Spartans head to Hilton Head for SoCon Championship
UNCG at the Southern Conference Championship, April 17-19, Moss Creek GC, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
By Rob Daniels
UNCG will head to Hilton Head Island, S.C., for the Southern Conference Championship this week. The three-day event will begin Sunday morning at the Moss Creek Golf Club's North Course and continue through Tuesday.
IN THE SOCON CHAMPIONSHIP: UNCG will make its 14th appearance in the Southern Conference tournament. While the Spartans have never won the event, they have been consistently solid performers. UNCG has finished in the top half of the field in 12 of its 13 previous quests for the league title, including five consecutive runner-up showings (1998-2002). The Spartans' closest pursuit came in 2000, when they were one shot back of Furman. In head-to-head results, UNCG is 67-26 (.720) all-time against its SoCon sisters in the conference championship event.
SELDOM SEEN: The Spartans have played only three of their nine fellow SoCon members this spring but are 4-2 in those head-to-head meetings. They're 3-0 against Elon, 1-0 against the College of Charleston and 0-2 vs. Chattanooga. The win over the Cougars came at the Bryan National Collegiate, which UNCG co-hosted with Wake Forest in March. That field stands among the five best in any comprehensive event nationwide this spring.
IN THE BRYAN: UNCG defeated the College of Charleston, UNCW and NC State in the Bryan National Collegiate. That represented the program's third-best performance in the 14-year history of the tournament, which annually draws a nationally representative field to the Champions Course at Greensboro's Bryan Park.
A-MART: Ana Lucia Martinez has put delivered consecutive solid tournaments for the Spartans, tying for 28th in the Bryan and for 22nd in the UNCG Lady Seahawk Classic the following week. Martinez' 2-over-par 74 in the second round of the Bryan was tied for 10th among all competitors that day, and her final-round 80 was also strong in context. The teams played that round in 38-degree temperatures and light drizzle. Her second-round 73 at the UNCW event represents a tie for the lowest score by a Spartan this spring.
SEEKING A BREAKOUT: Begona Sarabia will look to regain the swing she displayed in two tournaments in Florida over UNCG's spring break. She posted a 73 in the opening round of the University of Florida's Lady Gator event and duplicated the score in the second round of Eagle Landing tournament, hosted by James Madison University in Jacksonville, Fla., a week later. Sarabia is in her first season with the Spartans after transferring from the University of Miami, for which she was the Hurricanes' top performer in the 2010 ACC tournament.
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