Alabama wants to bounce back from heartbreaking loss and upset Tennessee on the roadBy Matt Speakman | 01/30/2016 4:04pm
Tradition is what comes to mind when the Tennessee women’s basketball is mentioned. With 8 national championships and 22 Final Four appearances, Tennessee has been the standard in the sport since Pat Summitt took over the program in 1974.
On Sunday, Alabama will travel to Knoxville, Tennessee to take on the historical powerhouse that is the Tennessee Volunteers. It is the team’s first trip to Knoxville since Feb. 19 of last year, when the Vols beat the Crimson Tide 77-56. Alabama has not defeated Tennessee since March 3. 1984 when the Crimson Tide took down the Volunteers 85-66 in Athens, GA.
Traveling up to Knoxville is similar to teams coming to Tuscaloosa to take on Alabama football in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Both Alabama’s football team and Tennessee’s women’s basketball are looked at as the powerhouses in their respective sports. The intimidation of traveling to play the Volunteers is not getting to the head of sophomore Quanetria Bolton.
“I get excited for every game,” said Bolton earlier this week. “It is the same day in and day out. It really does not matter who we are playing. I go into this game with the same attitude.”
The Volunteers, however, are not having as successful of a year as they are usually known for under head coach Holly Warlick. Right now, Tennessee is 12-8, with a 3-4 conference record, however the Volunteers are still ranked 19/23 in the country. This will be the third ranked opponent Alabama has faced in the last four games.
“It is called the SEC,” said Alabama head coach Kristy Curry earlier this week. “Every night you [got to] give yourself a chance to win.”
Alabama comes into this game after losing a heart breaker to Texas A&M on Jan. 28 in Tuscaloosa, on the second to last play of regulation. Alabama has yet to win a road game this season.
Tennessee has dominated this series in years past, with Alabama only winning two of its 50 match ups with the Volunteers. Alabama currently sits at 13-8, 2-6 SEC, and is on a four-game losing streak.
“There is not a game on our schedule that I don’t think there is a person in our locker room that does not think we can win it,” Curry said. “We are just going to keep fighting and clawing and scraping. We are getting stronger.”
Alabama is looking to gain its first win on the road in conference play, while traveling up to play one of the most historic programs in the sport. With the Volunteers on what some would call a down year this could be the team's best chance to get the best of Tennessee. The game tips off at 2 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.