Chattanooga Ties for 12th at NCAA Central Regional
Junior Maria Juliana Loza scored four birdies in final six holes.
Courtesy: GoMocs.com

NOTRE DAME, Ind. --- The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's golf team finished tied for 12th at the NCAA Central Regional on Warren Golf Course.  Chattanooga shot 305 in the final round for a 54-hole total of 917 to tie with No. 14 Tulane.

Maria Juliana Loza (Bucaramanga, Colombia) was the story today for the Mocs.  The junior mechanical engineering major posted her third straight top 10 tying for eighth at seven-over par 223.  Her round ended with plenty of fireworks after playing the first 12 holes at four over.

"I told Maju I needed her to get back to even if we were going to have a chance to advance," said head coach Colette Murray.  "It was a tall order, but she is an amazing competitor."

Loza immediately birdied 13 followed by pars on 14 and 15.  She then turned in back-to-back-to-back birdies to get back to level par shooting 72.  While it was not enough to get the Mocs in the top eight, it was enough to get her a shot at advancing to the NCAA Championship as an individual.

In tying for eighth she had to wait out the afternoon rounds along with countrywoman Maribel Lopez Porras of Tulane.  There was a lightning delay to make it drag on that much longer and ended with a playoff between the two friends for the final spot.

At dusk, with fog rising in the fairway, Porras opened with a nice drive down the right side of the fairway that Loza matched on the left.  Loza missed the fairway with her second shot, but both competitors ended up on the front of the green putting up a false front to a tough hole location.

Loza went first and her effort ran six feet past the hole.  Porras left hers four-and-a-half feet short.  Loza's par effort just slid by the hole before Porras rattled hers in to take the spot.

Loza shot rounds of 73, 78 and 72 for her 223 tying with Porras and four others in eighth. 

Christine Wolf (Igls, Austria) claimed a top 20 tying for 18th at 225 (+9) with a 74 (+2).  It was her best finish in three regional appearances.  Wolf completed her collegiate career today while also graduating with a degree in marketing and management.

Fellow senior Emma de Groot (Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia) ended her career tying for 41st at 230.  Her final round 77 was much like her second round 76 in that the final holes proved costly.  Over the final 36 holes, de Groot played 1-13 at two over, while playing plus seven on holes 14-18.

"Emma and Christine are the foundation this program is built upon," Murray added.  "I could not ask for two better people to start a program with."

Jordan Britt (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and Marion Duvernay (Publier, France) shot twin 82s.  While neither student-athlete played to expectations, each has a very bright future.

"Obviously it wasn't the way either one wanted to end the season," Murray continued.  "But there is a lot for them to take away from this experience to improve for the future.  They will be much better for it.

"It's hard to really think much about the future," she concluded.  "We weren't just happy to be here, our program is past that point.  We came here to challenge for a win and advance to finals and fell short."

Eight teams advanced to the NCAA Championship along with the two individuals from non-qualifying teams.  No. 2 UCLA won the event at 890 (+26) by four over No. 8 LSU.  Minnesota, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Stanford and Wake Forest also punched tickets to Bryan, Texas.  Lindy Duncan (Duke) and Porras claimed the individual berths.

Stephanie Kono (UCLA) and Megan McChrystal (LSU) shared medalist honors at two-over par 218.  Austin Ernst (LSU) and Emily Tubert (Arkansas) tied for third one shot off the pace at 219 (+3).

The regional performance does not take away from the strong regular-season the Mocs put together.  UTC won four times tying the school record for titles in a season (2007-08).  All six team members received honors from the Southern Conference as de Groot (Golfer of the Year) and Murray (Coach of the Year) captured top honors.

LEADERBOARD

1) No. 2 UCLA

291-301-298

890 (+26)

2) No. 8 LSU

295-303-296

894 (+30)

3) Minnesota

301-297-299

897 (+33)

4) No. 11 Arkansas

307-303-289

899 (+35)

5) Notre Dame

298-305-298

901 (+37)

6) Ohio State

306-301-298

905 (+41)

7) No. 24 Stanford

302-306-300

908 (+44)

8) No. 15 Wake Forest

312-304-293

909 (+45)

9) No. 5 Duke

302-314-297

913 (+49)

10) Northwestern

302-306-306

914 (+50)

11) No. 17 Texas

306-307-303

916 (+52)

T12) Chattanooga

303-309-305

917 (+53)

T12) No. 14 Tulane

313-302-302

917 (+53)

14) Kent State

304-311-304

919 (+55)

15) Wisconsin

314-305-310

929 (+65)

17) North Texas

311-314-310

935 (+71)

17) Oklahoma State

312-312-313

937 (+73)

18) Michigan

316-307-315

938 (+74)

19) Illinois

313-309-318

940 (+76)

20) East Carolina

315-316-314

945 (+81)

21) UNLV

318-325-311

954 (+90)

22) Morehead State

319-326-310

955 (+91)

23) Illinois State

329-317-320

966 (+102)

24) Butler

316-325-329

970 (+106)

Mocs:

   

T8) Maria Juliana Loza

73-78-72

223 (+7)

T18) Christine Wolf

75-76-74

225 (+9)

T41) Emma de Groot

77-76-77

230 (+14)

T89) Marion Duvernay

78-80-82

240 (+24)

T112) Jordan Britt

84-79-82

245 (+29)

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.  Find out how to join the UTC Mocs Club and support more than 300 student-athletes by clicking here.

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