Lady Eagles open spring schedule on Monday in Newberry Invitational
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — The Carson-Newman women's golf team fell just short of a second straight South Atlantic Conference title a year ago, and with several key pieces returning from last year's squad, the Lady Eagles' goal is to be right back in contention for the title in 2011.
C-N opens its spring schedule on Monday with the first round of the Newberry College Invitational at Moss Creek Golf Club in Hilton Head Island, S.C. The Lady Eagles are coming off a runner-up finish at the SAC Championship and a first-ever NCAA Regional berth in 2010.
"I'm definitely looking forward to kicking off our spring season at the Newberry Invitational," first-year Lady Eagle head coach Amanda Moore said. "The girls have been working hard in practice and they know what they want to accomplish this year. We are looking to build on what we learned from our fall events and are focused on the process of constant improvement."
The Lady Eagles had several strong showings in the fall, including a second place finish at the Queens Invitational and a win at the Montreat College Invitational by 80 strokes.
C-N will feature a mixture of youth and experience this season. The Lady Eagles return four out of their five participants from last year's SAC Championship, but with sophomore Melanie Manis (Louisville, Tenn.) expected to be out until March with an injury, C-N will turn to some newcomers early on. Manis was a second team All-SAC performer in 2010.
"I know that we will continue to get great leadership from our upperclassmen, but I am also expecting our freshmen to step up and contribute more this semester," Moore said. "In order for us to achieve our goals this spring, it will have to be a true team effort."
Senior Jessica Tarbet (Corryton, Tenn.), a first team All-SAC performer in 2010, had a strong fall season for the Lady Eagles. Tarbet recorded three top five finishes, including medalist honors at the Montreat College Invitational. Tarbet, who is tied for second in the SAC with a scoring average of 77.1, also tied a conference record with a round of 68 at the Montreat Invitational.
Juniors Erica Ray (Maryville, Tenn.) and Jennifer Oliver (Knoxville, Tenn.) will also play key roles for the Lady Eagles in 2011. Ray, a second team All-SAC selection in 2010, had two top five finishes in the fall and is second on the team with a scoring average of 79.6, while Oliver had one top five finish.
Freshmen Louise McGillivray (Banchory, Scotland) and Mary Tunnell (Memphis, Tenn.) will be the other two golfers taking the course for the Lady Eagles when they open at the Newberry Invitational. McGillivray and Tunnell each had a top 10 finish for C-N in the fall.
Freshman Lauren Hodge (Jefferson City, Tenn.) will provide the Lady Eagles with another solid option. Hodge competed in one even for C-N in the fall and finished in the top 20.
The Lady Eagles will wrap up their spring schedule on April 4-5 at Tusculum College's Agnes McAmis Memorial. C-N will then compete in the SAC Championships on April 11-12 in Hickory, N.C.