Tony Vitello comments on Evan Russell's absence from Tennessee's NCAA Tournament opener
No. 1 overall national seed Tennessee was without one of its most important starters for UT’s first game of the 2022 NCAA Tournament. Ahead of the Vols’ game against Alabama State in the Knoxville Regional, Tennessee announced that Evan Russell was not available to play. After the game, UT head coach Tony Vitello addressed Russell’s absence, revealing the standout catcher is sick.
Russell texted Vitello Friday morning, letting the coach know he is sick. The Vol skipper told reporters he did not know Russell’s status for Saturday.
Tennessee HC Tony Vitello on Evan Russell’s absence:
“Evan Russell was not here. He was sick this morning… It opened up an opportunity for Charlie.”
— Rocky Top Insider (@rockytopinsider) June 4, 2022
Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello says Evan Russell was sick this morning.
He got a text from him this morning and is letting the team doctor’s handle it. #Vols pic.twitter.com/x4o1fsaz3k
— Madison Hock (@Madison4Blevins) June 4, 2022
#Vols coach Tony Vitello on whether Evan Russell will be available tomorrow: “I don’t know yet.”
— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) June 4, 2022
Russell’s absence did not slow down the Vols Friday night. Charlie Taylor filled in at catcher, recording an RBI.
Tennessee took down Alabama State, the Knoxville Regional’s No. 4 seed, 10-0. UT will play Campbell in the winner’s bracket game Saturday at 7 p.m. ET.
Tennessee sportsbooks are live in the Volunteer state since November 1, 2020. Tennessee was the first SEC state to legalize sports betting.