Womens golf

Waverly Whiston at the Mercedes-Bens Collegiate Championship at the Cherokee Country Club in Knoxville, TN on Sept. 18, 2018.

To conclude the fall season, the Tennessee women’s golf team finished second at the SMU Trinity Forest Invitational.

While the team finished second, four players finished in the top 15, with three in the top 10.

Placing ahead of No. 25 Oregon State, No. 42 SMU and No. 43 Colorado, the Lady Vols wrapped up the tournament with a three-round total of 881 (+17), surpassing Oregon State’s 54-hole total by nine strokes.

The Lady Vols have finished in the top three in the last three tournaments, sending them into the offseason with momentum.

“I think it gives us a lot of confidence… We haven’t played our best yet, so I’m looking forward to a fun spring season,” head coach Judi Pavon said.

Freshman Malia Stovall’s low rounds helped junior Michaela Williams move up six spots to tie for 42nd. Stovall finished in the top 10 for the third consecutive tournament, this time finishing eighth, with a three-round score of 220 (+4).

A native from Winchester, Tennessee, Stovall was the No. 1 ranked player in the state of Tennessee in 2018 and has made her mark as a freshman this year, along with the two other freshmen.

“This is a young team and I think each week they started to learn how good they can be,” Pavon said.

Finishing sixth on the leaderboard was fellow freshman Mikayla Bardwell, whose three-round total was 219 (+3). Bardwell has finished in the top 10 in three other tournaments this season.

Also in the top 15 were senior Ariana Macioce (+6), who tied for tenth, and Waverly Whiston (+7), who tied for 14th individually. Macioce played for Georgia Southern her freshman and sophomore year before transferring to Tennessee in 2017.

At the Trinity Forest Invitational last year, Macioce tied for 34th place, making this year’s invitational a 24 place improvement.

Tennessee’s was in second after the first day (+17, 881), with Mariah Smith tied for 38th at 229 (+13), competing as an individual.

The Lady Vols finished the season at this invitational in Dallas, Texas, which was hosted by SMU.

“We are pleased with a second place to end the fall,” Pavon said. “Oregon State is a top 25 team and Illinois top 20 so we competed well and leave ourselves with a good feeling heading into our off season.”

Their next tournament will be the Florida Atlantic Winter Warm Up in Boca Raton, Florida from Feb. 17-18, which will kick off the spring season.

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