Lady Vols Stay Set, Vols Fall In Jan. 3 AP Poll

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    Tennessee’s women’s basketball team stayed at No. 7 in this week’s AP poll while the men’s team dropped from No. 14 to No. 18 in the men’s poll.

    The Lady Vols had a strong week, earning a trio of wins over Chattanooga, Alabama and Arkansas. Tennessee dominated the Mocs before earning an 18-point victory in its SEC opener over Alabama and a come from behind comeback win at Arkansas.

    Kellie Harper’s third Tennessee team won the first two games without point guard Jordan Horston before Horston returned from illness and Rae Burrell returned from injury in the win in Fayetteville.

    Tennessee leaves the first week of SEC play 2-0 in the conference and 13-1 overall. The Lady Vols are the second highest ranked team of the six SEC teams in this week’s AP poll.

    It’s safe to say Harper likes her team headed into this week’s matchups against No. 25 Texas A&M and at Ole Miss.

    “This is not just a win,” Harper said following the Arkansas game. “This is a win with a team that, man, they lay it all out there. They play for each other. They fight. They give you everything they’ve got. This is such an unbelievably special group of young women. I love coaching them every single day. I love the next day. I love whatever is in store for us tomorrow— I love with this team. They’re an absolute joy. They’re not perfect. Nobody is perfect. We’re not, but, man, this is a team I want to go to battle with every single day.”

    Photo via Tennessee Athletics

    Tennessee went 0-1 in the first week after Christmas, losing in its SEC opener at defending SEC champion Alabama.

    The Vols were without starters John Fulkerson and Kennedy Chandler, but Tennessee led for just under 28 minutes before Alabama finished the game on a 6-0 run to win 73-68.

    Fulkerson and Chandler will be back for Tennessee’s SEC home opener against Ole Miss Wednesday.

    Tennessee is the fourth highest rated team in the SEC coming in behind No. 10 Auburn, No. 15 Alabama and No. 16 Kentucky and ahead of No. 21 LSU.

    The Vols head to Baton Rouge to face the once beaten Tigers on Saturday.

    Ryan Schumpert is a senior at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since the moment he stepped on campus. He just completed a three-year stint with the Daily Beacon, the last two of which as the Sports Editor. Ryan also spent last three years at Volquest providing strong Tennessee baseball coverage of Tony Vitello's resurgent program. While the bulk of Ryan's responsibilities involved beat coverage and writing, he also recorded podcasts for both the Beacon and Volquest. Did we leave out the part about Ryan interning for the Smokies? Ryan's work ethic, versatility, and strong writing skills are but three of the reasons why Vol Nation will be hearing from Ryan for years to come.