KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ??? The University of Tennessee Varsity Eight shell will open the season among the top 10 in the nation after claiming the No. 7 spot in the USRowing/Collegiate Rowing Coaches Association (CRCA) preseason poll. The ranking is the Lady Vols??? highest since being rated No. 6 on May 20, 2005.
The Orange and White took ninth overall at last year???s NCAA Championships in Oak Ridge, Tenn., the best finish in program history. The Varsity Eight finished second in the petite final at championships and wrapped up the season ranked 10th in the USRowing/CRCA poll.
Yale, the 2007 Varsity 8+ national champion, claimed the top spot in the ranking, while last year???s team runner-up, Virginia, was a close second. The 2007 team champion, Brown, is ranked third.
Tennessee boasts seven of the current top 20 teams on its regular-season schedule. The Big Orange is set to face No. 1 Yale, No. 4 Southern California, No. 5 Ohio State, No. 8 Michigan, No. 13 Minnesota and No. 20 Louisville in the coming weeks. UT will also look to knock off defending South Region champion No. 2 Virginia at the Central/South Sprints in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
The Lady Vols open the 2008 spring slate this weekend, hosting Minnesota. The dual meet is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. on March 22, on Lake Loudoun.
|USRowing/CRCA Women's NCAA Division I Varsity Eights|
|Rank||Team (1st-Place Votes)??||Points|
|1.||Yale University (21)||477|
|Receiving Votes: Northeastern University 44, Michigan State University 41, University of Central Florida 38, Oregon State University 15, University of Texas 15, University of Alabama 12, Gonzaga University 10, Boston University 2, George Mason University 2, Bucknell University 1, and St. Joseph's University 1.|