May 19, 2004

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After being one of the first teams to complete its round and head into the clubhouse during the first day, karma came back to bite Tennessee as a lightning delay turned into a suspension with sophomore Violeta Retamoza (Aguascalientes, Mexico) left on her final hole after teeing off on No. 18 at 5:45 p.m. CT. With darkness falling after nearly a two-hour delay, the rules committee decided to suspend the second round until 7 a.m. Thursday. Retamoza did not let the weather delay distract her from closing out her second stanza with a par.

While inclement weather turned the tournament on its head, UT put together a solid round of 297 to finish in 14th place with a 24-over 600 (303-297). The orange-clads are only three shots out of the top 10. Meanwhile, UCLA and Duke stormed the course with a pair of under-par team totals. The Bruins overtook opening-round leader Oklahoma State with a five-under round to finish with a four-under 572 (289-283), while the Blue Devils moved into second place with a three-under 573 (289-284) after firing a four-under round.

As for the individual championship race, UCLA's Susie Mathews carded a three-under round to finish with a four-under 140 (71-69), while Oklahoma State's Karin Sjodin matched the Bruin with her own 140 (71-69) to tie for first after the second round.

"We had a good round going but we let some go at the end," Head Coach Judi Pavon said. "I was disappointed in that, but we are in good shape and still have plenty of time to make up some ground."

As for the Big Orange, junior Jessica Shepley (Oakville, Ontario, Canada) paced Tennessee with her 12th-career par-or-under round after firing an even-par 72 to tie for 20th with a 145 (73-72).

"I felt good today," Shepley said. "I finally made some birdies, but I offset those with bogeys. It was huge that I made par. I gave myself a lot of opportunities to make birdies."



The team captain blitzed the course with three birdies in her initial four holes, before taking a bogey on No. 5. She then rang off five pars in her next six holes before posting back-to-back bogeys on No. 13 and 14. She rebounded to save par for the round with a pair of birdies in her final three holes.

"Jessica had a really solid round today," Pavon said. "She had a bunch of birdies and is confident in her swing. She did great putting and is in real good shape for the rest of the tournament."

Classmate Teesha Ash (Chattanooga, Tenn.) countered a rough first day with a one-over 73 for a two-day 152 (79-73) to move into a 76th-place tie "I played a lot better today," Ash said. "I am disappointed that I came in with two bogeys and would have liked to have brought it home. I was confident in my swing today and played steady with no big numbers. Also, my putting has been phenomenal since regionals, I just need to get some more birdies to drop."

The East Tennessee product had an incredible front nine with seven pars and two birdies before taking her first bogey on No. 10. She then put together six consecutive pars before ending the day on a pair of bogeys.

"Teesha played great," Pavon said. "Although it was disappointing for her to close out her round with two bogeys, she made no mistakes through the rest of her round and we needed her to have the good day she had."

Sophomore Golda Johansson (Lund, Sweden) and freshman Holly Cantwell (Morristown, Tenn.) recorded matching five-over 77s to finish at the halfway point of the tournament.

Johansson tallied a two-round 156 (79-77) to tie for 98th place after having a roller-coaster front nine with one birdie, four bogeys and a double in her first seven rounds before turning it on to finish the round at even-par with a birdie and a bogey in her final 11 holes.

"Golda started off pretty poorly through her first seven holes," Pavon said. "I talked to her and told her we would probably need her for a good team score and she settled down and went even-par the rest of the day to get the job done. She has just been nervous, but hopefully she will gain some confidence from her last nine-or-10 holes."

Cantwell continued to fill her role on the team as a security blanket with the five-over round to post a two-day 155 (78-77) to finish in a 94th-place tie. After getting off to a rough start with a double and a bogey in her initial four holes, the rookie ripped off six straight pars before hitting another rough stretch of three bogeys in four holes. She closed the day on a good note, however, with a birdie and three pars.

"Holly did her job again today," Pavon said. "She made a couple mistakes to start the day, but she hung in there and I am really pleased with how she played."

Retamoza did not begin the day well with a double on No. 2, but rebounded with a string of nine holes at even-or-under that included two birdies before posting a bogey on No. 12. The all-SEC first-team selection then notched five pars and a double on her final six holes to close out the round with a 76 and a two-day 148 (73-75) to wind up in a tie for 38th place.

Next up, Tennessee begins its third round paired with Purdue and Stanford with 9 a.m. tee times off No. 10.

NCAA Championships
At Grand National Lake Course (Opelika, Ala.)

Team Scores:
3.Oklahoma State288-293=581
5.Wake Forest298-289=587
6.Ohio State296-292=588
8.Southern California307-286=593
9.New Mexico304-292=596
Arizona State310-291=601
Florida State301-301=602
20.North Carolina304-300=604
23.Texas A&M306-302=608
24.Michigan State302-310=612
Top Scorer (field=125):
1.Susie Mathews, UCLA71-69=140
Karin Sjodin, Oklahoma St.71-69=140
UT Scores:
t20.Jessica Shepley73-72=145
t38.Violeta Retamoza73-76=148
t76.Teesha Ash79-73=152
t94.Holly Cantwell78-77=155
t98.Golda Johansson79-77=156


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