Lady Vol rowers release schedule

Looking to capitalize on last year's first full-team berth at the NCAA Championships, the Lady Vol rowing program has lined up another tough schedule for the 2006-07 season.

Tennessee will once again challenge some of the top programs in the country, including last year's NCAA Varsity Eight champ Princeton and top-20 programs Ohio State, Stanford and UCLA before potentially capping the season on the Big Orange's second home on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn., the site of the 2007 NCAA Rowing Championships.

"I have designed our schedule to facilitate our training objectives, to challenge our competitive level, and to get a taste of what is coming in the spring," Head Coach Lisa Glenn said. "Each race in the fall is equally important when you consider these three areas needing development."

The fall schedule of head races starts on Oct. 14 when UT opens at the annual Chattanooga Head Race. The next weekend will see Glenn and company travel to the most prestigious head race in the world, the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, Mass. On Oct. 28, the Orange and White return to the home waters of the Tennessee River at Fort Loudoun Lake for the Head of the Tennessee.

For the second straight year, the Lady Vols will compete in the Head of the Hooch Regatta on Nov. 4-5 before closing out the fall campaign at the Rivanna Romp, held in Charlottesville, Va., on Nov. 12.

"The fall season is a vital component in our year - both from a training and competition standpoint," said Glenn. "In the fall, we establish the foundation upon which we will build later in the year."

After those fall races and the program's winter training sessions, the Lady Vols open the spring on March 17 with a scrimmage against Minnesota and Notre Dame on Fort Loudoun Lake. Tennessee hosts its only regular-season home event on March 24 when South Region foe Louisville comes to Knoxville.

"The spring brings great opportunity for sprint race development, as always," said Glenn. "We enjoy hosting in the early season and traveling to meet top competitors outside our region later in the season. This year's team knows how helpful our spring dual meets are in preparing us for the regional championship and the postseason.

"I have a great deal of respect for the teams we will be meeting along the way, and we are looking forward to some great competitive racing in the spring of 2007."

The spring season continues on the road, as the Orange and White row against the Buckeyes of Ohio State and an opponent yet to be determined in Columbus, Ohio, on April 7. The next weekend has Tennessee competing against some of the best programs in the PAC-10 Conference at the Stanford Invitational in Redwood City, Calif. UT will then have a chance to row the waters at Melton Hill Lake on April 21-22 at the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Regatta.

The regular season ends on April 28, when Tennessee faces George Washington, Massachusetts and the host Tigers on Lake Carnegie next to the Princeton, N.J., campus.

The 11th-annual Central and South Region Championships christen the postseason at Melton Hill Lake on May 12-13. Two weeks later, the course will host the NCAA Rowing Championships over May 25-27.

"Finally, we have the opportunity to host the NCAA Rowing Championships this year," Glenn commented. "I am honored to be involved with such an event and feel responsible for helping to make it a great experience for the student-athletes who will compete at this high level. Of course, our athletes are striving to push this very same level and are making no assumptions along the way.

"The team is setting very high standards for themselves. When it comes down to it, each day is the critical measure here. In rowing, race day capability is accumulated over time. That is the beauty of an endurance sport. We have been training together for about two weeks. So far, we have taken some very solid steps in the right direction. I am looking forward to each next practice, week and race as we work to make the fall the sound base it needs to be for the spring."

Seven rowers return from last year's Varsity Eight shell that finished 13th at the NCAA Championships. In total, 22 varsity athletes return from the squad that won its first NCAA South Region title a year ago.

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