March 24, 2011
By Zach Stipe, Media Relations Assistant
BROWNS SUMMIT, N.C. - The 14th-ranked Tennessee Lady Vol golf team returns to a familiar tournament this weekend looking for continued improvement before next month's conference championship.
For the 11th straight season, the Big Orange will be competing at the Bryan National Collegiate. Held at the Bryan Park Golf and Enrichment Center from Friday through Sunday, the event, hosted by No. 15 Wake Forest and UNCG, will feature 13 top 50 teams, including No. 6 Duke, No. 8 Virginia No. 17 Michigan State, No. 18 Vanderbilt and No. 19 North Carolina.
The Lady Vols are coming off a tied-for-third performance at the LSU Tiger Golf Classic from March 11-13, where sophomores Erica Popson and Sara Monberg tied for seventh and 11th, respectively to lead UT.
Rohrback and Thomas Interview
Lady Vol head coach Judi Pavon said that her team is prepared to grab its second victory of the season this weekend in the Tar Heel State. She will take a lineup that includes Popson, Monberg, junior All-American Nathalie Mansson and freshmen Chessey Thomas and Kaitlyn Rohrback.
"Our goal is to win the tournament," Pavon said. "We had a good finish last week, which gave us a great feeling about our potential. We have to start looking up - towards the top. There will be a tough field at the Bryan National, but it's not a field we can't beat. It's a very well-run tournament and I love the golf course. Erica (Popson) and Sara (Monberg) have been playing really well and our two freshmen in the lineup - Kaitlyn (Rohrback) and Chessey (Thomas) - have had some great rounds. Hopefully, Nathalie (Mansson) can bounce back from last week, as well."
Mansson finished a disappointing 61st at the Tiger Classic, but the veteran from Stockholm, Sweden has two career tournament victories and led the Lady Vols to a tied-for-sixth finish at the Bryan National in 2010 with a runner-up performance. Her 3-under 213 score at the Bryan Park Golf and Enrichment Center last season ties for the sixth lowest total in tournament history.
The lowest single round score (65) in the tournament's history actually came from a Lady Vol, too. Young-A Yang tallied a 65 for the second round in 2001.
Tennessee's best finish at the tournament came in 2005, when it placed second.
The first and second rounds will begin with tee times at 8:20 a.m., while Sunday's final round is scheduled for a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m.