Lady Vols win SEC all-sports title

In what was another breakthrough campaign for the University of Tennessee Women's Athletics Department, the Lady Vols were announced as the 2005 Southeastern Conference women's all-sports winner by the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group. UT totaled 76.50 points for a 9.56 average (in eight sports), while Georgia had 85.50 points and a 9.50 average (in nine sports).

Overall, the Lady Vols claimed league titles in cross country, indoor track & field, soccer and volleyball during the 2004-05 academic year. Additionally, basketball and volleyball also claimed SEC Tournament Championships.

Remarkably, all 11 sports sponsored by the UT women's athletics department advanced to their respective NCAA events.

''To win this championship for the second consecutive year is indeed an honor and extremely special since I believe the SEC is the best conference in America for women's athletics,'' Athletics Director Joan Cronan said. ''Not only did we win four league titles, but we also captured two SEC Tournament Championships -- a tremendous accomplishment.

''A lot of credit should go to the University of Tennessee for the outstanding support it provides for our department. We are also fortunate to have an outstanding group of student-athletes, as well as an excellent coaching staff regarded as among the best in the country. The administrators and support staff within the Lady Vol program, who day-in and day-out provide the best services for the student-athletes and coaches, have played an integral role in our success.''

The New York Times Regional Newspaper Group, which includes 14 newspapers throughout the Southeastern United States, awards trophies to the league school that captures each of the three all-sports titles. A first-place SEC finish is worth 12 points, second is given 11 points, and so on. A school's point total is divided by the number of sports it fields to arrive at the average. The New York Times Regional Newspaper Group took over coordination of the SEC All-Sports rankings in 1994-95. Prior to that, the league office tabulated the SEC All-Sports totals.

For the 14th consecutive year, the University of Florida collected the SEC overall all-sports title, finishing first in the men's standings and third in the women's. The Gators compiled 149 total points in 16 sports for a 9.31 average to edge Tennessee (9.03) for the overall title as the Lady Vols claimed the top spot for the women and the Vols placed second in the men's standings.

On the men's side, the Gators totaled 72 points for a 10.29 average, only the fourth time a men's program has finished with a 10.00 or better. Tennessee finished second with 59 points and an 8.43 average, while LSU placed third with an average of 7.64.

The SEC all-sports trophy has been awarded since the 1973-74 academic year. The SEC tabulated the all-sports totals until 1994-95, when the New York Times Regional Newspaper Group took over the coordination of the standings and the awards.

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