“I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to have Tennessee represented at the championship event,” Tennessee Head Coach Lisa Glenn said. “Our team is humbled and ready to take on the challenge of competing at the highest level in two weeks.”
The Orange and White will make its sixth straight and seventh overall appearance at NCAA Championships after receiving individual boat selections in 1997, 2003, 2004 and 2005. Tennessee earned its first full-team bid in 2006 and followed it with another in 2007. Last year, the Lady Vols recorded their best finish in program history at the championship event, finishing ninth in both the Varsity 8+ and overall team competition.
UT is coming off an eighth-place showing at the Aramark South/Central Region Sprints in Oak Ridge, Tenn., last weekend. The Orange and White squad qualified for the grand final in both the Varsity 8+ and Second Varsity 8+ events, finishing sixth in the former which included four other nationally-ranked shells. The Lady Vols finished the regatta with 293 points, good for third in the South Region behind Virginia and Clemson.
Seven teams will represent the South and Central regions at national championships, with Tennessee, Ohio State, Virginia, Michigan State and Wisconsin earning full-team selections and Clemson and Michigan garnering Varsity 8+ at-large bids. Joining those teams are Brown, Princeton, Yale and Harvard from the New England and Mid-Atlantic Regions, and Washington, Washington State and Cal from the West Region. Southern California and Stanford round out the teams receiving at-large selections.
The 2008 championship field includes some familiar foes for Tennessee. The Big Orange has faced off against eight of the 16 teams during the spring season including Wisconsin, Ohio State, Virginia, Princeton, Yale, Michigan State, Clemson and Michigan. In the final two meets of the regular season, the Lady Vols posted victories against Princeton, Ohio State and Michigan.
In 2007, Brown captured its fifth national title despite not winning an individual final. Virginia took its second Varsity Four championship, while Yale and Minnesota secured their first titles in the Second Eight and Varsity Eight, respectively.
The 2008 NCAA Championships will be held May 30-June 1 at Lake Natoma in Sacramento, Calif. The last time the championship event was held in Sacramento, Cal took home both the team and V8+ titles. Lake Natoma will play host for the fifth time in the competition’s history. The championships are set to begin with the Division I Varsity Eight preliminary heats at 8 a.m. on Fri., May 30.
2008 NCAA Rowing Championship Field
At-Large Varsity Eight Selections