The Lady Vols left College Station, Texas having played just one game in the SEC Tournament, a 2-0 loss to Auburn. Karen Weekly liked what she saw in the locker room following the game.
“There was a lot of anger and there were some things that the kids shared with one another that needed to be shared,” Weekly said ahead of the NCAA Regionals.
That message stuck. Tennessee opened NCAA tournament with a pair of shutout wins over Longwood and UNC, along with a twelve run outing against Ohio State resulting in a third straight NCAA Super Regional appearance. The postgame locker room felt different after.
“They were happy but there was no sense of that’s all we want,” said Weekly. “I think they were very happy for eachother and happy to be playing together for another week. This is a very close knit team and they just wanna keep playing ball.”
The feeling of advancing to a super regional not unfamiliar, 2019 marks the third consecutive season the Lady Vols have escaped the first weekend of the NCAA tournament. A trip to the Oklahoma City (home of the College World Series) would be a new feeling for this team – the Lady Vols last trip, 2015. Weekly said this group reminds her of the previous two they sent.
“They remind me quite frankly a lot of the team we took to Oklahoma City in 2010 and the team we took in 2015,” Weekly said. “A team with really really good chemistry that enjoys being together. And I think that’s why they play so hard, they just want to keep being together.”
Unlike in 2010 and 2015 Tennessee will have to get past an SEC foe to earn a College World Series berth, as best of a three game series with the Florida Gators awaits the Lady Vols this weekend.
A full weekend schedule can be found below.
Game 1: Tennessee vs. Florida | 7 p.m. | ESPN2/WatchESPN App
Game 2: Tennessee vs. Florida | 6 p.m. | ESPN2/WatchESPN App
Game 3 (if necessary): Tennessee vs. Florida | 2 p.m. | ESPNU/WatchESPN App