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Tennessee Athletics | May 7, 2015

UT leads regional, makes program history

  Every Lady Vol carded even or better Thursday, the first time that has happened in a tournament this season.

SAN ANTONIO -- Tennessee carded the program's lowest 18-hole score in school history with a total of 276 in the first round of the NCAA San Antonio Regional at Briggs Ranch Golf Club (par 72, 6,350). The effort finished the team in first place.

No. 3 UCLA finished just two strokes behind UT with a team total of 278. Baylor, Washington and Texas A&M rounded out the top five. In the individual race, Yupaporn Kawinpakorn of Kansas and Baylor's Hayley Davis are tied for first place with scores of 67 (-5).

"This tournament is such a high pressure, high stress week so it's really important to get off to a good start," head coach Judi Pavon said. "I'm really proud of how they handled themselves. They did extremely well and turned in some really good scores."

Freshman Anna Newell led Tennessee shooting four-under 68 and is tied for third place. Her low score was highlighted by an eagle on the par five seventh hole. She also carded three birdies on the back nine.

"Anna started with a bogey, and it took her a while until she got under par, which she did with an eagle," Pavon said. "She was steady from there on. She was nervous going into the week, especially as a freshman, and did a great job today."

Sophomore Lucia Polo broke 70 for the first time in her collegiate career. Polo shot a three-under 69. Polo made five birdies, including three consecutive on the front nine from hole three to five. She is currently tied for seventh place.

"We had talked about her shooting under 70," Pavon said. "I know that's been on her mind. She's been playing so great but really wanted to get over that hurdle. She had a really solid day and had a lot of birdies. I'm really happy for her."

Emmie Pietila tied her career low round with a score of 69 (-3) and is tied for seventh place, alongside Polo. Her back nine included three consecutive birdies starting at hole 13. Her sister, Hannah Pietila, finished two-under 70. She is tied for 14th place.

Senior AJ Newell carded a 72 (E) to round out Tennessee scores. She is in a tie for 33rd place.

This marks the first tournament of the season that every player has carded even or better in a round. It is also the first time this year for all four counting scores to be under par.

"It was a great overall effort," Pavon added. "AJ played really well. She's probably a little disappointed that a 72 is being thrown out, but it's all for the good of the team. It was a really great day for all of them. Going back to the hotel in a good mood is always great."

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