By Connor Grott
Assistant Sports Editor
The Middle Tennessee women’s golf team played in their first C-USA championship this season, resulting in a third place finish for the Blue Raiders at The Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club course in Gulf Shores, Ala., on April 23.
Tulane finished in first place, shooting 856 (281-291-284) to bring home the C-USA title for the sixth time in school history and fourth time out of the last six years. The Green Wave’s Gemma Dryburgh and Emily Penttila finished second and third with scores of 211 and 213.
UTSA earned second place honors with a score of 866 (286-292-288). The Roadrunner’s Fabiola Arriaga finished in first place in the 65-player field, posting a score of 207 (68-69-70).
The Old Dominion Monarchs (297-291-293) and FIU (295-295-291) tied for fourth, with each squad shooting 881 for the tournament.
The Blue Raiders’ third place finish is the highest in program history in a three-round tournament. Middle Tennessee posted a three-round tournament score of 879 (294-297-288), surpassing the previous mark of 880 set in the 2011 Sun Belt Conference Championship.
Along with setting a new school record for a score in a three-round tournament, the Blue Raiders set a new milestone with their third round score of 288, the lowest total for Middle Tennessee in a third round, while also ranking third on MT’s all-time best round list.
“We played pretty solid today and had it going early,” said MT head coach Chris Adams in a statement to the MT Athletic Communications Department. “We gave a few back on the back nine, but finished pretty good with a couple of other birdies. We made a lot of birdies that got us some momentum, but we just couldn’t catch the leaders. It was a pretty good showing for our first go around in Conference USA, and I am proud of this team for putting together three of the best rounds ever.”
MT was led by sophomore Avery George and junior Allie Knight, with both shooting 71 for one-under par in the third round. George paced the Blue Raiders, finishing the tournament with a score of 218 (75-72-71) for a team-best tie for ninth place in the field.
Knight tallied a score of 219 (73-75-71), finishing in a tie for 12th place. Her third-round score of 71 sets a new career-high, and marks a season-high third round score for Knight.
Emily Miller shot 220 (73-74-73) and finished in a tie for 16th place in the field, posting a career-best score of 73 in the first and third rounds. Maddie Denton logged a final score of 224 (73-78-73) for a share of 25th place, while also posting career-bests with her score of 73 in the first and third rounds.
MT’s Emily Williams rounded out the Blue Raiders, tying for 31st place with a score of 226 (76-76-74). Williams proved to continue the Blue Raiders’ common theme of success in the third round, tallying her lowest round of the tournament with third-round score of 74.
With the conclusion of the C-USA Championship, the offseason has arrived for the MT women’s golf team. MT will only lose one member of the team in all probability, with senior Natalie Chrisopulos being the lone player to graduate.
Middle Tennessee will retain juniors Haley Cothran and Knight for the next season. Sophomores George, Denton, Miller and Williams will return as well, along with freshmen Samantha Gotcher and Lacie York.
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