Lady Mocs Make First Regional Appearance
SoCon Freshman of the Year Maria Salinas

COLUMBUS, Ohio---The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women’s golf team is on the fast track.  In just its second season, Chattanooga received an at large bid into the NCAA Central Regional and is headed to Columbus, Ohio to start its post-season journey.


The Lady Mocs will open play at the Scarlet Course at Ohio State on Thursday, May 7, and play 54 holes finishing up on Saturday, May 9.  A top eight finish would advance the Lady Mocs to the NCAA Finals at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md., which is suburban Baltimore.


It is not the first foray into postseason play for Chattanooga.  Sophomore Emma de Groot, powered by two wins and nine top 10 finishes in 10 tournaments, earned a spot in the NCAA East Regional in the inaugural season.  She impressed finishing tied for 17th in Athens, Ga.


An All-SoCon pick for her second straight season, de Groot leads the Lady Mocs with a 75.75 scoring average.  She has two wins in 2008-09 as well for four career titles.  Emma was joined on the all-conference squad by SoCon Freshman of the Year Maria Salinas.


Salinas, who follows de Groot as the league’s top freshman honoree, is second on the team with a 75.86 average and led the squad with five top 10 finishes including a tying for 10th against a strong field at the Mercedes Women’s Championship in October.


Fellow All-Freshman team pick Maria Juliana Loza is third in the lineup in scoring at 77.57.  She ranked second to de Groot’s six with five par or better rounds.


Sophomore Christine Wolf was an all-league player as a freshman in 2008.  She is just behind Loza at 77.61 strokes per round.  Freshman Moa Duf (78.69) rounds out the squad joining the team in January and posting two top 10s in six outings.


Chattanooga is scheduled to tee off at 11:10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 6 for its practice round.  The 16th-seeded Lady Mocs will open regional play at 12:30 p.m., on Thursday playing with Michigan and Harvard, the 17 and 18 seeds, respectively.


WHO:  Maria Salinas.  The Southern Conference Freshman of the Year is battling an injured elbow.  Despite the injury, she still found a way to finish tied for third at the SoCon Championship which included an emergency room visit after round two.


WHAT:  NCAA Central Regional – May 7-9


WHERE:  The Scarlet Course; Columbus, Ohio – Par 72, 6,246 yards.  The Scarlet Course was designed by famed architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie (Augusta National).  A major restoration project was overseen by Jack Nicklaus in 2005 and 2006.


HOW:  The top eight teams and two individuals on non-advancing teams move on to the NCAA Finals, May 19-22 at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Md.


LINEUP:  Emma de Groot (75.75), Moa Duf (78.69), Maria Juliana Loza (77.57), Maria Salinas (75.86), Christine Wolf (77.61).  Lineup features two sophomores (de Groot, Wolf) and three freshmen (Duf, Loza, Salinas).






FIELD (Golfweek/Golfstat):  (2/1) UCLA, (4/5) Oklahoma State, (9/9) Purdue, (6/11) Wake Forest, (18/15) Louisville,  (19/18), Kent State (23/17) Michigan State, (27/24) Ohio State, (24/26) Stanford, (22/28) New Mexico, (29/33) Georgia State, (33/32) Notre Dame, (30/35) North Carolina State, (45/40) Washington, (44/44) Kentucky, (46/48) Chattanooga, (49/54) Michigan, (126/130) Murray State, (87/86) Illinois State, (81/70) Harvard, (195/NR) Fairleigh Dickinson.  Individuals:  Kendall Dye, Oklahoma, Kayla Mortellaro, Idaho, Sara Wikstrom, Arkansas-Little Rock.

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