As the Lady Vols novice team strokes past the Tennessee Boathouse, one wonders what goes through the minds of these women. Are they concentrating on their technique? Are they wondering about the upcoming meet? Or should they grab a pole and attempt to catch dinner?

Nonetheless, the Tennessee women’s rowing team has an important weekend ahead of them. Coming up on Saturday, the competition gets tough in a meet in Columbus, Ohio, against Ohio State and Michigan. The Ohio State Buckeyes, ranked No. 7 in the Women’s NCAA Division I Varsity Eights, have seen a lot of success, especially in the past couple of weeks. The Buckeyes were named Big Ten Boat of the Week, the first award for the them this season.

On Saturday, they defeated No. 3 Virginia, No. 13 Michigan State and Duke, giving them the edge coming into the competition. The No.12 Michigan Wolverines triumphed this past Saturday as well, getting the best of Virginia and Duke. Neither Ohio State nor Michigan has gone up against the other, which should make for an interesting match.

As this is only the second official regatta for the Lady Vols, they must transition from fall’s distance events to the coming spring meet, a 2,000 meter all-out-sprint.

“It’s an exciting transition. It’s almost refreshing to start something new,” junior Molly Oellerich said.

Balancing the load of being a varsity coxswain seems like a difficult and busy life, but Oellerich embraces it as challenge.

“Rowing keeps you on a tight schedule,” she said.

The women’s training continues throughout the day and encompasses more than just actual rowing. There are weights, aerobics, more lifting and then the actual boat work. The team understands that you must get it all done to be successful.

“My expectations are that each boat represents this university as a really strong competitor,” coach Lisa Glenn said.

Rowing is a sport that relies heavily on things other than the people in the boat. Weather and conditions of the body of water may have an effect on the outcome of the race.

“All the little details are really important on the road,” Glenn said.

Oellerich recognizes the tough competition that faces the team as well.

“I need to focus on executing a better race plan and creating more excitement in the boat,” the coxswain said.

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