Their painful 5-0 loss to Arizona on Wednesday night in the final game of the Women's College World Series best-of-three championship series was still fresh on their minds.
It still hurt.
"I'm definitely proud of what we did and I don't consider our season a failure whatsoever," UT senior Lindsay Schutzler said, "but it's definitely still disappointing. But hopefully it's just motivation for future Lady Vols to take that extra step and win the national championship."
For Lady Vols co-head coach Ralph Weekly, getting so close to a national title and not winning hurt like a root canal - which is about what he endured during Tuesday night's 1-0 loss to Arizona in 10 innings.
Weekly had a root canal just before leaving for the WCWS. The dentist couldn't get one of the nerves out and put a temporary filling in the tooth. The filling came out Tuesday afternoon during batting practice prior to the second game against Arizona.
ESPN cameras focused on Weekly in the dugout in the late innings after he sent Karen Weekly, his wife and co-head coach, to coach third base. Weekly often was seen by television viewers with his head down and eyes closed.
"It was hurting me really bad all night," Weekly said. "But I never showed it or anything, but in the eighth inning I asked Karen to take third and I leaned on the rail where I could be able to give her any signal.
"I put my head down a couple of times and walked back and forth a couple of times and I guess that's when the camera got me. But at no time was I worried about the game."
Weekly said what appeared on television to be him stressing about the game was anything but that.
"My kids know, sometimes I sit on the back step here (in the dugout), but I'll never hang my head," he said. "I'll never hang my head, and I think just because (ESPN) think they had something they were only getting me (on camera) when I had my head down."
The Weeklys and their team weren't hanging their heads Thursday afternoon, either.
Player awards and trophies for the 2007 season's accomplishments were presented on a stage set on the field.
Mayor Bill Haslam spoke. So did UT women's athletic director Joan Cronan and Dr. Loren Crabtree, UT chancellor.
About 150 fans attended the welcome-home celebration.
"Of course we're disappointed, especially since we came so close," said Lady Vols fan Jim Campbell, 78, of Oak Ridge. "But I'm proud of them for winning the SEC, getting to the World Series and finishing second, which had never been done before (by UT).
"The thing we really like about the Lady Vols is the quality and character of the players and coaches. They're unbelievable."
Suzanne Griffin brought her 11-year-old daughter Abigail to the ceremony.
"It's disappointing, but to be ranked No. 1 as much as they were (for 12 of 14 weeks), they've got to be proud of what they accomplished," Suzanne Griffin said. "They lost to a very good, experienced Arizona team."