CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.---Fresh off its first Southern Conference Championship, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's golf team opens NCAA East Regional play on Thursday, May 6, at the Ironwood Country Club in Greenville, N.C. The regional features 24 teams and three individuals vying over three days and 54 holes for a spot in the NCAA Women's Golf Division I Championship later this month.
It is the second regional appearance in three years of the program for the Mocs as a team. It is a perfect three-for-three considering Emma de Groot's individual appearance in the 2008.
Last year's squad finished eighth in its first regional appearance qualifying for finals. This season's model has a new set of challenges before it.
Chattanooga will compete with four student-athletes rather than the traditional five due to sophomore Moa Duf leaving the team to return to Sweden. That leaves the Mocs with very little margin for error.
"It will definitely be a challenge," said head coach Colette Murray. "But I am very optimistic. I think the girls will be up for that challenge."
de Groot leads the Mocs into regionals averaging 73.86 strokes per round. A native of Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia, de Groot is ranked No. 34 nationally by Golfstat. She has five top 5s this season including winning the SunTrust Gator Women's Golf Invitational in early April.
Loza ended up with a career-best fourth-place finish. Her three-under par back nine keyed a final round comeback after the Mocs trailed by five strokes to claim the conference crown. Wolf tied for sixth at the SoCon and has finished in the top 20 in three of her last four events.
Senior Katie Taylor (85.20) will be competing in her first regional. She is being looked to for consistent play this week.
WHO: Colette Murray. Colette has led her team to seven wins in three seasons after starting the program in 2007-08. The Mocs have been a part of NCAA Regionals every season under Murray with de Groot's individual entry in 2008 followed by the team's eighth-place finish last year in the Central Regional and qualification for the championship.
WHAT: NCAA East Regional - 54 holes (18 per day)
WHEN: Thursday, May 6, through Saturday, May 8. Live scoring link can be found on GoMocs.com on the schedule page.
WHERE: Ironwood Country Club; Greenville, N.C. Par 72, 6,321 yards - top 8 teams and top two individuals on non-advancing teams move on to the NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship May 19-22 at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, N.C.
HOW: All three Southern Conference teams in the NCAA Regionals will be in Greenville. Chattanooga is joined by Furman and College of Charleston.
FIELD: Auburn, Campbell, College of Charleston, Charleston Southern, CHATTANOOGA, Coastal Carolina, Duke, East Carolina, East Tennessee State, Fairleigh Dickinson, Florida, Furman, Georgia State, North Carolina, Pepperdine, South Carolina, Stetson, Tennessee, TCU, Texas Tech, Tulane, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, Washington
FIELD WITH RANKINGS (Golfstat/Golfweek): Duke (3/8), Auburn (4/5), Wake Forest (9/10), Pepperdine (11/9), Vanderbilt (16/20), Tennessee (18/15), Florida (22/18), TCU (21/25), North Carolina (27/30), South Carolina (30/26), Tulane (32/27), CHATTANOOGA (36/41), Washington (38/36), Texas Tech (43/46), Georgia State (44/44), Campbell (49/50), East Tennessee State (50/51), Furman (54/52), Coastal Carolina (58/58), East Carolina (71/59), College of Charleston (66/65), Stetson (75/72), Charleston Southern (155/154), Fairleigh Dickinson (N/A/188)GoMocs.com is the official website of the Chattanooga Mocs. The Mocs can also be followed on their official Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ChattanoogaMocs, or on Twitter, www.twitter.com/GoMocs.