Oregon State tops Lady Vols in NCAA Tournament

Sixth-seeded Oregon State stunned the No. 3 Lady Volunteers in the second round of the NCAA Tournament Sunday afternoon. Tennessee fell 66-59 to the Beavers, its first home loss in tournament history, in front of 4,338 Vols fans. Tennessee exited in the second round for the second consecutive season, a program first.

“This was a huge win for our program. It was supposed to be a rebuilding year for us. It’s been a grind,” Oregon State Head Coach Scott Rueck said. “Today, this was really an incredible performance.”

The Lady Vols sparked an 11-2 run at the game start after a 3-pointer from senior forward Jaime Nared. Tennessee’s stout defense forced the Beavers to record just nine points in the first quarter. The Volunteers led 19-9 after 10 minutes of play, but the script flipped at the start of the second quarter.

Oregon State surged after a pair of free throws from guard Kat Tudor. The points sparked a 13-2 run for the Beavers to the give them the lead. Neither team scored for the next three minutes, until freshman guard Rennia Davis drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Tennessee a 26-24 lead at half.

The Volunteers shot just 25 percent from the floor in the second quarter. The Beavers knocked home nearly 60 percent of their shots from the field. Still, Tennessee had a prime chance to grind out the next two quarters for a win and defend its 57-0 record at home in NCAA Tournament games.

However, Oregon State transitioned to a 2-3 zone, which proved to be disastrous for the Volunteers in the second half.

“I think it just made us stagnate,” Vols senior center Mercedes Russell said. “”We were standing around on the perimeter a lot, not really passing and cutting and moving the defense, which we should have.

The Beavers went on an 11-2 run to end the third quarter and put Oregon State up 44-39 going into the fourth quarter. After Oregon State took its biggest lead of the game with more than three minutes remaining, Tennessee failed to claw back.

Four players logged double-digit points for the Beavers, as guards Mikayla Pivek and Katie McWilliams meshed for 30 points on the night. Seniors Russell and Nared led the Lady Vols in their last game in orange-and-white with a combined 30 points and 18 rebounds in the loss.

“My teammates, my coaches, everybody has just left an impact on my life. I wouldn’t change a thing. I think I’ve learned a lot,” Nared said. “It was a blessing to play here with the tradition and this team.”

Russell passed Candace Parker with her 46th career double-double on Sunday in her last game at Tennessee.

“I have a degree from the University of Tennessee, and I am a Lady Vol forever. Those are two things that you can never take away from me,” Russell said.

Featured image courtesy of Tennessee Athletics 

Edited by Lexie Little

Tennessee keeps on rolling with two more wins in the Troy Cox Classic

Tennessee (9-0) continued to roll with two more wins to lead the Troy Cox Classic with a perfect 4-0 record.

No. 15 Tennessee destroys Northern Colorado 16-1 in 5 innings

It was too easy for the Vols in the first game of the doubleheader Sunday.

Tennessee quickly jumped out to score four runs in the top half of the first inning. Meghan Gregg drove in her 17th run of the short season in the frame, which was followed by a Brooke Vines RBI single. Vines scored the final run of the inning on a wild pitch.

Freshman Jenna Holcomb had a career day with four RBIs, including a two-run double in the second inning. Gregg then added her second RBI with another single.

Taylor Rowland hit her first career home run in the third to bring Tennessee’s lead to 8-1. Holcomb then added two more runs with a single, followed by a pair or RBIs by Megan Geer and Vines.

Abby Lockman added on a three-run inside the park home run in the 5th to push the score out to 15-1. Savannah Huffstetler ended the scoring for the Vols with an RBI double off the wall.

Matty Moss earned the victory, making her a perfect 4-0 on the season thus far. She finished with a season-high seven strikeouts.

Vols continue to dominate with shutout of Oregon State

Tennessee continued to roll with a big win over a Pac-12 foe in the latter half of the doubleheader.

CJ McClain opened the scoring up for the Vols’ in the first with an RBI single. Chelsea Seggern, who added to the list of Tennessee freshmen who have performed well over the weekend, scored the other run in the first.

Rowland drove in her first run of the day in the third and then came around on an RBI groundout from Aubrey Leach. Rowland set career highs in hits, runs, and RBIs against the Beavers.

Tennessee broke the game open in the fourth inning when they scored six runs. Four different Vols had RBIs in the fourth inning, including Rowland.

The scoring was capped off in the top of the fifth by Rowland and Seggern. Seggern connected with a pitch and sent it over the wall for a three-run home run in the frame.

Caylan Arnold completed her first career complete game shutout, allowing the Beavers to pick up only two hits. Arnold allowed the first two batters to reach but then retired the next 15 batters in a row to end the game.

Tennessee will wrap up play in the Troy Cox Classic tomorrow night when they take on host New Mexico State at 8 p.m. ET

Edited by Robert Hughes

Featured image by Craig Bisacre, courtesy of Tennessee Athletics