Tennessee Lady Vols
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Tennessee Lady Vols
Tennessee Lady Vols
Representing the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in women's intercollegiate athletics, the Tennessee Lady Volunteers have been among the top ten elite women's college basketball teams in the country since 1974. The team won seven NCAA tournaments under its coach Pat Summitt, in 1987, 1989, 1991, 1996, 1997, and 1998 and most recently the 2007 NCAA tournament.The University of Tennessee fields twenty men's and women's varsity intercollegiate teams and is home to more than 500 student-athletes. The Lady Vols compete as member of the Southeastern Conference.
Tennessee Lady Vols Head Coach
Pat Summitt attended the University of Tennessee-Martin, where she starred on the women's basketball team. During her tenure, she was named an All-American and was named co-captain of the silver medal-winning 1976 Olympic basketball team. In 1974, Pat Summitt took over as coach of the Lady Vols. She was 22, and 4 of her players in that first season were 21. It had been only 2 years since Title IX was passed, giving female student athletes equal opportunity with males. But at that point in time, there wasn't much of a fan base for women's basketball. The Lady Vols played in front of an average of fifty people in those early years. The Lady Vols were a new program at the time. They were already a successful program, in their inaugural seasons, but Pat Summitt took them and not only maintained those winning seasons but built on them. In 33 years, she's never had a losing season. 33 years later, the Lady Vols average about 8,000 spectators per home game, and that average will probably go up next season, thanks to the interest generated by winning the seventh championship. All told, during the Summitt era, the Lady Vols have won 14 Southeastern Conference regular season championships, and 12 Southeastern Conference Tournament Championships. During the Summitt era, the Lady Vols have a cumulative record of 947-180.
In 1986-1987, the Lady Vols won their First National Championship under Head Coach Pat Summitt and went on to win National Championships in 2 of the next 4 seasons and then, in the mid-1990's, went on a run of three straight national titles. In 1998 Tennessee finished 39-0. They had won three consecutive titles and six of the previous 12. The Tennessee Lady Vols were defeated on April 2nd, 2000 by UConn 71-52, ending the Lady Vols 20 game winning streak and their hope for championship number seven. Kristen Ace Clement sprained her ankle during practice and could not play. 4 new recruits were signed for the 2000-01 season. They were 6'4 Center, Ashley Robinson from Grand Prairie, Texas, 6'1 Forward, Courtney McDaniel from Bristol, Tennessee, 6'0 Guard/Forward, LaToya Davis from Forsyth, Georgia, and 5'11 Guard, Tasha Butts from Milledgeville, Georgia.
In 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 were four more Final Four visits. All ended in disappointment. That last one, in particular, was bitter. Would-be rookies Candace Parker and Alex Fuller were sidelined all season with knee injuries. Sophomore Sidney Spencer suffered a torn ACL in February. All three had to watch from the bench as Tennessee let a 16-point lead in the national semifinals get away against Michigan State.
In 2007, after almost a decade without a win, the Tennessee Lady Vols again won the national crown. In fact they couldn't have had a better season last year. They had a 34-3 record and were undefeated in the SEC (Southeastern Conference). Not to mention that they were the national champions in the NCAA tournament, beating Rutgers. They ranked first in their SEC division and in the SEC overall winning all 14 SEC games. Parker earned the Final Four's most outstanding player award in 2007 national championship tournament, with 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists. She was splendid this entire tournament. But her teammates all did what they needed to do as well in the title game. Nicky Anosike rebounded as if her life depended on it, finishing with 16 boards. Shannon Bobbitt hit critical 3-pointers, scored 13 points and was a complete pest on defense. Alexis Hornbuckle rebounded well from the guard spot and helped harass Rutgers into 18 turnovers. Spencer scored 11 points. And Alberta Auguste came off the bench for 10 points, making the Scarlet Knights pay when they collapsed on Parker. The team was also ranked fourth in the USA Today/ESPN coaches Top 25 women's college basketball poll.
The 2007 NCAA Champion Tennessee Lady Vols basketball team was also honored by President George W. Bush at the White House. This marked the seventh time a Lady Vol basketball team has been honored at the White House. The Lady Vols also visited the Library of Congress before going on a tour of the White House. Later that afternoon, the team met the President and had photos taken before the South Lawn festivities.
Lady Vols' Thompson-Boling Basketball Arena
The Lady Vols play their home games in the Thompson-Boling Arena, in Nashville Tennessee. That arena has a capacity of 24,535. The team previously played their home games at the Stokely Athletic Center (capacity 12,700), which is still in use for some smaller sports such as volleyball. Tennessee athletic officials commissioned a complete overhaul of Thompson-Boling for its 20th anniversary. After a $20 million roof-to-floor renovation of Tennessee's basketball arena, it's the replacement of the trademark plastic orange seats with sharper-looking black ones that has people talking. Besides the new chairs, the facility now features 32 new luxury suites, upgraded box seats and a $3 million state-of-the-art scoreboard with orange Tennessee signs.
The 2007-2008 Season
The reigning national champs are coming into the 2007-2008 season with plenty of returning starters and a clear plan of attack. They have a brand new practice facility right next to the renovated Thompson-Boling Arena where they play their home games. The Volunteers have tough non-conference games against North Carolina, Duke, Stanford, and a re-match of the national championship game with Rutgers. Plus, of course, the Lady Vols play their tough SEC schedule -- most notably games against LSU, Georgia and Auburn. Tennessee Lady Vols have a very seasoned team -- with Seniors Nicky Anosike, Shannon Bobbitt, and Alexis Hornbuckle -- in addition to Candace Parker. Parker has been keeping busy in the off-season playing for the USA Basketball Women's Senior National team where she scored a team high of 21 points in the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship game. Parker played alongside former Lady Vol Kara Lawson who was also a big contributor on the team.
Tennessee Lady Vols Basketball 2007-2008 Roster
? 00 Shannon Bobbitt G 5'2 Senior New York, New York? 2 Cait McMahan G 5'4 Sophomore Maryville, Tennessee? 3 Candace Parker G/F/C 6'4 junior Naperville, Illinois? 5 Angie Bjorklund F/G 6'0 Freshman Spokane Valley, Washington? 14 Alexis Hornbuckle G 5'11 Senior Charleston, West Virginia? 20 Sydney Smallbone G 5'10 Freshman Granger, Indiana? 21 Vicki Baugh F/C 6'4 Freshman Sacramento, California? 33 Alberta Auguste F 5'11 Senior Marrero, Louisiana? 44 Alex Fuller F/C 6'3 Junior Shelbyvile, Tennessee? 52 Kelley Cain C 6'6 Freshman Atlanta, Georgia? 55 Nicky Anosike F/C 6'4 Senior Staten Island, New York
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