"(I am) fairly happy with where we are right now," Tennessee co-head coach Karen Weekly said at Wednesday's media availability.
But where is the Tennessee softball team right now?
Heading into the start of the SEC season, the No. 2 Lady Vols boast a 22-2 record. Their starting pitcher, senior Ellen Renfroe, is a perfect 13-0, backup Rainey Gaffin has already thrown a no-hitter and the team is coming off of a 15-0 rout over Western Carolina.
It is safe to say Weekly has reason to be content.
The Lady Vols will travel to Fayetteville, Ark., to face the Lady Razorbacks (19-6) in a three-game series this weekend to open the SEC season for both teams.
"I think we're excited to start SEC play," Weekly said. "It's a long preseason. Things get at least little more predictable now. You know you are only playing three games a weekend, and you know who your opponent is going to be for every single game."
Last year, Tennessee's first nine conference games were against top-five teams — Alabama, Florida and Texas A&M.
This year, however, the Lady Vols open conference play against an Arkansas team that has faced only three ranked opponents all season, tasting defeat in each of those games.
Renfroe is still weary of their opponent despite the Lady Razorbacks' modest record.
"Any SEC team is going to be a challenge," Renfroe said. "No matter if you're playing the top-ranked team or one of the lower-ranked teams in the SEC, you've got to bring your A-game every time.
"Any chance that they have to attack you, they're going to do it."
Weekly is particularly worried about the Lady Razorbacks' pitching.
In Tennessee's one game against Arkansas in Knoxville last year, second team All-SEC pitcher Kimmy Beasley held the Lady Vols to one run, giving her team just enough support to earn a 2-1 victory on the road.
"(They have) a really talented left-handed pitcher in Kimmy Beasley (3-2, 2.55 ERA)," Weekly said, "and that always presents a different look for you with a lefty because we don't get to face too many lefties, and we don't have one on our staff that we can work against."
Freshman Grace Moll (8-2, 1.82 ERA) has taken over the top spot for the Lady Razorbacks this season, which will present a new challenge for the visiting team.
"We don't know a whole lot about her yet," Weekly said, "but we're working on our video now and seeing what we can find out."
Although Arkansas possesses great talent in the circle, their strength actually lies at the plate.
Arkansas leads Tennessee in every statistical offensive category, including 77 more runs, 60 more RBIs and a batting average of .356 compared to Tennessee's .322.
While Tennessee has been training for the start of conference play since the first day of practice, this will be the first taste of the SEC for several members of the Lady Vols, which is an experience all its own, Renfroe said.
"I don't think anything prepares you like the SEC like actually playing in it," Renfroe said. "...You can talk about how challenging it is, but until you actually get in and start playing, you're not really ever prepared for it."