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Happy Birthday - March 27

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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!

Happy Birthday - March 26

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It's March 26 and we've got some 'happy birthday' wishes to a pair of UT freshman: David Heron of swimming and diving and Igor Smelyanski of men's tennis!

A redshirt freshman from Mission Viejo, California, Heron already ranks second all-time at UT in both the 1000-yard freestyle (9:04.34) and the 1650. In just his very first race of the 2014-15 season, he broke UNC Wilmington's 19-year-old-pool record by swimming a 9:11.21 in the 1000 Free. Heron is slated to compete this week in the 500 Free and 1650 Free at the NCAA Men's Swimming & Diving Championships in Iowa City, Iowa. His 500 prelim begins today (Thursday) at 12 p.m. ET with finals slated for tonight beginning at 8 p.m. Today is Heron's 20th birthday.

David Heron

Smelyanski, a native of Beer Yaaqov, Israel, is in the midst of his true freshman season with the men's tennis program at UT. Thus far he owns a singles record of 10-8 and a doubles mark of 10-5 -- a record that includes the 2014 Southern Intercollegiate Championship with teammate Andrew Dromsky. Before arriving on Rocky Top, Smelyanski achieved a career-high ATP ranking of 721 in singles and 808 in doubles. Those marks gave the Vols three active players with a tour ranking inside the top 900 to begin the year. He is 20 years old today. 

Igor Smelyanski

Happy birthday, David and Igor!

Happy Birthday - March 22

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On March 22 we're celebrating the birthdays of soccer's Christine Creighton, rowing's Nikole Metz, and men's tennis legend Rhyne Williams

Creighton is a native of Haverhill, Florida, and recently completed her true freshman season with the Tennessee women's soccer program in 2014. She appeared in 16 matches on the season, logging three goals and one assist. Her first career goal came in the 40th minute of a home match against Mississippi State in late September. She is an elementary education major and turns 18 years old today.

Christine Creighton

Metz is a junior coxswain with the rowing program and is a native of Fayetteville, New York. This season she placed fourth at the Chattanooga Head Race in Women's College 4+ with a time of 18:52.3. The political science major began her collegiate rowing career at SMU before transferring to Rocky Top. She is 21 years old today.

Nikole Metz

Williams played varsity tennis for his hometown University of Tennessee from 2009-11, piecing together two of the best seasons in program history in 2010 and 2011. During those years, he captured consecutive All-America honors and earned the ITA's No. 1 ranking in 2011 en route to reaching the NCAA Singles Championships. He finished his career with a singles record of 83-17 and a doubles mark of 66-14. Williams now competes on the ATP World Tour. 

Happy birthday, Christine, Nikole, and Rhyne!

Happy Birthday - March 20

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On March 20 we're celebrating the birthdays of a pair of VFLs: Paul Annacone of men's tennis and Britton Colquitt of football. 

Annacone played three years of varsity tennis for the University of Tennessee from 1982-84. He was a three-time All-SEC and All-American performer for the Vols and was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Player of the Year in 1984. That year, he went 51-3 in singles matches while winning the ITA Indoor Singles Championship. He racked up 115 career victories for UT in his three seasons on Rocky Top. Annacone went on to play on the ATP Tour from 1985-92 and later served as coach to World No. 1s Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. He was inducted into the ITA Hall of Fame in 2002. 

Paul Annacone

A Knoxville native, Colquitt served as UT's punter from 2005-08. He closed out his career ranked second on UT's all-time punting list with an average punt of 42.569 yards and recorded a career-long 71-yard punt during his senior season in 2008. He went undrafted in the 2009 NFL draft but was signed to the Denver Broncos active roster later that year. This upcoming season with mark his seventh with the Broncos organization.

Happy birthday, Paul and Britton!

Happy Birthday - Jan. 7

Join us in wishing a very Happy Birthday to Brandon Fickey of men's tennis, Drake Owenby of baseball and VFL and NBA rookie Jarnell Stokes.

Brandon FickeyDrake OwenbyJarnell Stokes

#VolsOnTour - ATP Rankings (9/29/14)

Here are the new ATP rankings as of Sept. 29, 2014:

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 211 (-4)
Doubles: 301 (+1)
Note: Lost in first round last week at the $50K Napa Challenger ... Playing this week at the $100K Sacramento Challenger, where he won in the opening round.

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 230 (-1)
Doubles: 77 (-8)
Note: Lost in first round of singles and doubles quarterfinals last week at the $50K Napa Challenger ... Playing this week at the $100K Sacramento Challenger, where he and Hubble started with a doubles win.

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 310 (-4)
Doubles: 273 (+14)
Note: Lost in the first round last week at the $50K Napa Challenger ... Playing this week at the $100K Sacramento Challenger. 

Matteo Fago
Singles: 897 (+2)
Doubles: 738 (-107)
Note: Off last week ... Off this week.

Adam Hubble
Singles: 1323 (+7)
Doubles: 887 (+210)
Note: Jumped 200 spots in the doubles rankings by reaching quarterfinals with Smith at the $50K Napa Challenger ... Won opening doubles round Monday with Smith at the $100K Sacramento Challenger.

Jarryd Chaplin
Singles: 2063 (+4)
Doubles: 1354 (+2)
Note: Back in Knoxville training ... Returning to competition for a series of Australian Futures in October.

#VolsOnTour - ATP Rankings (9/22/14)

Here are the new ATP rankings as of Sept. 22, 2014:

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 207 (-2)
Doubles: 302 (-1)
Note: Off last week ... Playing singles and doubles this week (with Sandgren) at the $50K Napa Challenger.

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 229 (-18)
Doubles: 69 (+1)
Note: Off last week ... Playing singles and doubles this week (with Hubble) at the $50K Napa Challenger.

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 306 (-16)
Doubles: 287 (-64)
Note: Reached the singles quarterfinals of the $10K Costa Mesa Futures in California ... Entered the $50K Napa Challenger singles and doubles on a protected ranking.

Matteo Fago
Singles: 899 (+1)
Doubles: 631 (+1)
Note: Off last week ... Off this week.

Adam Hubble
Singles: 1330 (+2)
Doubles: 1097 (-7)
Note: Playing doubles with Smith at the $50K Napa Challenger on a protected ranking ... Playing first tournament since a Futures even in Australia in March.

Jarryd Chaplin
Singles: 2067 (0)
Doubles: 1356 (0)
Note: Back in Knoxville training ... Returning to competition for a series of Australian Futures in October.

#VolsOnTour - ATP Rankings (9/8/14)

Here are the new ATP rankings as of Sept. 8, 2014:

John-Patrick Smith
Singles: 193 (-19)
Doubles: 69 (+1)
Note: Competed at the U.S. Open, falling in the first round of qualifying and the first round of main-draw doubles ... Off this week.

Rhyne Williams
Singles: 204 (+4)
Doubles: 301 (-6)
Note: Reached the second round of qualifying at the U.S. Open ... Off this week.

Tennys Sandgren
Singles: 291 (-3)
Doubles: 213 (-5)
Note: Made his return from hip injury at the U.S. Open, losing a three-setter in qualifying ... Off this week.

Matteo Fago
Singles: 880 (-8)
Doubles: 593 (-49)
Note: Played Challenger qualifying two weeks ago to former top-20 player Viktor Troicki ... Off last week.

Jarryd Chaplin
Singles: 1974 (NR)
Doubles: 1340 (NR)
Note: Collected first ATP point in singles during multi-week tour through Mexico ... Reached a doubles final and semifinal as well ... Off this week.

Reese, Sandgren Fall at U.S. Open Doubles

NEW YORK -- Senior Hunter Reese and former Vol Tennys Sandgren both came up on the short end of their U.S. Open debuts Tuesday night.

Reese and recent Ohio State graduate Peter Kobelt lost to the 10th-seeded French team of Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 6-1. It was the first time the two collegiate players had shard a court since squaring off against each other in the 2014 NCAA doubles final in May.

Sandgren, in his first tournament back since hip surgery in March, played with former Ohio State standout Chase Buchanan in a 6-2, 6-3 loss to Mate Pavic of Croatia and Andre Sa of Brazil. 

John-Patrick Smith and Texas A&M great Austin Krajicek will not play their opening doubles match until later this week.

Coach Winterbotham Takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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