The most historic rivalry in women’s sports is set to return after over a decade of silence.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced on Tuesday afternoon that the historic series between the Tennessee Lady Vols and the UConn Huskies in women’s basketball will be renewed starting in the 2019-20 season. The two teams played nearly annually from 1995 through 2007, but they haven’t played since that 2007 match-up.
That all changes next year, however.
“The Basketball Hall of Fame is proud to celebrate all levels of the game for both men and women,” said John L. Doleva, President and CEO of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame via a release. “When it comes to women’s college hoops, there’s no match-up more highly anticipated than that of UConn versus Tennessee. We’re so proud to unite these teams in a contest benefitting great causes and honoring the late Hall of Famer Pat Summitt.”
The first game will take place at Connecticut during the 2019-20 season, then the Lady Vols will host the Huskies in Knoxville for the 2020-21 match-up. A portion of the proceeds for both games will benefit the Pat Summitt Foundation, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.
Holly Warlick also released a statement following the news.
“We are so excited to join UConn for games that will generate incredible interest for women’s basketball and benefit the Pat Summitt Foundation, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame,” Warlick said. “Basketball fans will be intrigued to watch these two programs meet on the court again, and I know Lady Vols and Huskies fans will be eager to pack arenas, cheer on their teams and make a difference for some very worthy causes, including one bearing the name of my coach, mentor and friend.”
Both games will be televised on the ESPN family of networks. The official game dates, times, and ticket information will be released at a later date.
The Lady Vols and UConn have faced off 22 times in women’s basketball. The Huskies hold a 13-9 advantage over the Lady Vols, but Tennessee currently holds a three-game winning streak over UConn. The Lady Vols won the last meeting 70-64 on January 6th, 2007. Both teams were ranked inside the top five for that game.
The two programs are the most successful women’s basketball programs in the sport’s history. The two programs are No. 1 and No. 2 in all-time wins, NCAA titles, and NCAA Final Fours. The two schools have combined to send 80 players to the WNBA, and both schools have produced 14 Olympians each. UConn has had 22 All-Americans, and Tennessee has produced 21 All-Americans.