Sara Monberg is one of two seniors leading the Lady Vols this year.
Aug. 13, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - The Tennessee women's golf team has announced its 2012-13 schedule as the Lady Vols look to make a fifth-straight appearance at the NCAA Championships. The season includes four fall tournaments and four spring contests before entering postseason play.
Judi Pavon enters her 13th year at the helm of the Lady Vols, a squad that sees five returnees, including All-American Erica Popson, as well as 2012 NCAA team members AJ Newell, Sara Monberg and Chessey Thomas. In addition, UT welcomes freshmen Ashlee Pickerell of Salem, Ore., and Emmie Pietila of Brighton, Mich. Pavon has led the Big Orange to nine NCAA Championship appearances.
The squad opens the fall season Sept. 9-11 with a trip to Charleston, S.C., for the Cougar Classic presented by Piggly Wiggly. The tournament boasts a field comprised of some of the top teams in the nation.
"We have a really tough schedule this season," Pavon said. "We love starting out at the College of Charleston, and this year it's going to be one of the strongest fields of the season, so it will be a good test right off the bat."
The Lady Vols then travel to Athens, Ga., October 5-7 for the Liz Murphey NCAA Fall Preview.
"We were invited to the NCAA Fall Preview based on our ranking from last season and are looking forward to competing at the University of Georgia golf course, the site of this year's National Championship," Pavon said.
The Lady Vols closed out the 2011-12 campaign ranked 15th in the nation, as they recorded seven top-10 finishes, including two tournament titles at the LSU Classic and Bryan National Collegiate.
After competing in Georgia, UT will return home to play host to the 16th annual Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship Oct. 12-14. The squad wraps up the fall portion of its schedule in San Antonio, as they compete in the UTSA Alamo Invitational. After a four-month hiatus, the team is slated to begin spring competition at the Mash Up Invitational in Tallahassee, Fla., Feb. 15-17.
"This spring we added a new event at Florida State," Pavon said. "It's going to have a fun format where we compete as a team and individually, but we also have partnered with another team, UTSA, and we will be competing together against other two-team pairings."
The Big Orange will be paired with a familiar face at the tournament, as the UTSA Roadrunners are coached by Tennessee graduate Carrie Cole Parnaby, who spent eight years as a player and an assistant coach for the Lady Vols before taking over UTSA in 2008.
"The rest of the spring will be great events we've attended in the past, that have good fields and will do a great job preparing us for postseason," Pavon said.
The squad will travel to Hilton Head, S.C., where they will face off at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate Invitational. The Lady Vols are then scheduled to visit Baton Rouge, La., for the LSU Invitational, and will close out regular season play with the Bryan National Collegiate Invitational hosted by UNC-Greenboro and Wake Forest March 29-31.
The 2012-13 postseason begins in Birmingham, Ala., for the SEC Championship at Greystone Golf & Country Club. Greystone will become the permanent home for the SEC Women's Golf Championship through 2016 after the event rotated around the SEC in past years.
The nation's top 72 teams will be invited to participate in NCAA Regionals from May 9-11. The field will be divided into three regional sites hosted by Oklahoma, Stanford and Auburn.
A top-eight finish at a regional tournament will mark a return trip to UGA golf course for Tennessee.
The 2013 NCAA Championship, hosted by Georgia, will be held May 19-24 in Athens, Ga.
For updates on the women's golf team, you can follow the Lady Vols at @LadyVol_Golf.