Ralph Weekly: Getting No. 14 seed a 'slap in the face'

The Tennessee softball program received what co-head coach Ralph Weekly referred to as a “slap in the face” Sunday night from the NCAA tournament committee.

The Lady Vols (47-10) are seeded No. 14 in the NCAA tournament and will be forced to travel to play in a best-of-three Super Regional should they win the Knoxville regional at Lee Softball Stadium this weekend.

Lady Vols' leadoff hitter Raven Chavanne discusses the Lady Vols No. 14 seed

“I know there are a lot of fans in Knoxville scratching their heads over that 14 seed,’’ said ESPN’s Beth Mowins, who hosted the selection show Sunday night on ESPNU. “(It’s) one of the most surprising seeds.”

The Lady Vols (47-10) will host a four-team, double-elimination first-round regional at Lee Stadium, opening play at 6:30 p.m. Friday against Liberty (30-28). Oklahoma State (37-17) and ACC regular-season champion Georgia Tech (44-10) are the other teams in the Knoxville regional and play at 4 p.m. on Friday.

Elimination games begin Saturday. The winners of Friday’s action play at 2 p.m., with elimination games following at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The winner of Sunday’s Knoxville regional championship game (at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., if necessary) advances to play in a Super Regional against the winner of the NCAA regional in Austin, Texas, hosted by the No. 3-seeded Longhorns (44-8).

If Texas wins its regional — which includes Texas State (33-23), Houston (40-16) and the University of Louisiana-Lafayette (49-9) — it will host the Knoxville regional champion with a trip to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla, on the line.

The Lady Vols sat stunned and silent in the Lee Softball Stadium clubhouse Sunday night when their No. 14 seed and regional bracket was shown on ESPNU.

Moments later, when Georgia (47-12) was shown as a No. 6 seed, the shock turned to anger.

“I think it’s ridiculous we beat Georgia three times during the season and they are a No. 6 seed and we’re a No. 14 seed,’’ Ralph Weekly said. “We finished higher in the SEC standings and we beat them in the SEC tournament.’’

The Lady Vols’ 6-5 win over the Bulldogs on Saturday night in Oxford, Miss., gave UT its second SEC tournament championship in the program’s 16-year history.

Tennessee swept a doubleheader from Georgia in Athens on April 6 by scores of 5-1 and 9-4.

“I felt we proved ourselves this season,’’ said Lady Vols sophomore Raven Chavanne, who led the SEC in hitting this season with a .457 batting average. “But there’s nothing we can do about it; we just have to look at this as motivation.

“It’s going to be a grind, but we’re up to the challenge.’’

The Lady Vols were up to the challenge last season after starting the NCAA tournament as a No. 15 seed, winning the Knoxville Regional before going to No. 2-seeded Michigan and winning a Super Regional en route to a third-place finish in the WCWS.

“I feel good about the fight in this team and its resilience,’’ said Karen Weekly, who serves as co-head coach with her husband, Ralph. “Hopefully we’ll take this seeding and try to prove we’re a better team than the (NCAA) tournament selection committee believes.’’

Tennessee has played in the WCWS four times over the past six seasons, finishing in the top three each time.

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Comments » 71

Wayfarer writes:

The seeding is a joke. Go out and prove the committee made a mistake Lady Vols. We'll pull for you all the way the to NCAA Championship. GBO

bmgvirgo#210233 writes:

This might be the most ridiculous seeding I have ever seen. How can they (NCAA selection committee) defend this seeding????

tree_em_smokey writes:

in response to bmgvirgo#210233:

This might be the most ridiculous seeding I have ever seen. How can they (NCAA selection committee) defend this seeding????

There is NO logic in this or justice. I wish there were a way to force the NCAA to explain their reasoning. What a flippin joke.

PureOrange writes:

Now to those who say we are paranoid about the NCAA having it out for Tennessee, please explain how anyone could get drunk enough or stoned so badly they could make such a decision?

Our Lady Vols have proven they are an elite program and team, but a group of pure idiots have met and decided they would see how badly they could shaft us. It is not funny, but it is a joke, and those who sat in that room are an even bigger joke.

They have insulted our Lady Vol team and all our fans. Of course, they will not have the guts to tell us who they are and just exactly why they could, or would, do such an injustice.

They have put you in a deep hole, but show them again like you did last year when they thought they set you up for a sure defeat by sending you to their beloved Michigan. We all know who that turned out. It must have really teed them off because they are trying even harder to get you.

wildmed writes:

A fourteen seed? Sounds like a real lack of respect to me, but maybe dropping three to the Lady Gators hurt more than we thought at the time. Rip 'em a new one, Lady Vols!

VOLinGA writes:

Does the committee even watch college softball? What a joke.

springtx_vol writes:

Reality? UT has a No. 13 RPI. Did not play as tough out-of-conference schedule as in years past. Plus, getting swept by UF the last weekend is a negative in the committee's eyes. In reality, there isn't much differenc between a 9 and a 16. You get to host the first round, then go to the higher seed.

Let's hope they use this as motivation to make it to the CWS again. Win 5 straight and they are there!

ODA751 writes:

Looks like the committee seeded strictly on the RPI .... of last week. There is no way that they even looked at the SEC tournament. Of course in the Knoxville Regional, UT the 14 seed (RPI-13) will face Ga Tech (RPI-14), Ok St. (RPI-18), and Liberty (RPI-134). The 15 seed, Stanford (Pac-10, RPI-20) will face Nebraska (RPI-24), Pacific (RPI-45), and Fresno St. (RPI-35).

It would be nice if someone from the committee tried to explain their process. What a joke.

Bring it home Ladies. Screw-em!

chrisw2967 writes:

this has got to be a joke and Ga a 6th seed?I dont think the fla series had anything to do with it.This team went out and won the SEC and owned Ga during the regualr season.

jamgod writes:

If you ask me, Tenn sorta' brings this phooey on themselves. We get right to the cusp of greatness, and we can't bring it home...we choke. Examples: Tenn controls their own destiny and gets swept by floida....granted they did bring home the SEC champ title, but still getting swept by florida when we should have beat them hurt, they came out flat and to me it was no suprise as this is what usually happens with a Tenn sports team. We bring in someone like Lane Kiffin and Todd Raliegh to make us look like an even bigger joke. Mike Hamilton looks like a morone 98% of the time...Bruce Pearl brings us to the cusp of greatness, only to find out he can't follow the rules. And this Baseball team....'nough said!! Hopefully we can hang our hats on Dooley who seems to be what this University needs. As for the seeding...typical...so if you want to shove it back in their face then go out and win a championship, if they don't, it's just another typical day for UT sports teams!!!

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

you are an idiot's idiot.

NTNSTY writes:

Yikes. Confucius say, "The person that states someone looks like a 'morone' 98% of the time, looks like a moron 100% of the time."

SummittsCourt writes:

This is a "slap in the face" made worse by seeding Georgia #6. This just makes no sense at all.

I find it hard to believe losing to FU at season's end is the reason for this seeding. This is beyond a joke.

vol98champ writes:

in response to jamgod:

If you ask me, Tenn sorta' brings this phooey on themselves. We get right to the cusp of greatness, and we can't bring it home...we choke. Examples: Tenn controls their own destiny and gets swept by floida....granted they did bring home the SEC champ title, but still getting swept by florida when we should have beat them hurt, they came out flat and to me it was no suprise as this is what usually happens with a Tenn sports team. We bring in someone like Lane Kiffin and Todd Raliegh to make us look like an even bigger joke. Mike Hamilton looks like a morone 98% of the time...Bruce Pearl brings us to the cusp of greatness, only to find out he can't follow the rules. And this Baseball team....'nough said!! Hopefully we can hang our hats on Dooley who seems to be what this University needs. As for the seeding...typical...so if you want to shove it back in their face then go out and win a championship, if they don't, it's just another typical day for UT sports teams!!!

Morone??? Didn't know Mike was Italian. How I wish you haters would go away. Florida is a tough place to play. Lane is coaching at USC. Not a bad gig. Can't argue Todd. Bruce is one of about 100 BB coaches who "can't follow the rules". The NCAA and someone(maybe Ohio State) is the bad guy here. What goes around comes around OSU.

huntined#565710 writes:

Ralph was correct it was a slap in the face and if this is not proof that the ncaa just don't for some reason respect U.T. That bull about losing to FLA. just don't stand because FLA lost all 3 to KY. And it didn't hurt them as they lost the first game in the SEC tourney,,
We just got a royal screw from them and even the ladies on the show knew that right away..
ALL WE CAN DO IS REFUSE TO PLAY OR JUST WIN IT ALL. Our A.D. just needs to send them a REAL KIND LETTER and state what bull this is. I guess this falls under the saying SOMETIMES LIFE JUST AIN'T FAIR!!!

cloudodust writes:

Screw the seeding. Go out there and win it all. Overcome the odds...Apollo 13's example for life's twists and turns :

NASA Director : This could be the worst disaster NASA's ever faced.

Gene Kranz : With all due respect, sir, I believe this is gonna be our finest hour.

jumby92 writes:

It's better to start slow and finish fast. Nobody remembers who you lost to the first ten games but getting spanked by Florida so close to the end of the season had to play a part. I still think it is a stupid seed but the Florida sweep and then having to come from behind to beat Georgia in the tournament are two big negatives to off-set a lot of positives. Bottom line, they need to go out and blow some teams away, I mean put a hurting on them so that the already goofy-looking NCAA ends up looking goofier. If they go out and play come-from-behind ball or eke out 1-run wins, the seed will start looking justified.

ps11824 writes:

What is a morone? It is what it is. We take care of business right here at home, then go to Texas and prove we are worthy of advancing. So goes the game.

We take advantage of each opportunity and PROVE we are worthy. We don't prove squat by mouthing. We talk with our bats and gloves in the way we play each inning. That's what counts.

We got off to horrible starts in the semi-final SEC game. We dug ourselves out. We did the same thing in the final. We just need to play from the first pitch with heart and guts and a "refuse to lose" attitude. These Lady Vols can be the first SEC team to win the WCWS. Why not?

DingoVol writes:

This is definitely Raleigh's fault. His bad vibe has made its way over to the softball team.

huntined#565710 writes:

WHERE IS SLIVE WHEN YOU NEED HIM!!!!!

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Very strange thinking...........and without a lot of bashing etc, the main thing to me is someone from the selection committee showing us how Georgia gets a 6 seeding instead.

Perhaps the NCAA has gotten the girls and guys confused and this is an early June infractions ruling. It wasn't just us Vol fans.........when Beth Mowens asks what is going on, we aren't alone.

Who knows? Maybe since we are a young team the NCAA believes we aren't capable. Time will tell.

rusty_shackleford writes:

Tough break, for sure. But what are ya gonna do now? The girls can either whine and moan or go out and beat everyone in front of them. Their choice!

vol4good#206163 writes:

Bring the pain girls! Skrew the seeding! Lets play! Go VOLS!

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

If I read the bracket arrangement correctly, there are 3 others who might be "disappointed" as well.

All the seeded teams are hosting a regional except:

#7 Cal has to travel to Louisville, KY

#11 Baylor has to travel to College Park, MD

#13 Oregon has to go to University Park, PA

So 11 seeds stay home and these three travel.

Maybe I'm missing something here...........if so, NCAA please explain your logic.

Tenn_Dawg writes:

This is realy dumb. The UGA and UT seedings should be switched. UGA is a quality team. I don't have a problem with them being seeded high but they should not under any circumstance be seeded higher than UT given what happened in the regular season and SEC tourney.

Congrats to the Vols for winning a great game Saturday night and good luck in the tourney. I will be pulling for you guys up until you face the Dawgs again if both are fortunate to make it that far.

mtnbikrtn writes:

I bet UTA isn't too happy about possibly seeing UTK in the super regional. GO Lady Vols!

cdtnladyvols931#663910 writes:

in response to huntined#565710:

WHERE IS SLIVE WHEN YOU NEED HIM!!!!!

I DON'T THINK THEY NEED SLIVE. HE IS A CROOK JUST LIKE THE PEOPLE THAT GAVE THE VOLS A #14 SEED. AND DID THEY EVER PROVE THEMSELVES TO BE CROOKS? THOSE WOMEN DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING FOR THEY KNEW WHAT THE LADY VOLS WERE GETTING. A BAD DEAL. THEY ALL MAKE ME SICK TO MY STOMACH. THESE GIRLS ARE JUST AS GOOD AS ANY OF THE OTHER TEAMS. BEATING GA. GOT GEORGIA A #6 SEED AND THE LADY VOLS A #14. THEY SURE LIKE TO DIG HOLES FOR UT'S TEAMS.

kazoo writes:

What a scandal! What a bunch of morons on the seeding committee. The Vols were ranked #3 in the country very recently, in the top ten all year--or most of it, yes? Beat Georgia three times? Good grief: Those committee members have no idea what they are doing. They should all resign--seriously--as they weren't paying attention to the softball season. There must be some serious bias on that committee--and/or serious stupidity.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Sorry, this is a correction to my previous post.

13 ( not 11 ) seeded teams stay home and 3,
Baylor, Cal, and Oregon travel. They have a complaint with the NCAA as well.

Those of you who suggested the committee identify themselves and explain their logic..................are very correct.

RoadTrip writes:

The NCAA is corrupt throughout. Just another example. Until independent governing system/rules are established it will continue to be this way and worse.

Go beat the phooey out of the teams you play LV's! Tell the selection committe to stick it.

gemin555#214016 writes:

First off, Congratulations to LadyVols for coming back & winning the SEC Championship. They didn't pack it in and wait for the game to finish when things looked bad in the first inning. Take that same fight and mentality through to the World Series and show the NCAA what they can do with their rankings!

Frankly, I felt insulted for the LadyVols during the ESPN coverage of the SEC tournament. It was if the announcers couldn't or wouldn't say nothing about them in any of the games. Even in the championship game, when they ran out of saying "Georgia only needed 6 more outs to win", they began to go on and on about their own histories in softball. It was so bad at one point, they called Georgia's player who got thrown out by the wrong name. Of course, it was ironic at about that same time, the LadyVols tied it up and took over the game to win.

Then, again the same 3 seemed to talk the same last night on the selection show. Then when they put up Tennessee, that demeaning question was put up, "Does Tennessee deserve a 14 seed?" This is after seeing Washington ranked at their ridiculous number and then up comes Georgia at #6. I turned it off at that point. I live here near Seattle so let me tell you that the Huskies aren't that good this season and do not deserve a better ranking than Tennessee. The LadyVols are a good team and I've watched alot of their games online. While they hit a bump in the road in Florida, they didn't show their best game on national tv then.

While the NCAA seems to also put the Pac 10 up there, the media seems to do the same and then when they do talk about the rising strength in the SEC, are they just talking about Florida and Alabama and throwing out the rest? But this seems to be the same reasoning, not only in softball but College Football and Basketball as well.

So, don't let the ranking get you down LadyVols...but may it give you added motivation to fight together as a team to get you to the World Series and maybe then they'll put up a question like "How did a #14 team with the NCAA World Series Softball Championship!!!"

Volunatic writes:

I think the seeding committee probably stopped watching the SEC championship after one inning.
The seeding is a shame, but if the Lady Vols' motivation is to win the WCWS then seeding doesn't matter. They just need to beat all of the teams they play. GO LADY VOLS!!!

kazoo writes:

The 10-member softball selection committee does not have anyone on it from the SEC--0. And ZERO SEC representation on the South advisory committee.

These selection committees have gotten a bit carried away with RPI. It is certainly instructive, but head-to-head and overall record are very important, too. I'm sorry but seeding GA 6th and UT 14th is an absolute joke. MORONS.

yopatrick#231155 writes:

This seeding is so blatantly contrary to the facts that I am stunned. What message does this send to players except that what they do on the field doesn't matter. All that matters is some committee's preconceived notions. Go Lady Vols -- show them what you are truly made of!

madmax22 writes:

For those that say UT brought it upon themselves by getting swept at #3 ranked UF, how about UGA getting a 6 seed to UT's 14?
UGA was 0-3 vs UT, 2 at UGA one in SEC tourney. Went 7-6 down the stretch and finished 3rd in the SEC East and 5th overall in the SEC. Had a loss to Longwood less than a week ago. Is that what you talk about, "taking care of business?"

Longtime_Vol writes:

One thing to remember is that you have to beat the best to be the best. Additionally, I prefer to think the seeding is bad news for Texas. If I was the number 3 seed I would not consider it a prize to have to meet TN in the Super Regional.

volboy81 writes:

TOTAL phooey dished out by the NCAA, as usual!
how far up their tail does their head have to be to put GA at #6 and TN at #14? Go out there and show them and everyone else they dont know what theyre doing, Lady Vols! We'll be there all weekend to cheer you on!!!
GO LADY VOLS!!!!!!!!!

FWBVol writes:

I hate that we are only the 14 seed, but the big thing is we are in the tournament. If we take care of business at home then we go to Texas and take care of business there. Sooner or later you have to beat one or more of the 13 higher seeded teams to win the championship.

If this team is the championship team we all want to believe it is then winning will take care of itself whether in Knoxville or Austin.

BreatheUT writes:

This is a big farce. Complete morons on the committee!

waldeen_hinson#435189 writes:

Hey Girls!

Prove them WRONG!!!

Show them exactly what you are made of - you are CHAMPIONSHIP material. Consider this a Challenge and take care of one team at a time, including the NCAA World Series Championship GAME.

GO LADY VOLS!!!

orangecountyvols writes:

in response to madmax22:

For those that say UT brought it upon themselves by getting swept at #3 ranked UF, how about UGA getting a 6 seed to UT's 14?
UGA was 0-3 vs UT, 2 at UGA one in SEC tourney. Went 7-6 down the stretch and finished 3rd in the SEC East and 5th overall in the SEC. Had a loss to Longwood less than a week ago. Is that what you talk about, "taking care of business?"

MadMax and fellow Vols,

Correct observation.

Another thing, how does Tennessee with a 7 or 8 national ranking get a 14 seed?

Look, we aren't whining or whatever. This is a legitimate goof.

I'll even go so far as to say if had this happened to let's say Alabama and/or Florida, it would have also been a big con job against them too. Maybe it's a setup to get the usual ones into the final group, Arizona, Texas, Michigan etc.

bunker_hill#300251 writes:

in response to orangecountyvols:

Vols,

If I read the bracket arrangement correctly, there are 3 others who might be "disappointed" as well.

All the seeded teams are hosting a regional except:

#7 Cal has to travel to Louisville, KY

#11 Baylor has to travel to College Park, MD

#13 Oregon has to go to University Park, PA

So 11 seeds stay home and these three travel.

Maybe I'm missing something here...........if so, NCAA please explain your logic.

Cal doesn't have the facilities to host, so they always travel. Don't think they have lights is the problem.

The Maryland and Penn State hosting are probably due to geography, there are more teams closer to those two schools then there are to Baylor and Oregon. It's about cost and having those 2 teams fly is cheaper then having all three teams having to fly to Oregon and Baylor.

VolunteerLifer writes:

The selection committee will be proved right if we don't succeed in getting to the final round of teams. On the other hand, the Lady Volunteers have a chance to prove them wrong. Ultimately, its up to the girls on this team. A little chip on the shoulder never hurt anybody.

Virgil_Tutwiler writes:

the 2011 Selection Committee:

Barbara Dearing, Portland State
Shannon Ealy, UAB
Scott Farmer, Louisiana-Lafayette, chair
Robin Petrini, Penn State
Maria Roth, New Mexico State
Alison Sexton, Fairfield
Megan Sobel, Dartmouth
Brandi Stuart, Florida State
Eric Toliver, UNLV
Carla Wilson, Missouri-Kansas City

Now, you know....and knowing is half the battle.

It looks like the committee placed a lot on RPI as the NCAA RPI for UT was #11. It was fortunate probably that UT won Saturday night as they may have been struck as a #2 seed somewhere or hosting one of the seeded teams that lacked facilities.

I'm not sure hoe the college RPI is totaled. UGA finished 3rd in east. 4 overall and have a higher ratio of "fat chicks" than anyone in the top 20.

That was tasteless, I apologize

crimsonviper writes:

in response to Witch_Doctors_Daddy:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Reality IS you wish The Witch Doctor would let you be his lap dog...He does own you,anyway.

Tenn_Dawg writes:

in response to VolunteerLifer:

The selection committee will be proved right if we don't succeed in getting to the final round of teams. On the other hand, the Lady Volunteers have a chance to prove them wrong. Ultimately, its up to the girls on this team. A little chip on the shoulder never hurt anybody.

Very true. The Vols can use this a motivation to propel them through the tourney. I not sure what exactly the seeding committee was thinking here. UT definately deserves to be seeded higher. They should without a doubt be seeded higher than a very good Georgia team that they have beaten three times this year. The only reason I can think they seeded Georgia that high is due to the fact it is Georgia’s 10th consecutive berth and Georgia has made the final four of the College World Series each of the last two seasons. It is not the right or fair approach because each season should stand on its own merit but you also see it all the time in the men's BB tourney seeding with the UNCs, Dukes, UConns, etc.

Heres to some good fortune in the tourney with hopes that the Vols and the Dawgs will meet again.

madmax22 writes:

John_Galt writes: UGA finished 3rd in east. 4 overall.

Actually UGA finished 5th overall, 1. UAT (19-6) 2. UF (21-7) 3. UT (20-8) 4. LSU (19-9) 5. UGA (17-9)

mtnbikrtn writes:

in response to Virgil_Tutwiler:

the 2011 Selection Committee:

Barbara Dearing, Portland State
Shannon Ealy, UAB
Scott Farmer, Louisiana-Lafayette, chair
Robin Petrini, Penn State
Maria Roth, New Mexico State
Alison Sexton, Fairfield
Megan Sobel, Dartmouth
Brandi Stuart, Florida State
Eric Toliver, UNLV
Carla Wilson, Missouri-Kansas City

Now, you know....and knowing is half the battle.

It looks like the committee placed a lot on RPI as the NCAA RPI for UT was #11. It was fortunate probably that UT won Saturday night as they may have been struck as a #2 seed somewhere or hosting one of the seeded teams that lacked facilities.

I'm not sure hoe the college RPI is totaled. UGA finished 3rd in east. 4 overall and have a higher ratio of "fat chicks" than anyone in the top 20.

That was tasteless, I apologize

@ John_Gault: The "fat chick" part was tasteless, but who are you calling a "hoe"?

"I'm not sure hoe the college RPI is totaled."

ecobb01 writes:

Evidently the SEC Women's Softball Tournament does not mean anything like the basketball tournaments. The SEC would be advised to impliment a cost saving measure by canceling the league tournament instead of the teams beating each other up before the NCAA tournament begins. Since the single criteria for seeding teams is the UPI ranking (maybe the final poll ranking and the last 10 games of the regular season are also considered), then canceling the tournament would give the teams an extra week of rest and preparation for the NCAA. I also noticed that the SEC does not have a voice on the selection committee if John Galt's list of members is correct.

orangecountyvols writes:

Vols,

Re the comments about some of the girls weight etc.
I will admit looking at some of them play, you recognize quite a few resemble offensive tackles, and their forte is hitting the ball out of the park. Having said that, IMO our girls really look to be in very good shape, are really quick, and I'm proud of them.

One athletic team made me look quite stupid though. I looked at that quite large girl in basketball for Texas A & M and wondered how they would win. Well OCV, she and her team won the N C!

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