This past week has been nothing short of entertaining in the city of Knoxville and Tennessee football fans across the country. Students are finally starting to arrive back on campus for the spring semester, and Volunteer sports have been buzzing off the walls. Here’s the latest from Knoxville, as we break down Tennessee Volunteers news, and everything that happened last week
Nico Iamaleava wins MVP at the Polynesian Bowl
I honestly am starting to wonder what this kid CAN’T do. Just recently he moved his way up to No. 1 for the 2023 recruiting class and showed why he deserved that this week. For anyone unaware of what the Polynesian Bowl is, the Hawaii prep bowl describes it as:
An annual high school football all-star game held at Aloha Stadium every January featuring the top high school seniors in the country. The majority of the approximately 100 kids selected are of Polynesian ancestry.
Tennessee quarterback Nico Iamaleava won the offensive MVP award this past week in the Polynesian Bowl. Nico landed in Knoxville a few months ago and has been practicing with the team. Over winter break, Nico went back to Hawaii to participate in the Bowl ahead of classes starting tomorrow. On Friday night, he capped his week with a big performance.
Nico had an incredible stat line, and showcased both his arm and his legs:
He had one 58-yard run, and overall, he handled five carries for 62 yards. Iamaleava finished the game 13-20 passing, throwing for 186 yards, and 1 touchdown.
Tennessee basketball gets back on track
Last rank: 11th
Tennessee basketball was faced with some serious adversity last week when they faced off against the Kentucky Wildcats. They suffered their first home loss in over 2 years but found a way to dig deep and rebound extraordinarily well. Since falling to the Wildcats, the Vols have been rolling and showing the country why they are one of the best teams in college basketball.
The vols have been crushing teams and will continue their season next week against Georgia and Texas. It was announced yesterday that college gameday will be coming to Knoxville for the game this weekend against Texas too. The city will be buzzing and it’s going to be an amazing top-10 matchup
Preseason baseball rankings were released
Last rank: N/A
Tennessee baseball got ranked number 2 in the country last week, and the hype surrounding the baseball team is higher than ever.
Tennessee will have multiple incoming transfers on the roster: shortstop Maui Ahuna (Kansas), right fielder Colby Backus (Walters State), third baseman Zane Denton (Alabama), and catcher Jack Alexander (Austin Peay and Notre Dame).
The big returner from last year’s team is center fielder Seth Stephenson. Seth was a dominant player for the Volunteers last season and posted a .339 batting average while driving in 46 runs.
Look for a hungry Tennessee baseball team this season as they look for redemption after last year’s tragic ending.
Tennessee Lady Vols continue to dominate
The Lady Vols are now tied for first place in the SEC with an 8-0 conference record.
The domination is coming from the talented forward Rickea Jackson.
This was arguably Rickea Jackson’s best game of the season, and maybe even her career. This isn’t necessarily because of an insane stat line, even though it was remarkable, but it was more because of how much of a leader she was on the floor. She did not let her team stay down when the pressure was adding up, and on the biggest play of the night, with the whole arena knowing the ball was going to her, she hit the game-winning shot.