Blue Raiders finish second at Sun Belt Championship

Love also finishes as runner-up in individual play

April 17, 2013 · @MTAthletics

Final results

MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. - Middle Tennessee women's golf finished as the runner-up in the Sun Belt Conference Championship for the fourth consecutive year. The tournament concluded on Wednesday at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Fighting Joe Course at the Shoals.

MT was led by senior Olivia Love, who shot 72 today, giving her a three-day total of two-under-par 214 (72-70-72). It tied the best three-round total in school history, set twice in 2007 by Taryn Durham. Love was tied for the lead heading into the final three holes, but finished second individually, two strokes behind FIU's Meghan MacLaren.

She earned Sun Belt All-Tournament honors by finishing in the top six, and six more will be selected to the all-conference team in a vote of the coaches next week.

The Blue Raiders carded a 297 on the final day to finish with a total of 888 (300-291-297, +24), 16 strokes off the torrid pace set by champion FIU (298-287-287-872, +8).

"It was bittersweet," head coach Chris Adams said. "We had our best tournament of the year, but FIU just played great. When you shoot one-under-par as a team for both of the last two rounds, that's hard to beat. They are a really good team."

"Olivia and MacLaren were neck and neck all day for the lead, but MacLaren made a great shot on 17 and held on to win," said Adams, who also praised Avery George's play. "Avery had a great tournament as a freshman."

George posted a 75, giving her a 223 total (79-69-75, +7) and a tie for ninth place. Allie Knight and Ashley Haggard also shot 75, with Knight finishing tied for 15th (72-78-75-225, +9), while Haggard wound up tied for 18th (77-75-75-227, +11). Natalie Chrisopulos rounded out the tournament for the Blue Raiders tied for 39th (81-77-77-235, +19).

South Alabama rounded out the top three in the team standings. The Blue Raiders managed to hold off the charge of South Alabama, who leap-frogged Troy into third place and finished only two strokes back of MT.

"They finished before we did, so we already knew their score. I told the girls we had to par out to hold second place, and that's what we did," Adams said.

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