This Week in UT Sports History – March 18th-24th

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Photo credit: Anne Newman/RTI

This Week in UT Sports History is a new weekly column written by new RTI contributor Lexie Little

The current No. 8 Tennessee Volunteers (29-5, 15-3) powered past No. 4 Kentucky (27-6, 15-3) for an attempt at revenge against No. 22 Auburn (26-9, 11-7) on Sunday in the 2019 SEC Tournament Championship. However, the Vols dropped the game in Nashville with an 84-64 loss to the Tigers, missing the title a second consecutive year, this time to former head coach Bruce Pearl.

The bitter defeat stings for Vol faithful poised to play “Rocky Top” on repeat in hope of a deep run in the NCAA Tournament, remembering years of victories and losses across sports that founded the fandom.

Take a look at some of those victories and losses, in “This Week in UT Sports History.”

March 19, 2012

Walk-on phenomenon Skylar McBee took two long range shots, both with clear looks, failing to connect in the last seconds of the 2012 National Invitation Tournament’s second round. As Jeronne Maymon said post-game, the Vols “couldn’t put the ball in the hole,” and lost to the Middle Tennessee State 67-64 in Knoxville.

Maymon, then a junior forward, entered the game after battling a right knee injury that kept him on the bench for the first NIT match-up against Savannah State. He led the team with 17 points and seven rebounds.

“I felt good. I was making my shots. Down the stretch, none of them were falling,” he said. “There wasn’t any rust or anything.”

Though rust seemed gone during the game, Maymon’s iron will was no match against too much exertion, the sweat of his brow, and oxygen lost. The following day, he underwent arthroscopic surgery for a torn meniscus at UT Medical Center.

Knee problems continued to plague the 6-foot-8 player following his Tennessee career. The Wisconsin native retired from play following stints in the Israeli Basketball Premier League and in Japan in 2015. Maymon underwent multiple knee surgeries, three of which came within one calendar year.

“I finally came to the realization that I would rather stop playing basketball than go through another surgery and rehab,” Maymon said upon his return. “I don’t want to struggle to walk later in life.”

The Vols struggled on and off in 2012, finishing the season 19-15 under head coach Cuonzo Martin, who has coached at Missouri since March 2017. Mizzou’s website currently lists Maymon as a graduate assistant working with the team’s forwards.

March 21, 2009

As basketball season comes to a close, Tennessee rowers take to the lakes. News currently swirls about former “Full House” and Hallmark star Lori Loughlin’s reported scheme to buy her daughters’ way into the University of Southern California through the rowing team. Now, take a look back at this date in Lady Vols rowing history — one that, like USC, has never included Olivia Jade or Isabella Rose Giannulli.

The 2009 rowing team opened its spring season with a loss on Saturday, March 21st on Lake Loudoun. Six novice rowers squared off against the “solid” Minnesota Golden Gophers, who at the time, ranked three spots lower than the No. 16 Vols.

“They executed some great racing, and I think we were a solid competitor for them in the varsity eight and the second eight,” Tennessee head coach Lisa Glenn said. “Minnesota was obviously strong and dominated the overall event.”

Eight women shipped off in the shell for Tennessee’s varsity race, pulling within one seat of the Gophers with 500 meters left to race. Minnesota finished three seconds before Tennessee, 6:35.00 to 6:38.65, dashing early season hopes without senior and New Zealander Erin-Monique Shelton (now O’Brien) who sat out injured. O’Brien later set a world record for the indoor rowing marathon in 2016.

Tennessee followed the loss with its first regular season match-up against Alabama in rowing program history seven days later. The Vols earned three victories against the Tide, which rolled through steady rain, on Senior Day, March 28th.

March 19, 2004

Chase Headley headed to San Diego from the New York Yankees last year, but in 2004, he made sure runners headed for home in a 9-4 win against Mississippi State to open Southeastern Conference play. Driving in a game-high three runs, Headley contributed to UT’s 13 total hits on the day.

The Vols tallied their 14th straight win in the match-up, making their record 18-2 to start the season. The 2019 Tennessee Vols fell to 17-4 on the season after being swept by Auburn in their first SEC series of the season, missing that 2004 mark by only a couple games.

Headley enters the 2019 Major League Baseball season with 130 career home runs and 596 RBIs through 1,436 games and 5,088 at-bats.

Vol Baseball next faces East Tennessee State University at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday in Johnson City, Tennessee — 15 years to the date from the Headley-led win.

Lexie Little is a journalist from Kingsport, Tennessee, who holds a Bachelor of Communication degree from the University of Tennessee with majors in both Journalism & Electronic Media and French & Francophone Studies. She's a contributor to RTI and writes the weekly column "The Week in UT Sports History." Lexie formerly worked as a feature writer for VIPSEEN Magazine and continues to freelance for various publications as she earns her master's degree from the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.