2013 schedule, two earn national team workouts, and transfer news
- Tennessee has released the schedule for the 2013 season! Perhaps wisely considering the now youthful team, the strength of schedule is a lot lower than previous years. The out of conferences slate is: Austin Peay, Butler, Charlotte, Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Coastal Carolina, ETSU, Georgia Tech, Jacksonville State, Morehead State, UNC Asheville, UT Martin, VCU, and Wichita State. For the first time in 8 years the SEC schedule will not be 20 matches. According to head coach Rob Patrick at one of his “Chalk Talks” last year the SEC coaches voted to switch to an 18 match conference season — a decision he said he disagreed with. Regardless of the length, Patrick said, “our conference schedule is going to be especially tough. We have five returning NCAA Tournament teams in Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Texas A&M and of course Tennessee, and I firmly believe there’s going to be a couple more teams that will be vying for NCAA berths this season. Our work is cut out for us in the SEC”.
- Ellen Mullins and Leslie Cikra have been selected to train with the USA Women’s National Team programs. “Mullins was chosen to participate in the Senior A2 Team Program… Cikra was hand-selected by head coach Karch Kiraly for a second tryout with the Red, White and Blue”.
- I mentioned last month that things were definitely still in transition at Tennessee as more rumors were swirling around the program. Unfortunately several sources have confirmed that more players have left the team for various reasons. Of the 18 players on last year’s roster, it appears due to graduations and transfers as few as 6 may be returning. After spending a large amount of the offseason already on these issues, unless anything pressing happens I’m going to go back to my rule from previous seasons of not reporting on transfers until UT, the school the player is leaving for, or the athlete themselves makes a statement. Transferring is probably hard enough without some Internet blogger chiming in and possibly getting things wrong.
- Congratulations to Mary Pollmiller who will be joining former teammate Kelsey Robinson at traditional volleyball powerhouse Nebraska! Husker coach John Cook said, “Mary has two years experience playing college volleyball, so she brings experience and a great work ethic… I think she will put her heart and soul into her last two years here.”