‘Continue to grow’ | Lady Vols star breaks down team’s SEC success

The Lady Vols are 7-0 since SEC play started.
The Lady Vols are 7-0 since SEC play started.
Published: Jan. 28, 2023 at 12:20 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Lady Vols are continuing to find their success on the court.

A key reason for that success is senior Jordan Horston. The guard made it sound so simple when she said this team has been clicking so well as of late because they’ve had time together.

Many Vol Fans may have forgotten that heading into this season, this team featured six new faces.

It takes time to build chemistry and form the right lineup or rotation of players, but those growing pains have provided a really strong foundation for this team.

“I’m glad we had those ups and downs in the beginning of the season because it allowed us to find who we are and, you know, make improvements and continue to grow,” said Horston.

The Lady Vols are currently 0-4 against ranked opponents, but ever since conference play started, something’s shifted in this team.

As the season wears on, the games will only get tougher, and the stakes will only get higher.

With UConn coming to town on Thursday, Tennessee has another chance to win its first-ranked contest of the season.

“We have everything that has been taken from the start of the season,” said Horston. “Be a pest like that’s one thing that she [Coach Kellie Harper] always says is like, make them after they’re done playing feel like they don’t want to ever play you again.”

That grit has been on display the last eight games, especially regarding Horston. A year ago in February, she saw her season come to an end with an elbow injury against Alabama.

The doctors informed her that it was a real possibility it’d permanently keep her from the game.

“They were talking about me never playing again,” said Horston.

But Horston and determination are almost synonymous with each other, so it shouldn’t be a surprise she made it back in time to start game one of the 2022-23 season.

“Oh, I was just so happy. I was just like, thank God,” said Horston.

The guard continued emphasizing what that message meant to her, “Goodness, I love basketball so much like I can’t even explain it. In this, for me to hear that news. It was just like wow, like this time it’s finally come to an end, and like I thought it was ever gonna happen. Like I was like, oh my god, I’m gonna be over. But no, this taught me a lot of patience and taught me a lot of things off the court. And I’m thankful for it. I mean, it might sound crazy, but I’m honestly thankful for it. It pulled me to the side and honestly strengthened my relationship with God.”

Patience has been a vital part of this team, and even when it seemed they were down and out, they kept fighting. And since conference play opened, they put their season back on track.

“I feel like this sky’s not the limit. The stars are the limit,” the senior said on her hopes for the team’s season.

And as the team continues to find its way, Horston knows they’re capable of so much more.

“With this team, because we have so many pieces. We have so much debt, and we just got so much like that we can provide for the game and for the team, and I feel like we put all the pieces together, and once we put all the pieces together, we will be unstoppable like the national championship. Finish the season with no more losses that will be amazing. But know this. I feel like we have a great future, and we continue to do the little things and continue to grow,” said Horston.

The Lady Vols take The Summitt Thursday at 8:00 p.m.