May 26, 2011
By Zach Stipe, Media Relations Assistant
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee Lady Vol golf team wrapped up the 2010-11 campaign slated No. 10 in both the final Golfstat rankings and the Golfweek ratings released this week. The Big Orange also finished No. 12 in the final Golf World/NGCA Coaches Poll released earlier this month.
The Lady Vols had a tremendous season under 11th-year head coach Judi Pavon, advancing to the NCAA Championships for the third year in a row, winning two tournaments and producing a First Team All-American.
The Big Orange compiled a staggering 131-61-3 head-to-head record and set the school record for lowest team stroke average in relations to par at (8.47).
Tennessee captured the Mercedes-Women's Collegiate Championships title by 20 strokes in a Lady Vol 54-hole record-low score of 15-under 849 in October and nabbed first-place at the Rebel Intercollegiate by a whopping 30 strokes (8-under 863) in April.
A second-place finish at the NCAA West Regional carried UT to the NCAA Championships, where the Lady Vols placed 13th and were led by sophomore Erica Popson's 14th-place performance.
Popson, a Davenport, Fla., native had one of the finest seasons ever by a Lady Vol, capturing First Team All-America honors from the NGCA, First Team All-SEC accolades and nabbing first-place in four consecutive tournaments in the spring, including medalist finishes at the SEC Championship and West Regional, where she won by five strokes.
Her stroke average of 72.19 set a Lady Vol record, while her 16 par or better rounds tied the UT single-season mark. She led the nation in par-5 scoring (4.67) and finished at No. 3 in the Golfstat Cup individual rankings. Her four wins this season are already a Lady Vol career record.
Another top-10 final ranking appears likely for the Lady Vols next season as UT is expected to return all five players from its postseason lineup. In addition to Popson, the Orange and White will welcome back rising senior and two-time All-American Nathalie Mansson, rising junior Sara Monberg and rising sophomores Kaitlyn Rohrback and Chessey Thomas.