Lady Vol golf gears up for NCAA regionals

Knoxville, TN - Chessey Thomas and Coach Jan Dowling during the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship at Holston Hills Country Club. Photo by Matthew Osborne/Tennessee Athletics

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- The Lady Vol golf team heads to its 21st consecutive NCAA Regional this weekend as the squad competes in Auburn, Ala., at the Auburn Golf Club.

UT is seeded 11th in a field of 24 teams in the East Regional, and will tee off at 7:30 a.m. CT/8:30 a.m. ET from the 10th tee.
"We have had two really good weeks of practice, even with final exams going on and everyone has turned in some really good scores," head coach Judi Pavon said. "This is a high pressure week for every team in the field. We have handled it well in the past so I'm hoping for another good week."

Leading the way for the Lady Vols is senior Sara Monberg, who finished in a tie for 19th at the SEC Championships. Senior Erica Popson follows, along with sophomore AJ Newell, junior Chessey Thomas and sophomore Daeun Song.

The Lady Vols have competed at an NCAA Regional every year since the program's inception in 1992-93.
A top-eight finish at the East Regional would propel Tennessee to its fifth straight NCAA Championship and their ninth appearance in 10 years. Along with the top eight teams at each regional, the top two individuals not on a qualifying team will advance and compete at the four-day NCAA Championship held at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga., May 21-24.

Live results will be available on GolfStat, and you can stay up-to-date with the Lady Vols by following @LadyVol_Golf on Twitter.


The Auburn Golf Club was the 2011 site of the SEC Championships where then-sophomore Erica Popson claimed medalist honors with a 210 (-6) card.

"We feel comfortable on this course because it sets up well for our team and reminds us of a couple we play in Knoxville," Pavon said.

Along with Popson, fellow senior Monberg and junior Thomas have experience playing at the course.

The Orange and White has a history of success at NCAA regional competitions. Last season UT captured fourth-place honors at the Central Regional. A year earlier, then-sophomore Popson claimed the individual title, while the team recorded a second-place finish at the West Regional. The Lady Vols came in second at the 2010 East Regional, won the 2006 East Regional team title and tied for the tournament crown at the 2005 West Regional.

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