It was a memorable weekend for Tennessee Vols athletics. Spring practice continues in football, and there were two series wins once again on the diamond, including a crucial sweep in a huge in-state rivalry. All of that will warrant coverage to kick off this week.
Our morning update on Rocky Top leads with a recap of a football scrimmage that took place over the weekend and a press conference surrounding it. We’ll then continue with postgame coverage of those two series wins on the diamond.
Beyond those three sports, there are multiple matches on tennis courts that took place over the weekend, and we also have golf and track and field events to cover along with a women’s basketball interview. Let’s talk spring ball.
Josh Heupel talks Saturday scrimmage – Grant Ramey, GoVols247
With a week left in spring ball and no Orange and White game this year, the Tennessee Vols football team held a crucial scrimmage last Saturday. Josh Heupel spoke about the day afterward. Here’s a bit of what he said about the experience heading into his second year.
“I think for us, obviously, we are a year further ahead than where we were the first scrimmage a year ago. More than anything you try to compare where you were at any stage of your spring. I thought the kids handled it (well). Not a lot of issues pre-snap on both sides of the football, for the most part.”
Tess Darby talks women’s basketball future – Jack Foster and Riley Haltom, SI.com
After helping the Tennessee Lady Vols reach the Sweet 16 for the first time under Kellie Harper, sophomore wing Tess Darby spoke about the future of the program on a podcast recently. Here’s what she said on how this past season went.
“It was fun because of who you were surrounding yourself with. All the girls on the team, the coaches, the support staff, everyone, they were just all fun to be around, and that’s what made it so fun playing.”
Tony Vitello, players recap sweep of Vanderbilt – Ben McKee, VolQuest
This past weekend, the Tennessee Vols baseball team scored a huge sweep against the Vanderbilt Commodores on the road. Tony Vitello spoke after the series along with Drew Beam and Drew Gilbert. Vitello talked about what it means to sweep Vandy for the first time since 2009. This is how he described it.
“I think it’s a well-rounded team. And that’s been a work in progress for the last few years. I feel like we had it last year. But this year maybe they’ve got it a little bit better.”
Beam pitched a complete game shutout Sunday to clinch the sweep. Here’s what he said about his performance that day.
“I started them off with a lot of off-speeds, kind of just like last week, but, you know, just really got them on their edge and never let them settle into the box. I kept them guessing the entire time.”
Gilbert, who had a double and a home run Sunday, talked about Vanderbilt’s loud crowd getting quieter as the weekend went on. This is what he said on that.
“You definitely notice that. When you’re stomping on someone’s throat, you know, they tend to get a little quieter.”
While Tennessee baseball stole the show, Tennessee softball got its own huge series win for the second straight weekend. UT took two of three from the Mississippi State Bulldogs, tying a record five home runs Sunday. Karen Weekly recapped the series Sunday along with McKenna Gibson and Ashley Morgan. Here’s a bit of what Weekly said about the weekend.
“You know, the scores may not indicate it, but that was a really tough series. They’re a very good team, and (Sunday) we expected a battle, and early on it was, and even though that ended up being a six-inning game, it never felt like it.”
Gibson hit a grand slam in the third inning on Sunday. Here’s what she said about what she saw from the pitch.
“(Annie Willis) threw me a lot of pitches. I was just going after my pitch that I wanted, attacking it. We had a game plan.”
Morgan hit two home runs Sunday, driving in four runs. Here’s what she said about the first multi-homer game of her career.
“It was really, pretty cool. I was just focused on hitting the ball hard, so good things happen when you’re focused on that.”
Women’s tennis wins two weekend matchups – UTSports
The Tennessee Lady Vols tennis team beat the Arkansas Razorbacks 4-3 Friday and the Missouri Tigers 4-0 on Sunday. They are now 11-6 overall and 5-4 in the SEC.
Tennessee returns to Rocky Top for All Vol Weekend and will close out its 2022 home schedule. The Lady Vols host Vanderbilt on Friday, April 15 at noon. UT then welcomes Kentucky on Sunday, April 17, for Senior Day as the Big Orange honor its three outstanding seniors (Callie Creath, Kylie Duckworth, Tenika McGiffin) for their contributions to the program.
Men’s tennis tops Arkansas – Eric Woods, UT Daily Beacon
On Friday, the Tennessee Vols men’s tennis team defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks 6-1. They are now 17-5 and 5-3 in SEC play.
The Vols began the match by taking the doubles point. No. 72 Adam Walton and Pat Harper were the first finishers, defeating Nico Rousset and Alex Reco 6-3. The win marks Waltons 94th doubles win, and he sits just six wins away from becoming the sixth Vol to achieve 100 wins in both singles and doubles in his final collegiate season.
Track and field completes Florida relays – Ken Lay, VolsWire
Three Lady Vols recorded personal bests over the weekend as the Tennessee Vols Outdoor Track and Field program took part in the Pepsi Florida Relays in Gainesville, Fla., on Friday and Saturday. There were two top three finishes on the men’s side.
Joella Lloyd, Kyla Robinson-Hubbard and Mikele Vickers all made their 2022 outdoor track and field debuts and broke their previous best marks in Gainesville, Florida.
Spencer Cross talks finish in Nashville – Austin Price, VolQuest
On the heels of a third place finish at the Mason Rudolph Championship in Franklin, Tenn., hosted by the Vanderbilt Commodores at the Vanderbilt Legends Course, Tennessee Vols senior Spencer Cross spoke about his performance over the weekend. Cross finished tied for ninth on the individual leaderboards at the event. Here’s a bit of what he said.
“This was a good week overall. I think as a team we’re heading in the right direction.”
Rowing wins dual vs. Alabama – UTSports
Saturday saw the Tennessee Lady Vols rowing program defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on the Black Warrior River. They’re off next weekend before taking part in the Big Ten Invitational April 15 and April 16.
The varsity eight paced the Lady Vols, crossing the finish line in 7:15.4 to beat the Crimson Tide by 12 seconds. Madelyn Walsh coxed the lineup of Emma Seawright, Natalia Loram, Kathleen Rice, Jaimie Armitage, Reagan Long, Lindsey Morrissett, Sydney Pardy and Erin Gifford during the race.