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July 2012 Archives

Happy Birthday - July 31: Ben Bartholomew

On July 31, we wish Happy Birthday to football fullback Ben Bartholomew.
Ben Bartholomew

Libietis Advances at Lithuania Futures

Rising sophmore Mikelis Libietis earned his first ATP point since October 2010 on Tuesday, earning a first-round victory at the Lithuanian President's Cup, an ITF Futures event in Lithuania.

Libietis received a wild card into the event and defeated No. 827 Francesco Vilardo of Italy 6-1, 7-6 (2) to advance to the second round, where he will face second-seeded Jordi Samper-Montana of Spain. Samper-Montana is ranked No. 290 in the world. 

With the win, Libietis will be back in the ATP world rankings for the first time since December 2011. He won two Futures-level matches in 2010. 

Libietis figures to be the top returner for Tennessee's tennis team this season. The big-serving Latvian native played No. 1 singles and doubles for the Vols in every dual match as a freshman in 2012. He finished the year ranked No. 34 in singles and No. 16 in doubles with Hunter Reese.

Vols In NFL Update (7/31)

As training camp continues, continue to read about former Tennessee Vols who are currently on NFL rosters.

- NFL News:Peyton Manning tries to quiet arm strength concerns
- ESPN The Magazine: You're not the boss of me (Arian Foster)
- ESPN: Expectations high for Criner and Moore
- Nashua Telegraph: Stallworth takes long way back to Patriots
- KCChiefs.com: Camp Notebook: Eric Berry barely skips a beat
- NOLA.com: Saints are down two starting cornerbacks after Jabari Greer pulls groin
- ESPN: 2008 top draft picks (Jerod Mayo)

   Kansas City Chiefs & former Tennessee Volunteers safety Eric Berry (29) hits Anquan Boldin of the Ravens

Vols In The CFL Update (7/31)

There are a handful of former Vols who are currently playing in the Canadian Football League. Demonte' Bolden and Demetrice Morely find themselves on the Calgary Stampeders, Jonathan Hefney is a member of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and after an 11 year career in the CFL Jermain Copeland has switched roles and is currently the receivers coach of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Take a look at how your former Vols did last weekend:

- Copeland Helps Tiger-Cats To Comeback Victory
  The Tiger-Cats outscored the Roughriders 21-2 in the fourth quarter using three touchdowns to eke out a 35-34 victory. Hamilton is now 5-2 on the season.

- Stampeders Fall To Lions 34-8
Bolden and Morely's team, the Calgary Stampeders fell 34-8 to the BC Lions. The duo did not register an statistics in the loss, however, Morely has notched 10 tackles and a sack on the season. The Stampeders fell to 1-4 with the loss.

- Hefney and Blue Bombers Defeat Eskimos For First Win
Led by Hefney who notched a team high four tackles in the game, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers overcame a 10-point halftime deficit and held Edmonton to just one point in the fourth quarter to earn its first win of the season, 23-22.

.Jonathan Hefney






ESPN Tabs Da'Rick Rogers as 24th-Best Player in the SEC

In his running countdown of the top-25 players in the SEC, ESPN.com's Chris Low has ranked Tennessee wide receiver Da'Rick Rogers No. 24 after he led the conference with 67 catches last season. 

Low credits Rogers for having "unlimited physical tools" and says he should "own the middle of the field this season with (Justin) Hunter and junior college newcomer Cordarrelle Patterson doing their thing on the outside."

Rogers finished with 1,040 receiving yards and nine touchdown catches en route to being named  to the 2011 Associated Press All-SEC First Team.

Tuesday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/31)

The final days before the start of training camp at ticking away. Here are the latest stories on the Vols.

Vols in the Pros Update (7/30)

As the month of July wraps up and we head into the final two months of the Major League Baseball season, we take a look at the 23 former Tennessee players currently playing professional baseball.

MAJOR LEAGUES
J.P. Arencibia (Toronto Blue Jays)
Season (81 Games): .242 (68-for-281), 36 R, 15 2B, 16 HR, 50 RBIs
Last 10 Games: .379 (11-for-29), 5 R, 3 HR, 9 RBIs
***On 15-day DL with fractured right hand (expected to miss at least 6 weeks)

R.A. Dickey (New York Mets)
Season: 14-2, 2.83 ERA, 22 G, 21 GS, 3 CG, 2 SHO, 146.1 IP, 118 H, 33 BB, 147 K, .222 Opp. BA, 1.03 WHIP
Last 10 Games: 5-1, 3.31 ERA, 65.1 IP, 53 H, 14 BB, 69 K

Yan Gomes (Toronto Blue Jays)
Season (22 Games): .212 (11-for-52), 7 R, 3 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBIs
MiLB Season (65 Games): .340 (85-for-250), 37 R, 26 2B, 1 3B, 11 HR, 47 RBIs, 3 SB

Chase Headley (San Diego Padres)
Season (102 Games): .267 (101-for-378), 51 R, 21 2B, 1 3B, 12 HR, 51 RBIs, 11 SB
Last 10 Games: .256 (10-for-39), 6 R, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 5 BB, 1 SB

Todd Helton (Colorado Rockies)
Season (65 Games): .238 (54-for-227), 29 R, 13 2B, 1 3B, 7 HR, 35 RBIs, 34 BB, 1 SB
Last 10 Games: .229 (8-for-35), 1 R, 3 RBIs, 4 BB

Luke Hochevar (Kansas City Royals)
Season: 6-9, 5.26 ERA, 20 G, 20 GS, 1 CG, 1 SHO, 113.0 IP, 125 H, 66 ER, 34 BB, 83 K, .285 Opp. BA, 1.41 WHIP
Last 10 Games: 3-4, 4.45 ERA, 60.2 IP, 63 H, 16 BB, 40 K

TRIPLE-A
Julio Borbon (Round Rock Express - Texas Rangers)
Season (94 games): .299 (118-for-395), 57 R, 17 2B, 4 3B, 8 HR, 40 RBIs, 17 SB, 7 CS
Last 10 Games: .318 (14-for-44), 6 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 6 RBIs

Deunte Heath (Charlotte Knights - Chicago White Sox)
Season: 4-2, 1.40 ERA, 28 G, 3 GS, 1 SV, 51.1 IP, 35 H, 8 ER, 14 BB, 56 K, .186 Opp. BA
Last 10 Games: 2-0, 0.86 ERA, 10 G, 2 GS, 21.0 IP, 14 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 18 K, .179 Opp. BA

DOUBLE-A
Kentrail Davis (Huntsville Stars - Milwaukee Brewers)
Season (91 games): .269 (90-for-335), 44 R, 16 2B, 6 3B, 5 HR, 28 RBIs, 15 SB, 6 CS
Last 10 Games: .297 (11-for-37), 7 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 4 BB, 1 SB

Ty'Relle Harris (Tennessee Smokies - Chicago Cubs)
Season (3 Teams): 2-4, 2.95 ERA, 33 G, 2 GS, 58.0 IP, 45 H, 19 ER, 32 BB, 46 K, .210 Opp. BA
Last 10 Games: 0-1, 3.86 ERA, 10 G, 2 GS, 23.1 IP, 27 H, 12 BB, 15 K, .287 Opp. BA

Andy Simunic (Corpus Christi Hooks - Houston Astros)
Season (89 Games): .301 (91-for-302), 45 R, 9 2B, 2 HR, 29 RBIs, 12 SB, 4 CS, .353 OBP
Last 10 Games: .316 (12-for-38), 6 R, 1 HR, 7 RBIs

SINGLE-A
Matt Duffy (Lexington Legends - Houston Astros)
Season (104 games): .297 (116-for-391), 57 R, 28 2B, 1 3B, 12 HR, 62 RBIs, 33 BB, 4 SB
Last 10 Games: .286 (10-for-35), 8 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBIs

Blake Forsythe (St. Lucie Mets - New York Mets)
Season (64 games): .263 (55-for-209), 23 R, 14 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 33 RBIs, 31 BB
Last 10 Games: ..273 (9-for-33), 7 R, 3 2B, 4 RBIs, 5 BB

Steven Gruver (Beloit Snappers - Minnesota Twins)
Season: 5-8, 3.98 ERA, 22 G, 17 GS, 92.2 IP, 111 H, 41 ER, 24 BB, 57 K, .298 Opp. BA
Last 10 Games: 0-4, 5.88 ERA, 10 G, 5 GS, 33.2 IP, 47 H, 22 R, 9 BB, 19 K, .339 Opp. BA

Cody Hawn (Brevard County Manatees - Milwaukee Brewers)
Season (98 Games): .236 (86-for-364), 48 R, 24 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 52 RBIs, 28 BB, 4 SB, 3 CS
Last 10 Games: .194 (7-for-36), 4 R, 1 2B, 0 RBIs, 3 BB

Stephen McCray (Winston-Salem Dash - Chicago White Sox)
Season (2 Teams): 5-5, 3.49 ERA, 25 G, 12 GS, 98.0 IP, 78 H, 38 ER, 45 BB, 77 K, .216 Opp. BA
Last 10 Games: 3-3, 3.90 ERA, 10 G, 9 GS, 57.2 IP, 46 H, 21 BB, 41 K, .218 Opp. BA

Bryan Morgado (Clearwater Threshers - Philadelphia Phillies)
Season (3 Teams): 2-0, 2.28 ERA, 12 G, 1 GS, 23.2 IP, 22 H, 9 BB, 23 K, .259 Opp. BA
***Currently on rehab assignment with the GCL Phillies

Charley Thurber (Savannah Sand Gnats - New York Mets)
Season (70 Games): .227 (58-for-256), 22 R, 11 2B, 5 3B, 2 HR, 30 RBIs, 1 SB
Last 10 Games: .200 (7-for-35), 2 R, 1 2B, 6 RBIs, 4 BB

SHORT-SEASON/ROOKIE LEAGUE
Will Locante (AZL D-backs - Arizona Diamondbacks)
Season: 0-1, 5.84 ERA, 11 G, 0 GS, 4 SV, 12.1 IP, 12 H, 8 ER, 4 BB, 17 K, .240 Opp. BA

Zach Osborne (Tri-City Dust Devils - Colorado Rockies)
Season (26 Games): .267 (24-for-90), 14 R, 3 2B, 1 3B, 6 RBIs, 12 BB 5 K, 4 SB

Khayyan Norfork (Auburn Doubledays - Washington Nationals)
Season (24 Games): .211 (16-for-76), 12 R, 4 2B, 1 HR, 13 RBIs, 9 BB, 3 SB

Matt Ramsey (GCL Rays - Tampa Bay Rays)
Season: 0-1, 3.00 ERA, 3 G, 3 GS, 3.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, .357 Opp. BA

Drew Steckenrider (Jamestown Jammers - Miami Marlins)
Season: 0-1, 3.86 ERA, 3 G, 1 GS, 7.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 7 BB, 8 K, .200 Opp. BA


Vols In NFL Update (7/30)

It's Monday and that means it is time for another Vols in the NFL Update. After a weekend full of training camp, many former Tennessee Vols have Monday off to rest. While they are recovering, take a look at what they have been up to.

- Denver Post: Woody Paige: Peyton Manning new leader of Broncos' arms race
- ESPN: Arian Foster and a unicorn
- Houston Chronicle: New vegan Arian Foster looks in great shape
- Tuscon Citizen: Broken arm motivates Cardinals nose tackle Dan Williams
- ESPN Boston: Stallworth happy to lend a hand
- Wichita Eagle: Chiefs' ACL club gets through first day OK (Eric Berry)
- NOLA.com: New Orleans Saints cornerback Jabari Greer turns in play of the day
- Forth Worth Star Telegram: Jason Witten, Cowboys teammates proud to sign for the military
- Comcast SportsNet New England: Hightower quickly learning the Patriot Way (Jerod Mayo)
- NorthJersey.com: School's in session for former Don Bosco QB Matt Simms
- Akron Beacon Journal: Browns: Montario Hardesty finally healthy

 browns30   Matt Simms of Franklin Lakes, a former star quarterback for Don Bosco, walking off Jets' practice field Sunday.

ON TOUR: WTA Rankings (7/30/12)

Here are the Lady Vols' updated WTA Tour rankings as of July 30, 2012. The Lady Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. 


Caitlin Whoriskey

Singles: 618 

Doubles: 459

Note: Off last week ... Off this week.


Natalie Pluskota

Singles: 758 

Doubles: 605

Note: Played in the singles qualifying at the $100,000 Vancouver Challenger over the weekend, losing to Romana Tedjakusuama in the first round ... Off last week.

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (7/30/12)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of July 30, 2012. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.


John-Patrick Smith

Singles: 229 (-12)

Doubles: 160 (-11)

Note: Finished up the regular season with the Orange County Breakers in World TeamTennis ... Won his final seven singles matches to lead the Breakers to an 8-6 record and the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. The WTT playoffs will be held Sept. 14-16 in Charleston, S.C. ... Playing this week at the $100,000 Vancouver Challenger.


Tennys Sandgren

Singles: 266 (+12)

Doubles: 228 (+41)

Note: Reached the doubles final of the $50,000 Lexington Challenger with Rhyne Williams, their first career Challenger final ... Lost to top-seeded John Peers and Austin Krajicek 6-1, 7-6 in the title match ... Reached second round of singles ... Off this week.


Rhyne Williams

Singles: 288 (+3)

Doubles: 271 (+50)

Note: Reached the doubles final of the $50,000 Lexington Challenger with Tennys Sandgren, their first career Challenger final ... Lost to top-seeded John Peers and Austin Krajicek 6-1, 7-6 in the title match


Adam Hubble

Singles: 1283 (-12)

Doubles: 198 (+14)

Note: Reached the quarterfinals in doubles at this week's Oberstaufen Challenger in Germany, again playing with Nima Roshan ... Gained 131 doubles points in July to return to the top 200 for the first time since November 2011 ... Off this week.


Monday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/30)

With the start of the season 32 days away and training camp just four days away, here are the latest stories on Derek Dooley's squad:

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Milligan College set to host Vols (with audio)

Happy Birthday - July 30: R.McFall, M.Pair, S.Stricklen

On July 30, we wish Happy Birthday to a trio of Tennessee student-athletes: swimmer Ryan McFall, football lineman Marques Pair and women's basketball forward Shekinna Stricklen, who is playing in the WNBA with the Seattle Storm. 

Ryan McFall  Marques Pair  Shekinna Stricklen

Shekinna Stricklen

Saturday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/29)

Here are the latest stories on the Vols football team as the start of training camp inches closer.

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Milligan College set to host Vols (with audio)
- Inside Tennessee: New facility has 'wow' factor

Happy Birthday - July 29: Swimmer Kirstyn Colonias

On July 29, we wish Happy Birthday to women's swimmer Kirstyn Colonias.

Kirstyn Colonias

ON TOUR: Williams, Sandgren Play for 1st Challenger Title

After reaching the doubles semifinals of their last two Challenger events together, former Vols Rhyne Williams and Tennys Sandgren will play for their first Challenger doubles title Saturday evening in Lexington, Ky.


Williams and Sandgren beat Maxime Authom and Charles-Antoine Brezac 6-1, 7-6 (4) in the semifinals Friday to advance. The two have dropped only one set this week at the $50,000 event.

The Vol duo, seeded fourth, faces top-seeded John Peers and Austin Krajicek in the title match. Williams played doubles with Krajicek, a former Texas A&M star, in Spain earlier this year, and former Baylor standout Peers has frequently teamed up with former Vol John-Patrick Smith. 

Sandgren's schedule promises to be a busy one the next few days. He is on the entry list to play the $100,000 Vancouver Challenger. 

Breakers Clinch No. 1 Seed in West: Smith was a winner again Friday to help lead the Orange County Breakers to a 21-13 victory over the Boston Lobsters to clinch the top playoff seed in the Western Division of World TeamTennis. 

Smith beat Jan-Michael Gambill 5-3 to lead off the night in men's singles. He and Lindsay Davenport lost mixed doubles 5-1, but Smith bounced back with Travis Parrott to close out the victory with a 5-0 win in men's doubles against Gambill and Eric Butorac

Saturday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/28)

Vols coach Derek Dooley took media on a tour of the new Football Training Center on Friday morning. Check out the state-of-the-art complex. Photo Gallery.

 

Here are stories from the media on the tour:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: UT practice digs: New facility's layout enhances its appeal

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Dooley developing "gold standard" training facility

- GoVols247: 'Gold standard' facility on display

- GoVols247: Photos: Dooley shows new facility

- Inside Tennessee: New facility has 'wow' factor

- Volquest: Volquest tours new facility 

- Volquest: Video: More on new facility

- WBIR: Dooley gives tour of new football facility


Also from the media: 

- GoVols247: Dooley: Vols earned brief break

Happy Birthday - July 28: Monica Abbott

On July 28, we wish Happy Birthday to U.S. Olympic and Tennessee All-American softball pitcher Monica Abbott. During her senior season at Tennessee, she set the record for the most strikeouts in a Division I softball season and became the NCAA Division I Softball all-time leader in career wins, strikeouts, shutouts, innings pitched, games started and games pitched. She was the recipient of the 2007 Honda Sports Award for the sTop Collegiate Softball Player in the country and was named the 2007 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year. She was also named the 2007 Women's Sports Foundation Sportswoman of the Year.

Friday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/27)

The 46th Annual Davidson County All-Sports Picnic was a success last night in Nashville, check out videos from the event: Coaches Speak at Nashville Picnic.



Here are more stories from the media on the football team. Practice begins one week from today on Friday, Aug. 3.

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Summer work boosts Michael Palardy's confidence

- GoVols247: Second-Year Surge: Devrin Young

Happy Birthday - July 27: Basketball's Glory Johnson

On July 27, we wish Happy Birthday to women's basketball star and current member of the Tulsa Shock Glory Johnson.

Glory Johnson

Helton Visits Aurora Shooting Victims

Former Vol and current Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton traveled to Aurora, Colo., on Thursday to visit with victims of the Aurora theater shooting.

Along with Rockies manager Jim Tracy and 11 other teammates, Helton visited the University of Colorado Hospital where they spent time with five patients, including four who remain in critical condition. 

The Rockies also toured the emergency room, thanking the doctors and nurses who worked to save lives in the aftermath of the shooting.

"This was a terrible tragedy and anything we can do to divert their attention, or make them think about something else or maybe put a smile on somebody's face, is worth it," Helton said.

Happy Birthday - July 26: Channing Fugate

On July 26, we send birthday wishes to football linebacker Channing Fugate.
Channing Fugate

Vols In NFL Update (7/26)

Thursday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/26)

The football team officially reports for the start of training camp one week from today on Thursday, Aug. 2. Here are some of the lastest stories on the Vols as we close in on the start of camp:

- Arkansas Online: Dooley: Vols on way up

46th Annual Davidson County All Sports Picnic On Thursday

The Davidson County Chapter of the UT Alumni Association invites you to the 46th Annual UT All Sports Picnic at Lipscomb's Allen Arena on Thursday, July 26th! Doors open at 5:30 CT for autographs, silent auction, and a barbeque dinner with all the fixins from Stroud's Barbeque.

The program hosted by the Voice of the Vols, Bob Kesling, begins at 7:00 PM. Scheduled speakers include UT President Dr. Joe DiPietro, Athletic Director Dave Hart, Coaches Dooley, Warlick, Serrano, Weekly (Ralph and Karen), and more! Many UT fans consider this event to be the kickoff to football season, and it is going to be a great night for all VOL fans in the Nashville area. 

Visitwww.2012allsportspicnic.eventbrite.com  to buy your ticket today. (Tickets are $20, UT letterman are free, kids 6 and under are free)

All proceeds go to an endowed scholarship for Davidson County high school students to attend UT. Six local students received the scholarship last year, and the scholarship fund is growing every year.


Wyatt Spends Summer With Giants

Current Lady Vol goalkeeper RB Wyatt has been splitting her time this summer as a counselor for the Tennessee Soccer camps and as an intern with the Knoxville Zoo. Check out local news station WATE Knoxville's feature on RB here in the Tennessee Soccer Blog!

Happy Birthday - July 25: Former Star QB Tee Martin

On July 25, we wish Happy Birthday to 1998 National Championship quarterback Tee Martin.  Check out this feature interview with Tee from the Vol Network's Leaders Series. 

Wednesday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/25)

We are 37 days from kickoff to the 2012 Tennessee football season when the Vols take on NC State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in Atlanta. Check out the latest stories on Derek Dooley's squad.

- Knoxville News Sentinel: 'Meet Your Seats' at Neyland on Wednesday

C.J. Watson Introduced By Brooklyn Nets


Tuesday at the PNY Center, guard C.J. Watson met the media for the first time as a member of the Brooklyn Nets. Heading into his sixth season, the veteran guard said calls from Deron Williams and Avery Johnson ultimately swayed his decision to join the Nets.

- Nets.com: Watson Feels New Buzz in Brooklyn
- Nets.com: Press Release

Happy Birthday - July 24: U.S. Olympian Aries Merritt

On July 24 we wish Happy Birthday to American Olympic hurdler Aries Merritt, a seven-time All-American at Tennessee. Merritt is going to the Olympics after winning the final of the 110m hurdles. Merritt finished in 12.93, one-hundredth of a second behind the meet record. 

After an outstanding career at the University of Tennessee, Merritt in the last several years has been steadily climbing the professional ranks. He decided to forgo his senior season to pursue a professional career in track & field. Merritt left Tennessee with 14 total school, meet or facility records, including every high hurdles school record, in his possession. He finished the 2006 college season undefeated in every 55 hurdles, 60 hurdles and 110m hurdles race he finished, including prelims and finals, for a record of 18 wins in 18 complete races. In 2006, he broke the 24-year-old Univ. of Tennessee school record of Willie Gault and the SEC meet record (13.29) of two-time Olympic silver medalist Terrence Trammell. Merritt won the 110m hurdles at the 2006 NCAA championships in 13.21 seconds, breaking Greg Foster's NCAA meet record of 13.22 in 1978 and lowering his own school record (13.22)--only National Track & Field Hall of Famer Renaldo Nehemiah from the University of Maryland has ever run faster at the collegiate level (13.00, May 6, 1979). While at Tennessee he won the Ed Murphey Award (for most outstanding performance) and Most Valuable Track Athlete Award in 2005. As a prep star in Georgia, Merritt was one of only eight hurdlers nationally named to USA Today's All-USA High School Team. During his senior year of high school, he went undefeated in the 110 hurdles. Merritt won the 2003 Georgia state 5A title in the 110m hurdles and took runner-up honors in the 300m hurdles. He also received Best Performance trophies at the 2003 5A Georgia state championships for running a 13.76 in the 110m hurdles and 36.71 in the 300m hurdles at the state meet.

Aries Merritt

Tuesday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/24)

- Here was his Chat with ESPN: Derek Dooley, Tennessee.

Here are the latest stories on the Vols' as we are nearing a week to go before the start of camp:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: 'Meet Your Seats' at Neyland on Wednesday

ESPN Consumer Products Features "SEC on ESPN" Apparel

ESPN Consumer Products Brings Back "SEC on ESPN" Apparel Collection for College Football Season

Collection grows along with the SEC's expansion

ESPN Consumer Products, in collaboration with the Southeastern Conference, will bring back the "SEC on ESPN" apparel collection this week at over 120 Dicks Sporting Goods stores throughout the Southeast. Originally launched in 2011 as a men's and women's t-shirt line, this year's collection has grown to include sweatshirts, long sleeve shirts, and headwear.

Inspired by the conference's achievements, traditions and rivalries, as well as ESPN's dedication to being the home of college football, the collection features bold colors and large logos from each of the 14 schools and gives fans a new way to show their passion for college football, SEC style.

The "SEC on ESPN" collection will be sold throughout the Southeast at Dick's Sporting Goods stores, the Official Sporting Goods Sponsor of the SEC, and at select on-campus bookstore locations. The product will also be available online at DSG.com, ESPNShop.com and SECStore.com. ESPN Consumer Products teamed with Weezabi (apparel partner) and Top of the World (headwear partner) for the collection, which will include new graphics and styles being released through the college football season.

"The 'SEC on ESPN' apparel and headwear collection is a natural extension of the high-quality SEC programming our network provides," says Matt Novoselsky, director, licensing, ESPN Consumer Products. "Fans can demonstrate their passion for their schools and their conference though our stylish apparel."

The collection will include tees and headwear from every SEC school, including the two new additions to the SEC. Schools consist of: University of Alabama, University of Arkansas, Auburn University, Texas A&M, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Kentucky, Louisiana State University, University of Mississippi, University of Missouri, Mississippi State University, University of South Carolina, University of Tennessee and Vanderbilt University.

"The 'SEC on ESPN' collection is another example of how we can further enhance the SEC on ESPN brand and our partnership with ESPN," says Charlie Hussey, Assistant Commissioner for Marketing and Licensing.  "We believe that the collection is a great way to give our fans a new way to demonstrate their passion for the conference, their schools and college football."

About ESPN Consumer Products

ESPN Consumer Products serves the fan and reflects the assets and equity of ESPN. ESPN Consumer Products oversees the development of product lines under the ESPN and X Games brands. The X Games Consumer Products is a full line of action sports-themed products designed for the action sports fan and enthusiast, product lines include lifestyle apparel, sporting goods and protective gear. IMG Licensing serves as the exclusive ESPN consumer products licensing agent in North America.

About the Southeastern Conference (SEC)

The Southeastern Conference was formed in 1933 and consists of 14 member institutions: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Texas A&M, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. The league currently sanctions championship play in nine men's sports and 11 women's sports. Its headquarters has been located in Birmingham, Ala., since 1948. For more on the conference, visit www.SECDigitalNetwork.com

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ON TOUR: WTA Tour Rankings (7/23/12)

Here are the Lady Vols' updated WTA Tour rankings as of July 23, 2012. The Lady Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. 


Caitlin Whoriskey

Singles: 618 

Doubles: 459

Note: Last week, reached the quarterfinals at the $10k Knokke (Belgium) Futures and reached the doubles semifinals with Belgium native Elyne Boeykens ... Off this week.


Natalie Pluskota

Singles: 758 

Doubles: 605

Note: Lost in the first round of the $10k Evansville (Ind.) Futures but reached the doubles finals with Stanford's Mallory Burdette ... Off this week.

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (7/23/12)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of July 23, 2012. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.


John-Patrick Smith

Singles: 217 (-6)

Doubles: 149 (0)

Note: Playing for the Orange County Breakers (3-6) in World TeamTennis, an eight-team pro tennis league in the U.S. ... Season finishes this week with four matches with coverage on UTSports.com ... Listed to play the $100,000 Vancouver Challenger next week.


Tennys Sandgren

Singles: 278 (-5)

Doubles: 269 (+15)

Note: Lost in the opening round of the $50k Binghamton (N.Y.) Challenger this week ... Playing the $50k Lexington (Ky.) Challenger this week and faces Canadian Philip Bester in the first round ... Seeded fourth in doubles this week with Rhyne Williams. 


Rhyne Williams

Singles: 291 (+11)

Doubles: 321 (+23)

Note: Last week reached the quarterfinals of the $50k Binghamton (N.Y.) Challenger, beating top-seeded Dudi Sela in the opening round ... Playing the $50k Lexington (Ky.) Challenger and faces fifth-seeded Jamie Baker of Great Britain in the first round ... Teaming up in doubles with Tennys Sandgren. 


Adam Hubble

Singles: 1271 (-9)

Doubles: 212 (+29)

Note: Reached the finals of the Ponzan Challenger in Poland last week with fellow Australian Nima Roshan ... Seeded fourth in doubles at this week's Oberstaufen Challenger in Germany, again playing with Roshan ... Has gained 116 doubles points in July. 


Matteo Fago

Singles: 1140 (-12)

Doubles: N/A

Note: Off last week ... Off this week.


Ben Rogers

Singles: N/A

Doubles: 556 (-3)

Note: Off last week ... Off this week.

Harris Named NBA Summer League All-Star

Harris was a terror in transition this week.
Tobias Harris was named to the Las Vegas Summer League All-Star Team. The Tennessee product tallied 18 points as the Bucks pummeled the Bulls, 113-68 on Sunday. Harris finished the summer league averaging 20.8 points per game with 7.0 rebounds per game in five contests. He shot 53.1 from the floor and had two double-doubles. He scored at least 18 points in all five games. Harris' mark of 20.8 tied for fourth in the NBA Summer League in scoring.
  

- Watch highlights here: Bucks-Bulls Highlights

Here are some stories touching on Harris' strong play:

- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Recent draft picks show their value in win

- RealGM.com: Bucks Dominate Bulls In Finale 113-68

- Brew Hoop: Summer League 2012 | Bucks 113, Bulls 68

With the Memphis Grizzlies, Cameron Tatum scored three points in 10 minutes as his squad dropped their summer finale to the Minnesota Timberwolves 97-91. In four summer league games, Tatum averaged 3.8 point and 1.8 rebounds in 13.5 minutes per game.

Monday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/23)

Check out an awesome video of behind the scenes at SEC Media Days from the Vols' players perspective right here:

Vols coach Derek Dooley will be at the ESPN Studios on Monday, get the rundown of his day.

Here are the latest stories on the football team from the media:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Opening opponent already has UT's attention

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Ex-Vol Leaverton leaving Sen. Corker's team

- GoVols247: Louder Bray learning to lead

- Volquest: Vols provide a helping hand

- Volquest: November hurt catalyst for change

- WRCB Video feature on Tyler Bray: VIDEO: Tyler Bray talks about Peyton's expectations

Harris Leads Bucks To Win; Tatum Has Best Game


Former Vols guard Cameron Tatum has his best game of the NBA Summer League with the Memphis Grizzlies. He tallied nine points and four rebounds in 20 minutes of action as the Grizz lost to the Suns, 96-87. Tatum has played in three games and is averaging 4.0 points with Memphis. The Grizzlies play the Timberwolves on Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.


Also in Las Vegas, Tobias Harris continues to star with the Milwaukee Bucks as he netted 22 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the narrow 88-87 win over the Celtics. Harris hit two free throws with 5.9 seconds left to secure the win. Check out lots of Harris highlights here. The Bucks play the Bulls on Sunday at 4 p.m.

Here are some media stories mentioning Harris: 

 - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Young forward duo lead Bucks to another win

 - ESPN.com: Rapid Reaction: Bucks 88, Celtics 87

Sunday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/22)


On Sunday, the Vols Dedicated A House For Local Family, check out this VIDEO FEATURE, plus the entire VIDEO: HOUSE DEDICATION and PHOTOS.

Check out the latest stories on the football team with this coverage from the media:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Vols rally to true rebuilding project

Also, from the Denver Post, news on Peyton Manning returning to campus for a special day: Manning to honor former Tennessee Vols coach during Broncos bye week



Happy Birthday - July 22: Tennys Sandgren, Nijgia Snapp

On July 22, we wish Happy Birthday to former Vols tennis star Tennys Sandgren and current women's cross country junior Nijgia Snapp.

Tennys Sandgren  

Serrano, Team USA go for bronze against Netherlands at Honkbal Week

After suffering a disappointing 5-3 loss in a 10th-inning tiebreaker to Cuba on Saturday, Team USA, led by Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano, will play the Netherlands at noon local time (6 a.m. ET) today in the bronze-medal game at Honkbal Week in Haarlem.

You can watch Sunday's bronze-medal game live online HERE.

You can also follow live stats HERE.

For in-game updates, follow @USABaseballCNT on Twitter.

Happy Birthday - July 21: Tamika Catchings, Jack Felix

On July 21, we wish Happy Birthday to legendary women's basketball player and current U.S. Olympian Tamika Catchings. Also celebrating is track and field/cross country runner Jack Felix.

 

Jack Felix

Saturday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/21)

There are 41 days until its Football Time In Tennessee, when the Vols kickoff the 2012 season vs. NC State. UT reports for preseason camp on Aug. 2. Check out the latest stories on the football squad.

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Tyler Bray named to Walter camp watch list
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: UT's Tyler Bray shows maturity at media days
- Inside Tennessee: Offensive juggernaut?
- Inside Tennessee: Memorable Dooley Quotes
- Volquest: Bray day in Hoover

Serrano, Team USA face Cuba in semifinals at Honkbal Week

Dave Serrano and Team USA will face a familiar foe in the semifinals of Honkbal Week today as they take on Cuba for the seventh time this summer. 

Today's contest will serve as the rubber match as the two teams have split the previous six contests. 

Serrano's squad is coming off two straight shutouts to close out the medal round as it blanked Chinese Taipei, 2-0, and the Netherlands, 1-0. The U.S. pitching staff has an ERA of 1.02 at Honkbal Week and has not allowed a run in its last 20.1 innings. 

You can watch Team USA take on Cuba live online HERE.

You can also follow live stats for the game HERE.

For in-game updates, follow @USABaseballCNT on Twitter.

Tobias Harris 5th In NBA Summer League Scoring

Tobias Harris is leading the Bucks in scoring in three Summer League games with 21.3 ppg. That ranks fifth among all Summer League scorers. 

Harris had a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds in the Bucks' 77-68 win over the D-League Select on Thursday. Harris scored 24 points and had a dozen boards on Wednesday in a 78-75 loss to the Wizards. 

Here are some stories mentioning Harris's big start:

The Bucks are back in action on Saturday night at 10:30 as they play the Boston Celtics. 

Cameron Tatum played 18 minutes for the Memphis Grizzlies in a 97-79 win over Charlotte on Friday night. Tatum had three points and two assists in his most playing time. The Grizzlies play the Phoenix Sun on Saturday night at 10 p.m. ET.

ON TOUR: Williams Reaches Quarters at Binghamton

Rhyne Williams advanced to his third career Challenger quarterfinal Thursday, beating rising Virginia sophomore Mitchell Frank 6-2, 6-2 at the $50,000 Binghamton (N.Y.) Challenger.

Williams now faces New Zealander Daniel King-Turner, currently ranked No. 564. With eight competitors left in the tournament, only one seeded player remains in the draw: sixth-seeded Jamie Baker of Great Britain.

Like singles, there is only one seeded team left in doubles. That team is Williams and former Vol Tennys Sandgren. The duo beat Greg Jones of Australia and Greg Ouellette of the United States 6-4, 6-2.

Hubble Advances in Poland: A day after beating the top seeds at the Ponzan Challenger in Poland, former Vol Adam Hubble and Nima Roshan cruised into the semifinals with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Martin Alund and Javier Marti.

The Aussie duo now faces the third-seeded Romanian pair in Andrei Daescu and Florin Mergea. Daescu is a former All-American at Oklahoma.

Friday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/20)


Take a look back at SEC Media Days from the Tennessee perspective with: Vols SEC Media Days Central as well as these features: Through The Lens: SEC Media Day and Manning Lessons Pay off for Bray. Also, watch videos from various interviews: SEC Media Day: Videos.

Here are stories from the media:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Vols picked to finish fifth in SEC East
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Derek Dooley, Vols leaders duly optimistic
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Tennessee Vols facing hype on receivers trio
- Daily News Journal: Dooley: Vols' turn to win
- ESPN.com: 2012 SEC media days

Happy Birthday - July 20: Burchell, Clark, Fair, Tatum

Big day for birthdays in the Tennessee athletics world on July 20. Celebrating are recently graduated softball utility player Shelby Burchell and basketball guard Cameron Tatum, who is playing with the Memphis Grizzlies Summer League Team. 

Shelby Burchell  Cameron Tatum

Football's sophomore defensive lineman Gregory Clark and former star defensive back Terry Fair, who played in the NFL and now co-hosts The Drive on WNOX also celebrate on July 20. 

Gregory Clark

 


Team USA, Serrano Shut Out Netherlands, 1-0

Dave Serrano and Team USA closed out pool play at Honkbal Week with a 1-0 win over the Netherlands on Thursday

The shutout was the second in a row for Serrano and his Team USA pitching pupils who have not allowed a run over their last 20.1 innings of work and hold a 1.02 ERA through the first five games of Honkbal Week. 

Team USA will have Friday off before returning to action on Saturday against the winner of tomorrow night's Cuba-Netherlands showdown.

Serrano Guides Team USA to 2-0 Win Over Chinese Taipei

Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano helped guide the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team to a 2-0 win over Chinese Taipei at the Honkbal Week tournament in Haarlem, Netherlands on Wednesday. With the win, Team USA clinched a spot in the medal rounds later this week. 

Serrano and Team USA will close out pool play today when they take on the Netherlands at 7 p.m. local time/1 p.m. ET. 

To watch the game live online, click HERE.

For up-to-the-minute live stats, click HERE.

Thursday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/19)

Be sure to visit Vols SEC Media Days Central for the latest from Hoover all morning long as SEC Media Days continue.

Here are the latest stories related to the Vols and the SEC:

After a sluggish start, the 2012 USA Basketball Women's National Team (3-0) erased an 11-point deficit and rode a 21-0 run to an eventual 88-63 win over Great Britain in an exhibition contest on Wednesday night in Manchester, England.

Former Lady Vols Tamika Catchings and Candace Parker were once again in the starting lineup for the USA. In 19 minutes of action, Parker knocked down three of six shots from the field and nailed both of her free throw attempts to finish with eight points in a very balanced scoring attack. She added four rebounds and three steals to the cause as well.

Catchings, meanwhile, finished with six points and six boards for the American side in 27 minutes on the hardwood. Displaying her typical versatility and tenacity, she also kicked in five assists and four steals for Team USA.

The USA Women's National Team will next travel to Istanbul, Turkey, where it will take part in its final exhibition contests prior to the Olympic Games. The Americans will play Croatia on Saturday and Turkey on Sunday.

USA Basketball Recap, Box Score, Quotes & Photo Gallery


Van Sickle Named Winner

This afternoon, Lady Vol soccer alum Sarah Van Sickle was named an Under Armour "What's Beautiful" contestant winner.

Van Sickle, whose goal was to, "restore and instill hope, self-esteem, and confidence to at least 225 to 250 women of all ages, sizes, and races," did the very thing she set out to do.

To learn more about Sarah and her dream of helping women everywhere, check out last month's utsports.com article on her.

SARAH VAN SICKLE 

ON TOUR: Williams Ousts Top Seed in Binghamton


Rhyne Williams fought off one match point to beat the top seed in his opening match Wednesday at the Binghamton (N.Y.) Challenger. 

Williams kept his composure in the deciding tiebreaker and capitalized on his second match point to beat world No. 112 Dudi Sela 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (8). He faces rising Virginia sophomore Mitchell Frank in the second round.

The winning continued Thursday for Williams as he and former Vol Tennys Sandgren beat Denis Kudla and Drew Courtney 6-2, 6-2. The Tennessee pair is seeded third in the tournament.

Hubble Beats Top Seeds: Big wins for the Vols also carried over across the pond in Poland, where Adam Hubble and fellow Aussie Nima Roshan ousted top-seeded Tomasz Bednarek and Mateusz Kowalczyk 6-3, 3-6, [13-11] at the Ponzan Challenger. 

Hubble is returning back up the doubles rankings, up 44 positions this week to No. 241. A good run will boost him into the top 200. 

Smith Leads Breakers Past Philadelphia: John-Patrick Smith won big in the opening men's singles set and made his first appearance on the mixed doubles court as the Orange County Breakers beat the Philadelphia Freedoms 24-19. 

Smith won the 5-1 against Jan-Michael Gambill in the opening segment and the Breakers never trailed.

Happy Birthday - July 18: Alexis Owens, Kianna Ruff

A pair of birthdays for Tennessee student-athletes on July 18. Celebrating are soccer senior soccer forward Alexis Owens and women's track & field runner Kianna Ruff.

Alexis Owens  

Wednesday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (7/18)


Check out the Vol Hoops Report: July 17 from UTSports.com along with the following stories from the media as the Vols prep for their trip to Italy.

USA Women's National Team Plays Great Britain Wednesday

After defeating Brazil, 99-67, in an exhibition game in Washington, D.C., on Monday night, the USA Basketball Women's National Team is in Manchester, England, preparing for the another contest.

At 2:10 p.m.  Eastern time (7:10 p.m. local) on Wednesday, the Americans will battle Great Britain in another exhibition game.  The meeting, set for Manchester Arena, will be televised on ESPN2 and shown online on ESPN3.

Former Lady Vols Tamika Catchings and Candace Parker started as forwards for Team USA in Monday night's rout over Brazil.   Catchings tallied eight points on four-of-seven shooting and added three rebounds, two assists, two steals and a pair of blocks in 20 minutes of action. Parker, meanwhile, chipped in four points, six boards, three assists, a steal and a block in 17 minutes of duty.

To read more about the USA Basketball Women's National Team, see a photo gallery or view quotes from Catchings and Parker, please click on the link below. There's also a link for live stats for Wednesday's match-up.

USA Men's And Women's National Teams Arrive In Manchester

LIVE STATS: USA vs. Great Britain

 

Wednesday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/18)


SEC Media Days got underway on Tuesday in Hoover, Ala. Check out all the coverage from the SEC Digital Network.

Here are stories related to the Vols football program and the SEC.

- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Texas A&M, Missouri embrace SEC challenge
- ESPN.com: Day 1 notebook

Serrano, Team USA Set to Face Chinese Taipei

After suffering their first defeat in Honkbal Week action yesterday to Puerto Rico, Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano and the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team will look to get back in the win column against Chinese Taipei today in the continuation of pool play at Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem, Netherlands.

First pitch is set for 2 p.m. local time/8 a.m. ET. You can watch the game live HERE or follow live stats HERE.

Happy Birthday - July 17: Liza Rader, Luke Stocker

On July 17, we wish Happy Birthday to rowing junior Liza Rader.

Liza Rader

Also, celebrating on July 17 is former Vols star tight end and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer Luke Stocker.



Harris Nets 19 In Summer League Opener


Former UT star Tobias Harris tallied 19 points for the Milwaukee Bucks in a 76-68 win over New Orleans on Monday in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas. VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Here are a few stories that mention Harris:
 - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Lamb helps Bucks start off the right way

Tuesday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (7/17)


The men's basketball team started its pre-Italy trip practices on Monday. Here are a few stories.

Tuesday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/17)

- SEC Media Days get underway on Tuesday. Follow the coverage on SEC "Media Days" Central.

- The Knoxville News Sentinel has a bevy of stories on the Vols and the SEC:

- GoVols247 also has these stories on the Vols Habitat for Humanity and more:

More coverage on the Vols comes from the following:
- Chattanooga Times Free Press: Florida-UT kicked to ESPN this year
- Inside Tennessee: Bred to bleed orange (Feature on in-state products)

ESPN.com has the following stories on the SEC which mention Vols:
Ranking the SEC's linebackers (A.J. Johnson 10th)

Serrano, Team USA Take On Puerto Rico at Honkbal Week

Led by Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano, the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team will take on the only other unbeaten team at Honkbal Week in Puerto Rico today at appoximately 2:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. ET). 

You can watch today's game live HERE.

ON TOUR: WTA Rankings (7/16/12)

Here are the Lady Vols' updated WTA Tour rankings as of July 16, 2012. The Lady Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. 


Caitlin Whoriskey

Singles: 621 

Doubles: 504

Note: Last week, lost in the second round of qualifying at the $25k Zwevegem (Belgium) Challenger but made the quarterfinals in doubles ... Playing this week at the $10k Knokke (Belgium) Futures.


Natalie Pluskota

Singles: 767 

Doubles: 558

Note: As a qualifier last week, reached the second round of singles last week at the $50k Wakima (Wash.) Challenger ... Also made it to the doubles semifinals to achieve a career high in both singles and doubles ... Playing this week in the $10k Evansville (Ind.) Futures.

Canada Defeats New Zealand 2-0

Saturday's MatchWorld Women's Cup competition between Canada and New Zealand brought lots of excitement to pre-Olympic play in Switzerland. Team Canada, and former Tennessee soccer great Rhian Wilkinson, defeated the Kiwis of New Zealand, and 2012 soccer signee Hannah Wilkinson, 2-0.

Follow the links below to see the full recaps from both sides of the pitch...

CANADIAN NATIONAL TEAM 

Canada will face Brazil on July 17th for their final match of the MWWC 2012. Likewise, New Zealand will look to finish the pre-Olympic tournament strong as they face Columbia, also on the 17th





Happy Birthday - July 16: J.R. Carr, Scott Foy

Happy Birthday on July 16 to football long snapper J.R. Carr and men's track runner Scott Foy.

J.R. Carr  Scott Foy  

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (7/16/12)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of July 16, 2012. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.


John-Patrick Smith

Singles: 211 (-1)

Doubles: 149 (-2)

Note: Playing for the Orange County Breakers (2-2) in World TeamTennis, an eight-team pro tennis league in the U.S. ... Season continues for two more weeks ... Matches on Tuesday vs. Boston and Friday vs. Washington will be streamed live with commentary on WTT.com ... Both matches start at 7 p.m. Eastern.


Tennys Sandgren

Singles: 273 (-7)

Doubles: 282 (-6)

Note: Off last week ... Playing this week at the $50k Binghamton (N.Y.) Challenger and faces wild card Christian Harrison in the first round.


Rhyne Williams

Singles: 302 (-23)

Doubles: 344 (-5)

Note: Off last week ... Playing this week at the $50k Binghamton (N.Y.) Challenger, drawing top-seeded Dudi Sela in the opening round.


Adam Hubble

Singles: 1262 (-4)

Doubles: 241 (+44)

Note: Points added for winning a $15k Futures in Germany and also reaching the semifinals of the Scheveningen Challenger in The Netherlands last week ... Playing this week at the $35k + H Ponzan Challenger in Poland.


Matteo Fago

Singles: 1128 (+2)

Doubles: N/A

Note: Off last week ... Off this week.


Ben Rogers

Singles: N/A

Doubles: 551 (+9)

Note: Off last week ... Off this week ... Planning to play Illinois Challenger swing next month.


Cronan's Career Fueled By Being Denied Opportunity

In the late 1950s, 12-year-old Joan Cowart walked to the city park that neighbored her home in Opelousas, La., with the intention of making a little league baseball team.

Instead, she left disappointed, without a team uniform but bearing something far more valuable: The drive to make a difference for females in athletics.

A little over five decades later, that same little girl, now Joan Cronan, in the twilight of a career of making a difference for females in athletics, stood at a podium introducing her final coaching hire at the University of Tennessee. Ironically, it wasn't a new leader of a women's sport. It was Dave Serrano, Tennessee's new baseball coach.

To read more of the feature about UT's Joan Cronan, written for the SEC Digital Network by Brian Rice, please go to the link below:

- SEC Digital Network: SEC 40/40: Cronan's Career Fueled By Being Denied Opportunity


Jimmy Hyams' latest tennis notebook is in today's Knoxville News Sentinel. Topics include recent graduate Natalie Pluskota's singles win at the US Open southern sectional qualifying, John-Patrick Smith's bolt up the rankings thanks to winning the Winnetka (Ill.) Challenger and Paul Annacone's return to the Grand Slam winners circle as a coach.


Monday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/16)

- The Knoxville News Sentinel has a feature on Herman Lathers and the expectations on his shoulders after returning from injury for the 2012 season: Herman Lathers' leadership demands a higher rank.

- Volquest has a notebook of items on the Vols touching on film study, James Stone, Herman Lathers and more: The Vols summer blockbuster.

Serrano, Team USA defeat Cuba

Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano guided the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team to a 5-2 win over Cuba last night to improve to 2-0 in pool play at Honkbal Week, which is being held at Pim Mulier Stadium in Haarlem, Netherlands.

With the win, Serrano and Team USA evened the series against Cuba after taking two of five games in Havana last week. 

Click HERE to check out a 360-degree panorama of Pim Mulier Stadium and HERE to see historic Grote Markt in downtown Haarlem.

You can also check out Facebook photo galleries from the team's trip to Cuba and its first few days in the Netherlands.

USA Basketball Women's National Team Set For Exhibition

Former Tennessee standouts Tamika Catchings and Candace Parker are members of the USA National Women's Basketball Team. After practices on Saturday and Sunday at American University in Washington, D.C., the Lady Vol alums and their U.S. teammates are set for an exhibition game on Monday night.

The American squad will take on Brazil at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time at the Verizon Center in D.C. ESPN2 will televise the game as well as the men's tilt between the USA and Brazilian National Teams that follows at 8 p.m.

The practices and exhibitions are preparing the U.S. women's squad for action in the upcoming Olympic Games in London. Catchings, who played for the American side in 2004 and 2008, will be trying to win her third gold medal. Parker is seeking her second gold, having played on the winning squad in 2008.

- USA Basketball Press Release: USA Basketball Women's National Team Kicks Off Training Camp
- USA Basketball Schedule: 2012 USA Basketball Women's National Team Schedule & Results
- USA Roster/Bios: 2012 U.S. Olympic Women's Basketball Team Roster/Bios




Serrano Leads Team USA at Honkbal Week in Netherlands

Led by Tennessee head coach Dave Serrano, the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team opened pool play at the Honkbal Week tournament in Haarlem, Netherlands, with a 4-1 win over Japan

Team USA plays again today when it takes on Cuba at 7 p.m. local time (1 p.m. ET). You can watch today's game online at Honkbalweek.nl

C.J. Watson Agrees To Terms With Brooklyn Nets

Former Vols star guard C.J. Watson has agreed to terms with the Brooklyn Nets. Check out the following stories on the terms. Watson's two-year contract is worth the veteran's minimum to be their backup point guard, a league source confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com. The deal will include a player option for the second year. 

 "We are very pleased to add a veteran with the savvy and experience of C.J. Watson to our roster," Nets general manager Billy King said in a statement. "C.J. has the ability to be productive in a variety of roles, and he will add quality and versatility to our backcourt rotation."

If Even Needed, More Courage Comes From Pat Summitt

Check out Mike Strange's Sunday column about Pat Summitt's appearance at the ESPYs on Wednesday night.

- Knoxville News Sentinel: If even needed, more courage comes from Pat Summitt

Sunday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/15)

- Volquest has a piece on the Vols' unity that has developed as part of the Habitat for Humanity project and other team functions: Vols find unity through work and play

- The Knoxville News Sentinel has a feature on the hard work and team-building as the Vols completed a house as part of a Habitat for Humanity: Vols pull together for another building job.

- GoVols247 continues its look at the Top 10 Vols that will impact 2012 with a story on receiver Da'Rick Rogers: 10 for '12: No. 3

- Nooga.com has a feature on three Vols JUCO transfers that will make a major impact in 2012: Trio of JUCO players make up part of 2012 puzzle for Vols

- Vols freshman receiver Alton 'Pig' Howard will have foot surgery and miss the starte of preseason camp, here are stories on the news. 
  - Knoxville News Sentinel: Alton Howard to miss preseason with foot injury
  - Chattanooga Times Free Press: Vols' Howard has foot surgery

Trotter Embraces Third Olympic Team Appearance

Former Lady Vol NCAA track & field champion DeeDee Trotter talks about making her third Olympic Team and how time has her put her first appearance in 2004, when she won a gold medal with the U.S. 4x400m relay, in perspective.

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Trotter EmbracesThird Olympic Team Appearance

Happy Birthday - July 15: Tobias Harris

On July 15, we wish Happy Birthday to former Vols star and current Milwaukee Bucks forward Tobias Harris. Harris is playing for the Bucks NBA Summer League team and is featured in this video on leadership: Summer Leadership. Also, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has this story on Harris: Tough rookie year behind Bucks forward Harris. Milwaukee plays its first Summer League game on Monday vs. New Orleans.

Tatum Begins NBA Summer League With Grizzlies

Recent Vols grad Cameron Tatum will begin play with the Memphis Grizzlies NBA Summer League team on Saturday afternoon. The Grizz will take on the New York Knicks at 4 p.m. ET. You can watch Tatum, who will be wearing No. 22, as the game will be televised on NBA TV.

Here is the complete Grizzlies 2012 Summer League roster and schedule.

2012 NBA Summer League Schedule
(COX Pavilion and Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nev.)

DATE

OPPONENT

TIME (EDT)

TIME (PDT)

SITE

Saturday, July 14

New York *

4 p.m.

1 p.m.

COX Pavilion

Tuesday, July 17

Washington *

6 p.m.

3 p.m.

COX Pavilion

Friday, July 20

Charlotte *

6:30 p.m.

3:30 p.m.

Thomas & Mack Center

Saturday, July 21

Phoenix

10 p.m.

7 p.m.

COX Pavilion

Sunday, July 22

Minnesota *

8 p.m.

5 p.m.

COX Pavilion

* - Broadcast live on NBA TV

Saturday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/14)

- GoVols247 has a look at the next two most important players for the 2012 season with:
 - No. 4 Prentiss Waggner: 10 for '12: No. 4
 - No. 5 Michael Palardy: 10 for '12: No. 5

The Vols' Tyler Bray is taking part in the Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana. Here are a few stories about former Vols QB Peyton Manning and UT's current signal caller.

Happy Birthday - July 14: Angie Bjorklund, Bill Mosiello

On July 14, we send Happy Birthday wishes to former Lady Vols basketball star Angie Bjorklund, who played in the WNBA with the Chicago Sky. 

Angie Bjorklund

Also celebrating his birthday on July 14 is Vols assistant baseball coach Bill Mosiello.

Bill Mosiello

The 2011 SEC Athlete of the Year John-Patrick Smith is winding down his first week of World TeamTennis as a member of the Orange County Breakers.


Smith serves as the men's singles player for the Breakers in the co-ed league and teams up with former Georgia Bulldog Travis Parrott for men's doubles. The Breakers have started the 3-week season with a 1-1 record with Smith winning big in singles and doubles to help Orange  County to a 25-8 win against the Kansas City Explorers.

The Breakers hit the road for the first time Friday and face the Sacramento Capitals for an evening match where Smith gets to face the highest-ranked challenge of his professional career: world No. 13 Mardy Fish in singles. 

Smith and Fish will play one set as part of the WTT format. 

The Breakers' match against the Capitals will be broadcast tonight on Comcast SportsNet at 10:30 p.m. Eastern. 

Libietis Starts Quick Summer Tour: Rising sophomore Mikelis Libietis is hitting the Futures tour for a few weeks before returning to Knoxville to start the fall semester. 

Libietis, a native of Priekuli, Latvia, is starting qualifying Saturday at an ITF Futures event in Estonia. He plays countryman Krisjanis Stabins in the first round of qualifying and needs just two wins to advance to the main draw.

Hubble Advances in The Netherlands: Still on the road back from missing most of 2011 with injury, former Vol Adam Hubble is steadily climbing the ATP doubles rankings. He won a $15,000 Futures event in Germany last week, and this week, he is into the semifinals of a $50,000 Challenger in Scheveningen, Holland, with fellow Australian Nima Roshan. 

The Australian duo ousted the top seeds in the opening round and beat Jesse Huta Galung and Phillipp Oswald 6-2, 7-6 (1) on Friday to advance to the semifinals.

Hubble is now ranked No. 285 in doubles.

Media Reaction To Summitt's Arthur Ashe Award Presentation

In arguably the most spellbinding segment of the 2012 ESPYs Wednesday night, former Vol quarterback Peyton Manning, now with the Denver Broncos, introduced Lady Vol Head Basketball Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt as the winner of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Actress Reese Witherspoon, who like Summitt grew up in Tennessee, narrated a moving video tribute that traced Summitt's rise from a hard-working youngster on a dairy farm in Henrietta to head coach of the eight-time NCAA champion Lady Vols to courageously facing the diagnosis of early on-set dementia, Alzheimer's Type, that she received in August 2011.

Below are some samples of media clips pertaining to Summitt, the Arthur Ashe Courage Award and the 2012 ESPYs.

ESPNW (Video Replay): Summitt Receives Arthur Ashe Award
Yahoo! Sports: Pat Summitt's ESPYs moment is reminiscent of Jim Valvano's famous speech
bleacher report: Pat Summitt: Arthur Ashe Courage Award Is Great Honor for Legendary Coach
NESN: Pat Summitt Vows to 'Keep on Keepin' on' Upon Receiving Arthur Ashe Award at ESPYs
- Denver Post: Peyton Manning presents Pat Summitt tribute at ESPY Awards
- Huffington Post: Pat Summitt ESPY Tribute, Speech: Ex-Tennessee Coach Receives Arthur Ashe Courage Award
AARP Blog: Pat Summitt presented with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award
nextgen JOURNAL: ESPYs Honor College Sports Heros Who Inspire Nation
Rant Sports: ESPYS Tribute To Pat Summitt Will Move You To Tears









Lady Vols in Match World Women's Cup

In preparation for the 2012 Olympics in London, national soccer teams from Canada, Brazil, Colombia, and New Zealand are participating in the Match World Women's Cup.

Tennessee soccer fans should take note of these matches as former Volunteer great Rhian Wilkinson of Canada will face 2012 soccer signee Hannah Wilkinson of New Zealand tomorrow in Switzerland.

You can read more about the two Tennessee soccer member's journey to the 2012 London games HERE.

Saturday's match will mark the 10th international meeting between Canada and New Zealand. The event will take place at 10 a.m. EST and can be seen in Canada on Eurosport World or followed on Twitter at @CanadaSoccerEN and @NZ_Football.

Each team will play matches against two opponents and the squad with the most points will be crowed champion of the Match World Women's Cup. Check utladyvols.com for a recap of the match tomorrow.


Rhian Wilkinson has been a member of the CNT for 10 years Wilkinson earned three awards at this years New Zealand Football Awards

Friday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/13)

- Here's are a few stories on the Vols' preseason honorees from the SEC: 
   - Knoxville News Sentinel: Five Vols picked for preseason SEC team.

- The Knoxville News Sentinel has an update on the Vols ticket push for the 2012 season: Ticket Update Florida, Alabama tickets available in UT mini-package.

- GoVols247 continues its countdown of 10 impact players for 2012 with a look at senior linebacker Herman Lathers, who returns after missing last season due to injury: 10 for '12: No. 6.

- Volquest has an in-depth look at Milligan College where the Vols will spend a portion of training camp later this summer: Milligan rolling out Orange carpet for Vols.

Happy Birthday - July 12: Marcus Jackson

On July 12, we wish Happy Birthday to Marcus Jackson, sophomore offensive lineman with the football team. 

Marcus Jackson

Historic Images of the Great Pat Summitt

Enjoy our gallery of historic Pat Summitt images!

U.S. Olympic Swim Team Coverage

The U.S. Olympic Swimming Team has been training at Tennessee's Allan Jones Aquatic Center and the nearby outdoor pool for the last week, and the squad had its Thursday morning practice open to the general public and media. The four-year-old Allan Jones Aquatic Center was filled to capacity as fans started arriving at the gates as early as 4 a.m.

For a look at the coverage:

Knoxville News Sentinel: Hold your breath for Olympic swimming
The Daily Times (Maryville): Phelps, Olympic Team Train in Knoxville

KNS Story On Future Of Stokely Athletic Center

The storied Stokely Athletic Center -- where the "Ernie and Bernie Show" drew sellout crowds in the mid-1970s, the Lady Vols played their first championship season in 1987, and Elvis Presley performed three months before his death -- will move a step closer to demolition today.

University of Tennessee officials will ask the State Building Commission at its monthly meeting in Nashville for approval to raze the 54-year-old gymnasium, which would be replaced with a parking lot. 

Read this Knoxville News Sentinel story on the building, which was home to so many major moments: UT takes steps toward razing Stokely Athletic Center and Photo Gallery


Thursday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/12)

- GoVols247 continues its rundown of Top 10 impact players for the 2012 season with No. 7: Daniel McCullers: 10 for '12: No. 7.

- Nooga.com has a story on Mychal Rivera being named to the John Mackey Award Watch List: Rivera on watch list for top tight end honors

Cuonzo Martin On ESPN Radio The Herd

Tennessee coach Cuonzo Martin comments on how his battle with cancer changed his life, the state of basketball and more. Listen back here on ESPNRadio.com.

Wednesday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/11)

We are closing in on SEC Media Days in Alabama next week. Check out the latest on the Vols with these stories from the media:

- Inside Tennessee has a story on Milligan College and how the NAIA school is prepping for perhaps the biggest event on campus in history -- Tennessee football training camp: Excitement mounts

- Mike Strange of the Knoxville News Sentinel has this piece on unlikely heroes over the years for Vol football: Here's another football list -- of unexpected Vol heroes.

- Inside Tennessee takes a look at redshirt freshman Geraldo Orta who will have a chance to play a role on the game field with the Vols this season: Redshirt complete, ready to compete

- GoVols247 continues its look at 10 impact players for 2012 with a feature on Antonio Richardson aka Tiny: 10 for '12: No. 8

- Also from Inside Tennessee, check out a profile on incoming freshman Kenny Bynum from the view of his prep coach: Wiley: Bynum's 'going to be a stud'

- Former Knoxville News Sentinel writer Andrew Gribble has this preview of Tennessee for the Alabama newspapers: Tennessee seeks significant improvement in Derek Dooley's 3rd season

- The Vols Mychal Rivera has been named to the John Mackey Award Watch List, read about it in the following:
  - Knoxville News Sentinel: Mychal Rivera on Mackey Award watch list

Wednesday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (7/11)

Here are a few more stories on Jarnell Stokes after he returned to campus earlier this week following a successful run with USA Basketball:

Happy Birthday - July 10: Jacob Gilliam

On July 10, we wish Happy Birthday to football offensive lineman Jacob Gilliam.

Jacob Gilliam

Tobias Harris Basketball Camp Feature

Tobias Harris, NBA player for the Milwaukee Bucks,

"School of Business." Odd name for a summer basketball camp run by a big-name former Long Island high school star who just completed his rookie season in the NBA.

But former Half Hollow Hills West standout Tobias Harris wants to make sure the 40-plus kids who attended his camp two weeks ago or those who will attend his next one Aug. 20-24 learn more than just jump shots, dribble-drives and post moves. "Just trying to have the kids take care of business -- work hard, have fun, go to class, do all the right things, stay on the right path," said Harris, the 6-8 Bucks small forward who travels from workouts in Milwaukee toLong Island to run the Tobias Harris School of Business Basketball Camp at Half Hollow Hills East.

Read the full story on the former Vols star Tobias Harris in Newsday: Tobias Harris runs camp that goes beyond basketball

Tuesday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/10)

- Here are a few stories on Tyler Bray and Da'Rick Rogers being named to the Maxwell Award Watch List

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Tyler Bray, Da'Rick Rogers on Maxwell Award watch list

- GoVols247 continues its countdown with No. 9 James Stone: 10 for '12: No. 9

- Rocky Top Talk previews the Offensive Line: Deeper, Stronger - The 2012 Position Previews: Offensive Line

Tuesday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (7/10)

- The Vols Jarnell Stokes met with the media on Monday: VIDEO: Stokes on USA Basketball Trip. Check out these stories and features that followed from the media:

- Knoxville News Sentinel: Jarnell Stokes' growth measured on court
- Inside Tennessee: Triumphant return

Also, news on coach Cuonzo Martin officially signing his contract:

ON TOUR: ATP Tour Rankings (7/9/12)

Here are the Vols' updated ATP Tour rankings as of July 9, 2012. The Vols are listed by highest singles ranking first. The number in parenthesis denotes change from previous week.


John-Patrick Smith

Singles: 210 (+88)

Doubles: 147 (+10)

Note: Jumped to a career-best No. 210 after winning his first career singles Challenger title at the $50k Winnetka Challenger, beating Ricardas Berankis 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) ... Also reached the finals of doubles with John Peers ... Playing the next three weeks with the Orange County Breakers in World TeamTennis, starting tonight.


Rhyne Williams

Singles: 279 (-11)

Doubles: 368 (+29)

Note: Won his first round of the Winnetka Challenger ... Reached the doubles semifinal with Tennys Sandgren at Winnetka to move up to a career best in the doubles rankings ... Off this week ... Playing next week at the $50k Binghamton (N.Y.) Challenger.


Tennys Sandgren

Singles: 266 (+22)

Doubles: 276 (+40)

Note: Reached first career singles quarterfinal at the Winnetka Challenger, stunning top-seeded Benjamin Becker in his opening match ... Advanced to the doubles semifinal with Rhyne Williams ... Off this week ... Playing next week at the $50k Binghamton (N.Y.) Challenger.


Adam Hubble

Singles: N/A

Doubles: 285 (+28)

Note: Won a $15k Futures doubles title in Germany ... Off this week.


Ben Rogers

Singles: N/A

Doubles: 560 (-64)

Note: Off last week ... Off this week.


Matteo Fago

Singles: 1130 (+54)

Doubles: N/A

Note: Off last week ... Off this week.

Happy Birthday - July 9: Mikelis Libietis, Stephanie Stoll

On July 9, we wish Happy Birthday to men's tennis All-SEC performer Mikelis Libietis and rising volleyball sophomore Stephanie Stoll.


Mikelis Libietis  Stephanie Stoll

Monday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/9)

- GoVols247 begins takes a look at 10 Vols that will make an impact in 2012, starting with linebacker Curt Maggitt: 10 for '12: No. 10.

- GoVols247 breaks down sophomore tailback Tom Smith's game and potential for this fall: Second-Year Surge: Tom Smith.

- Nooga.com has a story on two of the Vols newcomers in the backfield: Bourque, Watson bring new elements to Vols' tailback competition.

Monday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (7/9)

- The Chattanooga Times Free Press has a profile of former Vols star basketball player Vincent Yarbrough, who was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in 2002: Vincent Yarbrough giving back at Cleveland camp.

- The Knoxville News Sentinel has a notebook of items related to basketball:  D'Montre Edwards, Armani Moore on campus; schedule near completion

- Nooga.com takes a look at the 2012-13 Vols schedule: Tennessee hoops schedule nearing completion.

Three-time Olympian Trotter brings style to the 400

While some athletes are getting their "game face" on, DeeDee Trotter puts on her "glitter face."

She turned heads at the U.S. Olympic Trials as much for her second-place finish in the women's 400 meters as for the explosion of color around her right eye and down her cheek.

To continue reading about the former Lady Vol standout in USA TODAY'S "100 Olympic hopefuls in 100 Days" series, please go to: Three-time Olympian Trotter brings style to the 400

Sunday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/8)

- GoVols247 continues its series on second-year players in the football program with a look at Trevarris Saulsberry: Second-Year Surge: Saulsberry.

- Nooga.com continues to profile the Vols 2012 opponents with Vandy: Vols' 2012 opponent look ahead: Vanderbilt.

Two KNS Stories Touching On UT Track Alums

- The Knoxville News Sentinel's John Adams has a pair of stories on Sunday that look at former Vols track & field stars. 


ON TOUR: Smith Captures First Challenger Singles Title

Former Vol John-Patrick Smith fought off two match points to capture his first Challenger singles title Saturday night in Winnetka, Ill.

In a week where he had to qualify to even make the tournament field, Smith beat three top 200 players along the way to winning the Winnetka Challenger. He rallied past sixth-seeded Ricardas Berankis 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the finals.

Smith's late comeback started in the seventh game of the final set where both players had their opportunities. With Berankis serving up 4-2, Smith converted on a break point to end a long momentum-swinging game to get back on serve. 

A few games later, Smith had to hold his nerves serving at 5-6. He fought off two match points in the game to hold and force a tournament-deciding tiebreaker. He took the first point off Berankis and rolled from there to win the tiebreaker 7-3 and win his first Challenger-level singles title. 

Smith has won three professional singles titles in the last year and eight doubles titles. He entered the tournament ranked No. 298 but should rise to about 215 in Monday's ATP world rankings. Former teammate Tennys Sandgren, ranked 289, will also get a boost after reaching his first Challenger quarterfinal this week. 

In terms of UT history, Smith is the first player to win a Challenger singles title since Chris Woodruff in 1996. 

Smith's bid for a title sweep fell short in doubles where he and former Baylor star John Peers lost 1-6, 6-2, [10-6] to Jeff Dadamo and Devin Britton a few hours later. Smith and Peers have won three Challenger titles together already this year. 

The Winnetka Challenger marks a break for Smith in his tournament schedule, but that hardly means he's finished with tennis. Smith is traveling to California to play World TeamTennis with the Orange County Breakers. Their three-week season starts Monday. 

Saturday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/7)

- CSS Sports has this look the Vols running game heading into the 2012 season.

- GoVols247 continues its summer series with a look at the man they call 'Tiny': Second-Year Surge: Tiny Richardson.


- Volquest takes a look at the Vols mid-summer enrolles Cordarrelle Patterson, Davante Bourque and Quenshaun Watson with these two pieces: Immediate impact and Patterson's role should aid his transition as a Vol.

Happy Birthday - July 7: B.BeVier, K.Kerbyson, R.Cobb

On July 7, we wish Happy Birthday to rising sophomore swimmer Bryce BeVier and redshirt freshman offensive lineman Kyler Kerbyson

Bryce BeVier  Kyler Kerbyson 

Former Vols and NFL football running back Reggie Cobb also celebrates his birthday on July 7. 

ON TOUR: Smith Looking for Title Sweep at Winnetka

John-Patrick Smith will be in familiar territory Saturday, albeit at a different level.

Smith advanced to his first career Challenger final Friday, rallying to beat sixth-seeded Sergei Bubka 2-6, 6-1, 6-4 in the semifinals of the Winnetka (Ill.) Challenger. 

He faces seventh-seeded Ricardas Berankis for the singles championship Saturday at 7 p.m. Eastern. Smith will then play for a potential title sweep as he and John Peers vie for their fourth Challenger doubles title of the year against Devin Britton and Jeff Dadamo. 

Smith and Peers have had a relatively easy week in doubles. The No. 1 seeds have reached the final with their opponents pulling out of the tournament on two days and breezed through their only played match in 35 minutes. 

When Smith is in a singles final, the odds are always good that he's been in doubles contention too. Smith's two career pro singles titles came on days when he also won the doubles title (2011 Tulsa Futures, 2012 Vero Beach Futures). He has won five doubles titles this year, including one with Britton, his opponent.

Rhyne Williams and Tennys Sandgren nearly joined Smith in the doubles final. They led early but lost to Dadamo and Britton 4-6, 6-1, [11-9] in their semifinal match Saturday. 

Williams and Sandgren have a busy month ahead on the USTA Pro Circuit with Challenger stops in Binghamton, N.Y., and Lexington, Ky. Smith starts World TeamTennis with the Orange County Breakers on Monday.

ON TOUR: Smith Reaches First Challenger Semifinal

What a week it has been thus far in Winnetka, Ill., for former Vol John-Patrick Smith.

Smith had to qualify for the main draw field at the Winnetka Challenger earlier this week and advanced to his first career Challenger-level semifinal Thursday with a 6-2, 1-0 ret. win over Mikhail Ledovskikh of Russia.

The 2011 SEC Athlete of the Year takes on sixth-seeded Sergei Bubka today with a spot in the finals on the line.

Smith is also vying for his fourth Challenger title of the year with former Baylor standout John Peers. The Aussie duo has had a quick week of work thanks to their opponents withdrawing from competition. They defeated Roman Borvanov and Laurynas Grigelis 6-2, 6-1 in Thursday's quarterfinals and then automatically advanced to the finals when Mitchell Frank and Bradley Klahn withdrew.

Tennys Sandgren played in his first Challenger quarterfinal Thursday, losing to Bubka 6-4, 6-4 in the evening session.

Sandgren and Rhyne Williams are still alive in doubles where they'll face former Ole Miss Rebel Devin Britton and former Texas A&M standout Jeff Dadamo.

Happy Birthday - July 6: A.Harper, E.Johnson, M.Palardy

On July 6 we wish Happy Birthday to junior rower Erika Johnson and junior football kicker/punter Michael Palardy

Erika Johnson  Michael Palardy

Former Vols star receiver and longtime NFL wideout Alvin Harper also celebrates his birthday on July 6. 

Friday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/6)

-  The Chattanooga Times Free Press has a story on the arrival of star JUCO receiver Cordarrelle Patterson: Cordarrelle Patterson arrives to lofty expectations.

- Inside Tennessee focuses on another JUCO recruit the massive Daniel McCullers: Breakout Vols: defensive line.

- GoVols247 continues its series looking at second-year players with the Vols: Second-Year Surge: Brian Randolph.


Thursday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (7/5)

- Volquest has a feature on Jordan McRae, who has stepped up his game this summer in anticipation of his junior season with the Vols: McRae bearing down this summer.


Happy Birthday - July 5: Football Alum Jason Allen

On July 5, we send Happy Birthday wishes to former star defensive back and current Cincinnati Bengal Jason Allen. The former Texan and Dolphin signed with Cincinnati this past off season. From 2002-05 with the Vols, Allen had 220 tackles, four interceptions and 18 pass break-ups. 

ON TOUR: Smith, Sandgren Make Quarters at Winnetka

Former Vols John-Patrick Smith and Tennys Sandgren picked up straight-set victories to advance to the quarterfinals of the $50,000 Winnetka (Ill.) Challenger on Wednesday. 

Smith took care of his service games with 10 aces to oust third-seeded Bobby Reynolds of the United States 6-3, 6-4. Sandgren beat qualifier Ante Pavic 6-4, 6-3 to reach his first career quarterfinal at the Challenger level. 

Rhyne Williams lost his second-round match to Mikhail Ledovskikh 6-1, 6-4. 

Smith will play Ledovskikh on Thursday for a chance to reach his first Challenger semifinal. Sandgren faces sixth-seeded Sergei Bubka of Ukraine, son of the famous pole vaulter of the same name.

In two days, the Vols have been responsible from eliminating three of the eight seeded players in the draw. 

In doubles, Smith and partner John Peers got a walkover into the quarterfinals and moved on in their bid for a fourth Challenger title this year. Williams and Sandgren earned a fast 6-2, 6-2 win over James Duckworth and Greg Jones.

ON TOUR: Sandgren Ousts Top Seed, Smith Advances at Winnetka

Former Vol Tennys Sandgren earned his first career Challenger-level victory in a big way late Tuesday night, beating the top seed in his opening match at the Winnetka (Ill.) Challenger.

Sandgren broke former Baylor star Benjamin Becker four times en route to a 6-1, 6-4 victory in the final match of the day. 

John-Patrick Smith was also a winner Tuesday, beating fellow Aussie Matt Reid 6-3, 6-2. 

Three Vols are through to the round of 16 at Winnetka. Rhyne Williams won his match on Monday against fifth-seeded Rik De Voest. The UT trio is in the same half of the draw, so Williams and Smith would meet in the quarterfinals if they both win their matches Wednesday. 

The Vols also start doubles play on Wednesday. Smith and John Peers are seeded No. 1 and looking for their fourth Challenger title of the year. 

Wednesday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/4)

- Volquest has a lengthy feature on football strength coach Ron McKeefery and the Vols' offseason training: Rock toting climb bonds Vols.


- Inside Tennessee caught up with former Vols' star Travis Stephens: Ex-Vol update: Travis Stephens.


- GoVols247 continues its series look with: Second-Year Surge: Alan Posey

Wednesday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (7/4)

- The Knoxville News Sentinel has this story on the promotion of Tracy Webster to Associate Head Coach: Tracy Webster promoted to associate head coach.

- Nooga.com has this story on Webster: Vols' Webster promoted to associate head coach.

- GoVols247 takes a look at rising senior Dwight Miller, who knows his final campaign will be his last chance to shine: 'Sense of urgency' motivates Miller.

- Volquest has a feature on former Vols guard Bobby Maze and his return to the area after playing around the world: Maze leaves Knoxville with a smile.

4th Of July Feature On New U.S. Citizen Dave Parrington

- Check out Brendan Quinn's featue on Vols diving coach Dave Parrington, who will celebrate the 4th of July as an American citizen for the first time: Dave Parrington a man now with a country.

University of Tennessee diving coach Dave Parrington is pictured at the Allen Jones Aquatic Center on Tuesday. Parrington is originally from Zimbabwe and arrived in the United States in 1978 as a college student. He received his U.S. citizenship this past December and also will be inducted into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame.

Happy Birthday - July 4: Rower Ashley Fichtorn

On July 4, we wish Happy Birthday to junior rower Ashley Fichthorn.

Ashley Fichthorn

Tuesday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (7/3)

- The Maryville Daily Times has a feature on the Vols sharp-shooting guard Skylar McBee: McBee looks to polish game, facial hair.

- The Knoxville News Sentinel has a feature story on former Vol Bobby Maze, who scored 31 points in Monday night's Pilot Rocky Top League Championship game: Bobby Maze's goal: 'Leave an impression'.


Tennessee Lady Vol track & field signee Emily Yarnell was named the PrepXtra Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year. Check out the knoxnews.com story about her season and career.

- knoxnews.com: PrepXtra Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year: Emily Yarnell

ON TOUR: Williams Gets Upset Win, Smith Qualifies in Winnetka

Former Vol Rhyne Williams started off his road at the Winnetka (Ill.) Challenger with an upset against a familiar opponent Monday.

Williams took a big lead and moved onto the second round when fifth-seeded Rik De Voest of South Africa retired with illness when the Knoxville native was ahead 6-1, 3-1. 

Williams and De Voest had faced each other twice in the second half of 2011, with Williams winning in the US Open qualifying and the veteran De Voest winning at the Knoxville Challenger. 

John-Patrick Smith joined Williams and former All-American Tennys Sandgren in the main draw of singles. He broke Fritz Wolmarans to end both sets in a 7-5, 7-5 win in the final round of qualifying.

In doubles, Smith is seeded No. 1 seed with fellow Australian John Peers. The two have won three Challenger titles this year and both are ranked in the top 160.

Waggner Named To CFPA Defensive Back Watch List

Vols senior defensive back Prentiss Waggner has been named to the College Football Performance Award Preseason Watch List for the Defensive Back Trophy.

Waggner, who was on the preseason watch lists for the Bednarik, Nagurski and Lott Awards in 2011 heads into his senior season after a 48-tackle campaign in 2011. Waggner has 116 career tackles and seven interceptions, including a career-best five in 2010. Waggner has started the last 25 games in a row in the secondary. 

Prentiss Waggner

Happy Birthday - July 2: Nikki Arcamuzi, Matt Darr

On July 2, we wish Happy Birthday to junior rower Nikki Arcamuzi and sophomore football punter Matt Darr.     

Nikki Arcamuzi  Matt Darr

60 Days Until It's Football Time In Tennessee

ON TOUR: Smith Starts Qualies; Main Draw Released at Winnetka

Former Vol John-Patrick Smith advanced to the final round of qualifying Sunday at the Winnetka Challenger in Illinois. 

Smith, the highest seeded player in qualifying, got a bye in the first round and then broke Daniel King-Turner's serve four times in a 6-2, 6-3 victory. He plays Fritz Wolmarans in the final round of qualifying Monday.

Rhyne Williams and Tennys Sandgren automatically got in the main draw because of their ranking, and both drew seeded players. Sandgren plays top seed and former Baylor standout Benjamin Becker, and Williams takes on fifth-seeded Rik de Voest. 

Williams and de Voest have played each other twice in the last year, each winning a match. Williams beat de Voest in straight sets in 2011 US Open qualifying, but de Voest earned a long three set win against Williams on his home courts at the 2011 Knoxville Challenger.

For the complete singles draw, click here: Winnetka Challenger

61 Days Until It's Football Time In Tennessee

Smith in the News; Trio Starts Winnetka Challenger

Fresh off his three-week stay on the grass courts of Europe, 2011 SEC Athlete of the Year John-Patrick Smith was featured in Jimmy Hyams tennis column in the Knoxville News Sentinel: HERE.

While Smith will spend the majority of July playing World TeamTennis for the Orange County Breakers, he is making a tournament stop this week at the Winnetka Challenger along with fellow former Vols Rhyne Williams and Tennys Sandgren.

Smith was the first man out to make the cut for the singles main draw and will begin qualifying today. Williams and Sandgren are already in the main draw. In doubles, Smith is looking for his fourth Challenger-level title of the year. 

Sunday's Tennessee Football Briefing (7/1)

- Inside Tennessee has a story on UT's freshman receivers with comments from position coach Darin Hinshaw: Vols restock at wide receiver.

- Nooga.com continues its look at the Vols' competition this season: Vols' 2012 opponent look ahead: Troy.

Sunday's Tennessee Basketball Briefing (7/1)

- The Chattanooga Times Free Press has a feature on new basketball strength coach Nicodemus Christopher and some of his philosophies: Tennessee Vols learning proper nutrition.

- GoVols247 takes a look at Jordan McRae and his outstanding summer in the Pilot Rocky Top League: McRae's confident summer continues.

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