Jan. 25, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The 2012 Conference USA Champions return to the spring water in a little over a month to set out on their mission for a Conference USA Championship, as well as a trip to the NCAA National Championship.
The Lady Volunteer Rowing team has won the Conference USA title in two of the past three years, beating out rivals, Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Central Florida and Kansas State.
This year, the rowing team will start on their journey right outside of their home boathouse on Neyland Drive. The season-opener is against the University of Minnesota on Sunday, March 24 on Lake Loudoun.
Following their first race, the Lady Vols will take the following week as pure training, as it is the University's week of spring break. Just six days later, the team will travel across town to Oak Ridge, Tenn., to race the University of Louisville on Melton Hill Lake on Saturday, March 30.
The team will then pack their bags to race Ohio State University and the University of Michigan in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday, April 6. The Tennessee varsity 4+ shined last year when facing OSU and Michigan, coming in second and third in two races.
With one week free to train, the Lady Vols return to the water in Clemson, S.C., to face south-region rivals, Clemson, on April 20 and 21. The team hasn't faced Clemson head-on since the spring of 2009.
While part of the team will be in South Carolina, the remaining crews will race at the SIRA Regatta in nearby Oak Ridge. 11 other varsity teams will be present at the regatta, as well as nearly 20 club teams.
For their last regular-season regatta of the spring, UT will travel to Princeton, N.J., on April 27 to face the Tigers. Princeton finished fourth in the 2012 NCAA Championships last May.
Once classes are over for the student-athletes, they have one final chance to qualify for a trip to Indianapolis for nationals. The Lady Vols will host the 2013 Conference USA Championships on Melton Hill Lake in Oak Ridge on Saturday, May 18.
Last year, the Lady Vols took first place overall, including a Varsity 8+ victory over Oklahoma and Texas by nearly four seconds, a second Varsity 8+ victory by over seven seconds, a second place Varsity 4+ finish and an Open 4+ gold medal.
Awaiting qualification, the 2013 NCAA Rowing Championship will be held May 31-June 2 in Indianapolis, Ind.