The Tennessee Volunteers
look to repeat the success of the 2001 season when they advanced to their
third College World Series and finished tied for third in the tournament.
With the road to Omaha being long and hard, every team needs a few breaks.
Although the Vols lost five starters and seven pitchers from that team,
the nucleus to build another contender is in tact.
The 2002 Volunteers will be a young team with 18 freshmen or sophomores
dotting the roster. As a result, the 10 juniors and seniors will have
to provide the leadership needed to make another run to the College World
The schedule will again be challenging with 24 games against 10 teams
that reached NCAA postseason play in 2001, including a season-opening
series versus the defending national champion Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes.
"With such a young team, we have a lot of work ahead of us,"
said head coach Rod Delmonico. "Our goals are the same every year,
to win the Southeastern Conference title and reach the College World Series
to challenge for the national championship.
"Last year was a good taste of what winning was like. Now our returning
players will have to instill in the newcomers the amount of hard work
it takes to reach our goals.
"We filled our needs in the field with some newcomers and I think
we will have a very productive pitching staff that will surprise some
people across the league and the country. I look forward to carrying on
the success of last season."