March 12, 2009
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The University of Tennessee women's rowing varsity eight shell claimed the No. 16 spot in the USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) preseason poll announced on Thursday. The Lady Vols enter the season with the same ranking they held at the end of a 2008 campaign that saw them finish 11th at the NCAA Championships.
The Orange and White capped last year with its best-ever event finish at the national championships in the second varsity eight. After becoming the first shell in program history to reach an NCAA grand final, the 2V8+ edged Pac-10 champion Cal to finish fifth.
Last season saw the Lady Vol V8+ shell capture its highest ranking in program history at No. 4 in the USRowing/CRCA poll on May 1, 2008. Following a win over then-No. 4 Princeton and close finishes behind No. 2 Yale at a tri-meet on April 19, UT vaulted into the top five for the first time.
Despite losing nine seniors to graduation in 2008, Tennessee welcomes back five of the nine members of the 2008 NCAA Championship varsity eight crew. The returners include three-time All-American and senior Erin-Monique Shelton and fellow All-South Region honoree sophomore Libi Bruncvíkova'.
Yale, last year's varsity eight national champion, begins its title defense as the No. 1 ranked squad in the nation, while team champion Brown checks in at No. 2 in the poll. Washington, Stanford and Cal round out the top five in the first listing of the season. South Region rivals Virginia and Clemson earned the No. 6 and No. 13 rankings, respectively.
The Orange and White open the 2009 spring season on March 21, playing host to Minnesota and its No. 19-ranked varsity eight shell, on Lake Loudoun. The first race is set to start at 10 a.m.
USRowing/CRCA Division I Preseason Poll
|Rank||Team (1st Place Votes)||Points|