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Happy Birthday - April 10

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On this 10th day of April we are celebrating a quartet of Tennessee birthdays. Join us in wishing a happy birthday to volleyball's Kelsey Bawcombe, Chelsea Blaase of cross country/track and field, rowing's Morgan Suffridge, and baseball VFL Mike Lincoln

A native of Temecula, California, Bawcombe is coming off a solid freshman season for Tennessee Volleyball in the fall of 2014. She appeared in 31 matches and made 17 starts on the year, logging two double-doubles and a team-high 17 service aces. Born this day in 1996, Bawcome is 19 years old today.



Out on the track, Blaase is having the best season of her career. In the fall, she became Tennessee's 10th cross country All-American after finishing 10th at the NCAA Championships. Blaase earned her second All-American award of the year during the indoor track and field season when she placed fourth in the women's 5,000 meters at the NCAA Indoor Championships. And just last week, Blaase broke her own school record in the 10,000 meter run at the Stanford Invitational, turning in a time of 32:28.39 that ranks second in the nation.



A junior member of the varsity rowing squad, Suffridge was a part of the Second Varsity Eight that finished third in the petite final at the 42nd annual San Diego Crew Classic. A local product out of Knoxville, Suffridge is majoring in in Speech Pathology and was a member of the 2014 spring SEC Academic Honor Roll. 



Today is also the 40th birthday of former Tennessee and Major League pitcher Lincoln. He pitched just one season for UT back in 1996, going 6-4 with a 3.33 ERA before being drafted in the 13th round of the MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins. He made his big league debut on April 7, 1999, and continued on in the Bigs until 2010, making stops with the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, and Cincinnati Reds.



Happy birthday Kelsey, Chelsea, Morgan, and Mike!




Happy Birthday - April 9

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On April 9 we're celebrating the birthday of Tennessee women's golfer AJ Newell and UT hall of fame baseball player Sam Ewing!

A senior from Tampa, Florida, Newell has posted seven rounds of par or better this season, including a career-low 67 at the Cougar Classic. Through eight tournaments, she owns a scoring average of 72.91 -- the lowest of her career on Rocky Top. Newell and her teammates are off this week, but return to action next weekend in Birmingham, Alabama, for the SEC Championships. Born this day in 1993, Newell turns 22 years old today.



Today we also wish a happy 65th birthday to former Vol and Major Leaguer, Sam Ewing. One of the best to ever play in Tennessee's history, Ewing posted an incredible .464 batting average during his senior season in Knoxville. He drove in 25 runs on 45 hits that season to go along with eight home runs and 33 runs scored. Unsurprisingly, he was a first team All-America selection by both the Sporting News and the ABCA. He finished his career with a .411 batting average before going on to play professionally with the Chicago White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays organizations. He was elected to the Tennessee Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.



Happy birthday AJ and Sam!


Happy Birthday - April 8

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It's April 8 and we're sending happy birthday wishes to graduating soccer senior Allie Sirna!



Sirna recently wrapped up a stellar four-year career with Tennessee, starting in all 85 matches in which she appeared during her time on Rocky Top. A standout defender, Sirna helped UT record seven shutouts last season and earned SEC All-Tournament Team honors after logging 290 minutes played during the tournament and helping the Volunteers rally back against Alabama and stifle a potent Florida attack in the quarterfinals. In December, Sirna earned NSCAA Scholar All-Region Honors and was awarded an NCAA postgraduate scholarship just last month. She is 22 years old today.

Happy birthday, Allie!

Happy Birthday - April 6

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On April 6 we're celebrating a pair of birthdays on Rocky Top! One of the newest members of the Big Orange family, football's Kyle Oliver, is blowing out the candles today, as is former women's basketball standout Kamiko Williams!

Oliver is an incoming freshman who committed to Tennessee on National Signing Day back on Feb. 4. He is a 6-4, 226-pound tight end who will arrive in Knoxville with a three-star rating in tow. He lettered in football at Oakland High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and logged 102 receptions for 1,474 yards and five touchdowns in his three-year prep career. Born this day in 1997, Oliver turns 18 years old today.



Williams graduated from UT in 2013 after a four-year career on the hardwood for the Lady Vols. The guard appeared in 128 games over her four-year career, averaging 5.5 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists per game. During her senior year, she averaged 11.8 points and 3.5 steals per contest over Tennessee's NCAA Tournament run to the Elite Eight. Following the 2012-13 season, Williams was drafted by the WNBA's New York Liberty with the 15th overall pick. She did not play in 2014 after suffering a torn ACL. Williams is 24 years old today.



Happy birthday Kyle and Kamiko!



Happy Birthday - April 5

On this fifth day of April we're celebrating the birthday of baseball's David Houser



Houser is a junior catcher for the Diamond Vols and has appeared in 21 games this season. So far in 2015, he is hitting a career-best .281 with three doubles and three RBIs to his credit. Houser is a native of Columbia, South Carolina, and is 21 years old today. 

Happy birthday, David!


Happy Birthday - April 2

On April 2 we are wishing a very happy Big Orange birthday to rowing's Kaitlan Aries

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A senior from Chuluota, Florida, Aries is in the midst of her third season with the varsity squad. She has competed in five races this season, including a spot in the first varsity eight that narrowly finished in fourth in 6:58.38 at the 42nd Annual San Diego Crew Classic. She also rowed in the bow seat in the varsity eight at the Oak Ridge Cardinal Invitational that placed third in three races. Last year, Aries picked up a handful of academic awards. She was named to the 2014 SEC Spring Honor Roll, the 2013-14 C-USA Honor Roll, and received the C-USA Commissioner's Academic Medal -- an honor given to student-athletes maintaining a 3.75 GPA or better. Aries is a kinesiology major.

Happy birthday, Kaitlan!


Happy Birthday - April 1

It's a brand new month and we are wishing a very happy Big Orange birthday to football defensive coordinator John Jancek!



Coach Jancek will be entering his third season at defensive coordinator for UT in 2015. He has coached in eight bowl games, including last season's TaxSlayer Bowl and has helped his teams to five conference championships and one national championship. Last year he coached two All-SEC selections in Derek Barnett and Curt Maggitt, the former of whom was named a consensus Freshman All-American. 

Happy birthday, Coach Jancek!


Happy Birthday - March 31

It's the last day of March and we are celebrating the birthday of baseball's Benito Santiago



A freshman from Pembroke Pines, Florida, Santiago is in the midst of his true freshman season for Vol Baseball and head coach Dave Serrano. Already this year, Santiago has appeared in 14 ballgames, including nine starts behind the plate at the catcher position. He recorded his first collegiate hit during a 4-1 victory at Belmont back on Feb. 25. 

Happy birthday, Benito!


Happy Birthday - March 28

Rocky Top has got two birthdays to celebrate on this March 28. We're sending some 'happy birthday' wishes to football's Thomas Edwards and some more to men's basketball VFL Jordan McRae

After redshirting his true freshman season, Edwards saw his first collegiate action with the Volunteers during the 2014 season. He appeared in two games, making his debut on homecoming against Chattanooga. A native of Kingsport, Tennessee, Edwards played prep football at Dobyns-Bennett High School where he was named first team All-Big Eight Conference. He is 20 years old today.



A four-year letterwinner for Vol Basketball, McRae donned the Orange and White from 2010-14. As a senior in 2014, he started all 32 games and averaged a career-best 18.7 points per contest. He shot 43.6 percent from the field, including a 35.1 mark from beyond the arc. He closed out his career ranked 16th on Tennessee's all-time scoring list (1,521 points) and seventh on the all-time list for 3-pointers made (179). He was selected in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft by the San Antonio Spurs and was traded to Philadelphia later that night. After a stint in Australia with Melbourne United, McRae returned to the U.S. after being acquired by the Delaware 87ers of the D-League. Just last week, he recorded career-highs with 39 points and 13 boards against the Oklahoma City Blue.



Happy birthday Thomas and Jordan!


Happy Birthday - March 27

We've got a quintet of birthdays to celebrate on this March 27! We're wishing a happy birthday to men's tennis freshman Jess Jones and incoming football freshman Preston Williams, not to mention VFLs Justin Coleman (football), Jonathan Wade (football, track and field), and Chris Lofton (men's basketball). 

During his first season with the Tennessee men's tennis program, Jones holds a singles record of 8-7 and a doubles mark of 2-2. The Warner Robins, Georgia, native opened his collegiate career with a ranked victory when he defeated No. 94 Alex Arovin of Tennessee Tech (6-1, 6-2) in the opening round of the Southern Intercollegiate Championships. Jones turns 19 years old today. 



A five-star wide receiver from Hampton, Georgia, Williams became one of the newest members of Team 119 back on National Signing Day in February. He played his prep career at Lovejoy High School, where he was named first team All-State and earned an invitation to the 2015 Under Armour All-Star Game. He had 43 catches for 916 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior despite missing a portion of the year with a knee injury. Williams is 18 years old today. 



From one of our newest Vols to one of our newest VFLs, defensive back Coleman wrapped up his UT career last fall with 157 career tackles and five career interceptions. Coleman was recently invited to the 2015 NFL Combine, where he recorded the fastest 3-cone drill time of any participant (6.61). He was also third among cornerbacks in both the bench press (20 reps) and the 60-yard shuttle (11.21). Today Coleman celebrates his 22nd birthday.



A defensive back for Vol football from 2002-06, Wade also starred on the track and field team, making his mark in the outdoor relays. His 4x100-meter relay team in 2003 recorded the program's second-fastest time in the event all-time. On the football field, he earned All-SEC honors in 2006 after leading Tennessee in pass deflections and interceptions. Wade was the 84th pick of the 2007 NFL Draft, taken by the St. Louis Rams. He is 31 years old today. 



One of Tennessee Basketball's all-time greats, Lofton was the 2007 SEC Player of the Year after leading the conference in scoring at 20.8 points per game. That year, he led the Volunteers to the Sweet 16 and was named a second team All-American. As a senior in 2007-08, Lofton passed Allan Houston to become UT's career-leader in three-pointers made, and not long after that, passed Pat Bradley of Arkansas to capture the record for most career treys all-time in the SEC. Following his collegiate career, Lofton went on to play professionally in Turkey, Spain, and Russia. He is currently under contract with Besiktas -- a Turkish team based out of Istanbul.



Happy birthday Jess, Preston, Justin, Jonathan, and Chris!


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