. Volleyball also got that recognition. Giana Pellizzon , the senior defensive specialist, represented the Lady Vols volleyball team for the Southeastern Conference on that one.
During her four seasons on Rocky Top, Pellizzon has made giving back and spending time in the Knoxville community a top priority. She has helped organize Tennessee’s annual Voloween, which brings children and their families from around Knoxville into UT’s athletic facilities for a night of fun and games and trick-or-treating in a safe environment.