HARRISONBURG - HARRISONBURG, Va. - The Tennessee Lady Volunteers open their season on the road for the eighth time in school history when the team faces James Madison on Friday night.
Tennessee enters the season ranked No. 13 in the AP Top 25 Poll, and No. 14 in the USA TODAY Coaches Poll.
Both Tennessee and James Madison made the NCAA Tournament last season, as the Lady Vols lost to Syracuse in the Elite Eight and the Dukes lost in the first round to DePaul.
Last season, Tennessee finished with a 22-14 record (8-8 SEC) and James Madison had a 27-6 record (17-1 Colonial Athletic Association).
UT enters its fifth season under head coach Holly Warlick.
Friday night marks the first official game for Sean O’Regan as head coach of the Dukes. O’Regan served as an assistant at James Madison for nine years and replaces Kenny Brooks.
Brooks is now the head coach at Virginia Tech.
Tennessee is 38-4 in season-opening games since 1974. The Lady Vols have won their last tree season-opening games, and 15 of their last 16.
UT returns eight players from last season’s team, including preseason All-SEC redshirt junior guard Diamond DeShields (14.3 points, 2.3 assists and 5.2 rebounds) and redshirt junior forward Mercedes Russell (9.9 points, 8.3 rebounds). Tennessee has three new players on this season’s team.
Dukes redshirt senior guard Precious Hall is the CAA’s preseason player of the year after missing last season with an ACL injury. Hall averaged 20.8 points per game in 2014-2015.
UT won its previous two matchups against James Madison.
Friday night’s game is not on television, but fans can watch the game online through James Madison’s production on MADIZONE HD SportsNet. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. ET Friday.
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