KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The Tennessee Lady Vols basketball schedule is a daunting one, but that’s nothing new. The Southeastern Conference released the full slate of women’s games Wednesday. Tennessee expects to announce a final nonconference game in the near future to complete its 2021-22 schedule.
Tennessee will host defending national champions Stanford on Dec. 18 and travel to play 11-time champions UConn on Feb. 6. The Lady Vols will take on the 2017 title winners South Carolina in Columbia on Feb. 20. They will also face No. 10 Texas A&M (Jan. 6), No. 13 Georgia (Jan. 23), No. 17 Texas (Nov. 21), No. 18 South Florida (Nov. 15), No. 21 Kentucky (Jan. 16) and No. 23 Arkansas (Jan. 2 and Jan. 31).
“One of our staff’s objectives was to continue finding ways to improve our strength of schedule, and I believe we’ve done that,” coach Kelli Harper said. “We have a challenging and exciting slate of games, and our players will have an opportunity to compete against several experienced and talented lineups. Our desire is that with this schedule, we can develop into the best team we can possibly be.”
Tennessee opens the campaign with an exhibition match-up versus Georgia College on Wednesday, Nov. 3. Harper’s brother, Ross Jolly, is the head coach for the Bobcats. The first regular season game will be Nov. 10 against Southern Illinois. Former Lady Vol Jody Adams-Birch is associate head coach of the Salukis.
SEC play will begin Dec. 30 when Alabama comes to Thompson-Boling Arena. UT will wrap up SEC play at home on Thursday, Feb. 27, with LSU and first-year Tigers coach Kim Mulkey.
Tennessee returns six players with starting experience from a squad that finished third in the SEC for the second year in a row and ended the season at No. 13 in the AP Poll.
The coaching staff has two new faces. Harper added veteran assistants Samantha Williams and Joy McCorvey to her program. Williams is making the short trip down Interstate 75 from Eastern Kentucky to join UT after two seasons as head coach of the Colonels. McCorvey, is joining the Lady Vols after serving the past three years at Florida State.
Tennessee will begin the season with an exhibition game against Georgia College on Nov. 3 before hosting Southern Illinois on Nov. 10.