April 15, 2010
By Donnie Conley, Media Relations Student Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn.--The No. 17-ranked University of Tennessee women's rowing team hits the road this weekend, traveling to Sacramento, Calif. for the second-annual Lake Natoma Invitational.
This year's field features nine teams, including the No. 1 and No. 2 finishers in last year's NCAA Women's Rowing National Championships, Stanford and California. Currently, the two schools rank No. 3 and No. 2, respectively, in the latest CRCA/USRowing poll. Additionally, five schools in the field find themselves among the nation's top 20 teams.
Other top-20 teams set to compete include No. 13 Washington State and No. 14 Wisconsin. Narrowly missing the cut are Louisville and Minnesota, who are both among the top-four teams that are not ranked but receiving votes. Texas and Sacramento State complete the field for the 2010 Lake Natoma Invitational.
In last year's event, the Lady Vols finished in third place of group two with 10 points, good for sixth overall. UT captured a victory in the group two finals of the 2V8+, finishing with a time of 6:46.90.
The event will feature an NCAA-style points structure in which teams will accrue points on Saturday during two racing sessions. Placement into event finals on Sunday will be determined by Saturday's point totals. Three heats of each varsity event - first eight, second eight and four - will be run in both the morning and afternoon sessions on Saturday. Sunday's schedule will consist of three finals (A, B, C) for each event, with the top three teams from Saturday competing in the A final, the fourth through sixth teams in the B final and the remaining three teams in the C final.
Tennessee has looked strong so far this spring, compiling a 4-1 record in the V8+ and a perfect 5-0 mark in the 2V8+. UT's lone defeat in the V8+ came at the hands of No. 16 Dartmouth on Mar. 27.
Minnesota, which faced the Big Orange on Mar. 20, will also be among the teams competing in this year's Lake Natoma Invitational. Tennessee split four races with the Golden Gophers, earning wins in the V8 and 2V8 but falling in the V4 and 2V4.
The Orange and White had a solid outing in its final tune-up for the Lake Natoma, taking four heats in the V8+ and 2V8+ against Wisconsin on April 3.
UT's novice rowers will stay close to home this weekend, competing in the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (SIRA) Regatta in Oak Ridge. The Lady Vols will have an N8+ and an N4+ boat competing.
Fans are reminded to follow the Lady Vols on Twitter at www.twitter.com/UTLadyVols.