Hornbuckle, Anosike try out for USA squads

USA Basketball announced today that Nicky Anosike from the University of Tennessee has been added to the list of athletes under consideration for the 2007 USA Women's U21 World Championship Team and USA Pan American Games Team. Anosike, a rising senior, will join Lady Vol teammate Alexis Hornbuckle at the Trials. Hornbuckle is vying for a position on the 2007 USA Pan American Games Team.

Nicky Anosike, a 2005 USA U19 World Championship Team gold medalist, and Alexis Hornbuckle are two of 45 elite athletes who have accepted invitations to the 2007 USA Basketball Women's National Team Trials, slated to be held May 17-20 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The invitations were issued by the USA Basketball Women's Collegiate Committee, which is chaired by Sue Donohoe, the NCAA's vice president of Division I women's basketball. At these trials, the Committee is expected to announce finalists for the 2007 USA U21 World Championship Team and the 2007 USA Pan American Games Team on May 20. (Hornbuckle is over 21 and not eligible for the U21 team).

Anosike, a 6'4 post player from Staten Island, N.Y., got her start in USA Basketball at the 2003 USA Youth Development Festival. In the summer of 2005, Anosike experienced a summer full of basketball which culminated with a gold medal as a member of the 8-0 USA Basketball Women's U19 World Championship Team. Despite not starting, Anosike played in all eight games and was the team's fourth-leading scorer, averaging 11.4 ppg and was among the top rebounders grabbing 5.3 rpg.

This past season, she helped to lead the Lady Vols to the 2007 NCAA Championship in Cleveland, Ohio, and was named to the All-Final Four Team. During the 2006-07 season, she averaged 7.5 ppg and 6.2 rpg while starting in 36 of 37 contests.

Hornbuckle, a 5'11 guard from Charleston, West Virginia, got her start in USA Basketball at the 2003 USA Youth Development Festival. This past season, she helped to lead the Lady Vols to the 2007 NCAA Championship and earned 2007 Kodak/WBCA All-America honorable mention honors. On the 2006-07 season, she averaged 10.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg, dished a team-leading 146 assists and collected a team-leading 113 steals in 37 games.

The USA will look to defend its world title at the 2007 U21 FIBA World Championships, open to athletes 21 years old or younger (born on or after Jan. 1, 1986). The World Championships will be held this year June 29-July 8 in Moscow, Russia.

Duke's Joanne McCallie returns as the USA's head coach after piloting the 2006 USA U20 National Team to a gold medal at the 2006 FIBA Americas U20 Championship. She will be assisted by collegiate head coaches Sam Dixon of Furman University, an assistant to McCallie last summer, and Arizona State University's Charli Turner Thorne.

The USA U21 finalists, selected following the USA Trials, will reconvene in Colorado Springs June 12 to begin training for the tournament, and the eventual 12-member team will be picked prior to the squad departing for Europe on June 16. The United States was placed in Group B in the 12-nation tournament along with Australia, Brazil, Hungary, Japan and Spain. Group A includes Belgium, Canada, China, Mali, France and Russia.

The Pan American Games women's basketball tournament will be held July 20-24 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and will feature eight national teams from FIBA Americas.

Coaching the USA squad will be Temple University (Pa.) head coach Dawn Staley, a 2007-08 USA Basketball Women's Senior National Team assistant coach. Assisting Staley will be collegiate head coaches Kathy Delaney-Smith of Harvard University (Mass.) and Bill Gibbons of College of the Holy Cross. The USA Pan Ams finalists named following the USA Trials will reconvene July 6 in Washington, D.C., and the eventual 12-member squad will be selected prior to the team departing for Brazil on July 16.

ALL REGION HONORS: Individual achievements by members of the No. 2 Tennessee Lady Vol softball team (54-5) have been recognized with the announcement of the annual National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-South Region selections. Five Lady Vols received nods to the two squads, with four members of the Big Orange scoring first-team choices. From 2005 through this season, UT has tallied a staggering 14 All-South Region selections.

Senior pitcher Monica Abbott (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 region selections), senior centerfielder Lindsay Schutzler (2005, 2006, 2007), senior leftfielder India Chiles (2007) and junior first baseman Tonya Callahan (2006, 2007) were each chosen to the first-team, while junior catcher Shannon Doepking picked up her first career All-Region award by being named to the second-team. Over the previous two campaigns, all nine of Tennessee's region selections have gone on to receive either first- or second-team Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American honors.

The 2007 season has seen the Orange & White register a sparkling 54-5 record, pick up the program's initial SEC regular season title and secure its highest-ever national seeding of fifth in the NCAA Tournament Field of 64. The 54 victories are the most that any UT team has recorded through 59 matchups, while the trip to the NCAA Tourney is the fifth in program history and the fourth consecutively.

Abbott has spent this year breaking high-profile records as the Salinas, Calif., native has established new marks in the NCAA Division I all-time record books for career wins (180), shutouts (105), appearances (241) and strikeouts (2,303). The 6'3 lefthander led the SEC in every major category this year to pick up her third conference Pitcher of the Year award by punching out 587 hitters with a 0.64 ERA and a 41-3 record in 283.0 innings of work.

One of only 12 players in NCAA Division I history to register 300 hits, 200 runs scored and 100 stolen bases in her playing career, Monterey, Calif., native Schutzler is currently hitting .412 for the Big Orange with 49 RBI. Last year's ESPN the Magazine University Division Academic All-American of the Year, Schutzler leads the UT record books in career hits (350), runs (232), stolen bases (115), total bases (467) and triples (20) while rating fourth overall in career batting average (.386) and on-base percentage (.448) and sixth in RBI (152).

The reigning 2007 SEC Player of the Year, Chiles is currently guiding the league in batting average at .473 and finished the league campaign with an SEC-only average at a remarkable .544. The Louisville, Ky., native currently leads the UT record books in batting average at .420, to stand .022 of a point ahead of former two-time All-American Sarah Fekete (.398). She also rates No. 1 in on-base percentage (.459 – first), while her 83 total stolen bases are good for third in Lady Vol history.

First-team All-SEC selection Callahan has continued her strong production for the Big Orange during the 2007 season. The all-time leader in UT history in home runs with 34, the Holden, Mo., native has recorded a .390 batting average this season with a team-high 13 doubles, 10 HR's and 51 RBI. She recently swept the NFCA and USA Softball National Player of the Week and SEC Player of the Week awards after hitting .833 (5-of-6) with six RBI in a high-profile doubleheader sweep of then-No. 1 Alabama in Knoxville.

Doepking reaped first-team All-SEC honors with a combination of a solid campaign that saw the Acton, Calif., native hit a career-best .289 with four HRs and 22 RBI to go along with clutch hitting. Since March 14, she has been responsible for five game-winning RBI in conference contests.

The Lady Vols will host NCAA Regionals beginning Friday at Tyson Park. North Carolina and Winthrop will face- off at 2:30 p.m., while Tennessee and Furman will conclude the opening day's action at 5 p.m.

ROWING RANKED: A fourth-place finish and victories over seven ranked teams during last weekend's Aramark Sprints pushed the Lady Vol rowing squad back into the top 10 in the final USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) NCAA Division I Varsity Eight Coaches Poll of 2007.

The Orange and White started the weekend with a victory over No. 3 Notre Dame in its heat and continued the run with a second-place ranking in the semifinal. In Saturday afternoon's prelude to the finals, Tennessee topped No. 11 UCF, No. 19 Louisville, No. 6 Michigan and No. 13 Michigan State. The group followed that performance with a fourth-place result in the grand final on Sunday, beating No. 7 Minnesota and UCF to the line.

Southern California, which captured the program's first Pac-10 championship last weekend, holds the top spot, while Yale stands second. Aramark Cup winner Virginia is third, while Brown and Central Region champ Ohio State round out the top five. Notre Dame ranks sixth, with Pac-10 squads Stanford and California coming in at seventh and eighth, respectively. Last year's NCAA Division I Varsity 8+ winner Princeton slides in a spot before the Lady Vols.

Tennessee hosts the 2007 NCAA Rowing Championships from May 25-27 at Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

A three-day pass to the event costs $25 for general admission or $10 for children or students, while daily tickets are priced at $15 a person or $5 for students and children. Tickets may be purchased online at ut sports.com until May 24.

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