Sept. 7, 2005
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Coming off their third consecutive visit to the NCAA Championships and a top-eight finish for the Varsity 8+ in 2004-05, the Lady Vol rowing team will face another difficult schedule as they continue their climb up the national rankings. Head coach Lisa Glenn will take her squad to prestigious races during the year, with regattas from Boston, Mass., to Belmont, Calif., on the slate.
"My feelings for this year are really positive," said Glenn. "We have a very tough schedule that provides us with the opportunity to grow as a team in more ways than ever before."
The fall season opens on Oct. 8 when UT takes part in the Chattanooga Head Race on the Tennessee River. Two weeks later, Glenn and her top rowers head to Boston, Mass., for the prestigious Head of the Charles on Oct. 22-23. The Lady Vols Varsity 8+ finished 10th in the event a year ago. That same weekend, the novice boats will host the team's only fall race, the Head of the Tennessee, on Oct. 22. New to the schedule this fall will be the Head of the Chattahoochee, which takes place on Nov. 5-6 in Chattanooga. The Big Orange will conclude the fall schedule with a visit to Charlottesville, Va., for the Rivanna Romp on Nov. 13.
"The fall schedule will allow us to maintain a strong emphasis on development," Glenn said. "The format gives us the chance to define our technique as a team and develop our endurance. The fall will also provide an early indication of our speed potential."
With the experience gained in the fall added to the progress made during the winter and spring training camps, the Orange and White will begin the spring campaign with two matches at home. Notre Dame and Minnesota come to Knoxville for a meet on March 18, while Louisville comes down for Tennessee's last home meet on March 25.
"The spring schedule brings us to the line against the best teams in the country," said Glenn. "Each weekend gives us an opportunity to measure ourselves nationally. I have great respect for every program we'll meet this spring. There is no question we've got to be ready every weekend to get where we want to go. This is the type of schedule this program needs to race every year.
"It's good for our rowers to be able to host Notre Dame and Minnesota early," Glenn said. "It's always nice to race from your own boathouse, and having these teams train for a week before racing increases the area's exposure to Division I rowing, which is always beneficial."
The Lady Vols continue their spring campaign against Big 10 schools Ohio State and Michigan along with Pacific-10 foe Southern California on April 8-9 on the Scioto River in Columbus, Ohio before taking on Stanford, Washington State and UCLA in Belmont, Calif., on April 15-16. The novices will take part in the Southern Intercollegiate Rowing Association Regatta on April 15-16 in Oak Ridge, Tenn. Coach Glenn's troops close out the head-to-head portion of the schedule against Princeton and George Washington in Princeton, N.J.
"I like competing on the west coast," said Glenn, "because those programs keep getting stronger and are top competitors on the national scene. Of particular interest is our trip to Princeton. I am thrilled to be matching up them in a head to head format. The opportunity we have as a program to meet up with the fastest teams from four of the five NCAA regions cannot be underestimated."
The Lady Vols start the postseason with the South and Central Region Rowing Championships on May 13-14 at Melton Hills Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn., before closing out the year at the NCAA Championships at Lake Mercer Park in Mercer County, N.J.
"This year, we need each member of the team to take things one day at a time," Glenn said, "and pay attention to the small steps along the way. We have many resources to utilize within the current team. There is no question that we have a lot of work to do and areas to cover. We must work to get better in small ways and broaden our program's strengths at the same time. I, my staff, and my team will need to be working consistently to be ready for this exciting year."