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GREENSBORO, N.C. – The UNCG women’s golf team moved up seven spots to finish in seventh place overall in the 43-team field at the annual Kiawah Island Classic hosted by the College of Charleston at the Kiawah Island Resort. It marks the fourth time in five events this year that UNCG has finished in the top 10.

"I am so proud of this team and excited for the start to this semester and our finish at the first tournament," head coach Janell Howland said. "Today was a tough day. We battled the win and lower temperatites to come out with the lowest score of any team in the final round. We will enjoy this moment and get ready to do some work over spring break to prepare us for the rest of the season."

The Spartans as a team finished at 32-over par 896, opening with an 8-over par 296 in round one before recording back-to-back rounds of 12-over par 300. The final round score of 12-over par 300 is the lowest team score of the final round in the 43-team field. Host College of Charleston won the team event with an 8-over par 872 (288-279-305), winning by seven strokes over Murray State. The tournament had three players tie for first at 5-under par 211 in Lucila Puente Rodriguez of Murray State, Valentina Giraldo of Jacksonville State and Lyberty Anderson of UNCW.

Freshman Keri Kenkel (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) moved up 11 spots on the final day to finish in a tie for 27th overall. Kenkel carded a 6-over par 222 on the three-day tournament, opening with an even-par 72 in round one before recording back-to-back 3-over par 75 scores. She closed out the week with 11 pars, two birdies and five bogeys in her final round.

Sophomore Louisa Tichy (Germering, Germany) moved up 38 spots in the field in the final round, finishing tied for 44th overall. Tichy finished at 9-over par 225, posting a 2-over par 74 in rounds one and three surrounding a 5-over par 77 in round two. Tuesday, she recorded 12 par scores to go along with four bogeys and a pair of birdies. She finished the week fourth overall with 39 pars in 54 holes.

“The weather conditions were tough today, but I was hitting solid shots and could play with it,” Tichy said. “I could finally make some birdies to round up my last day with a 2-over par score. We had a good start to the spring season as a team and I am excited for what we have in store for the upcoming events.”

Sophomore Kendall Dobbins (Summerfield, N.C./Northern Guilford) also made a big move Tuesday, rising 40 spots to finish in a tie for 51st overall. Dobbins tallied a 10-over par 226 as she opened with two-straight rounds of 76 before carding a 2-over par 74 in the final round. She posted four birdies, four bogeys, a double bogey and nine pars.

“Today the wind was tough to play in,” Dobbins said. “However, I know being mentally strong would put me at an advantage. Even thought I did not finish the way I would have liked, I was able to play solid golf throughout the entire tournament. I am proud of the team finishing where we did and I am excited to see how we do in the spring semester.”

Freshman Tara Bettle (Hohen Neuendorf, Germany) ended up in 58th place overall, moving up 16 spots on the final day. Bettle posted an 11-over par 227 scores on the week with rounds of 78-72-77. She finished her final round with eight par scores and three birdies. Junior Natalia Asensio (Madrid, Spain/Cardenal Spinola) rounded out the lineup in 129th place with a 19-over par 235, carding rounds of 74-79-82.

The Kiawah Island Classic is the largest collegiate golf event in the country, featuring 43 teams. Joining the Spartans in the field includes Bethune Cookman, Boston University, Bucknell, Charleston Southern, College of Charleston, East Tennessee State, Elon, Fairleigh Dickinson, Georgia Southern, Georgetown, Hampton, High Point, Indiana State, IUPUI, Jacksonville, Jacksonville State, Lipscomb, Longwood, Marshall, Navy, UNCW, Murray State, North Florida, Omaha, Presbyterian, Quinnipiac, Richmond, Samford, Sandhills Community College, SCAD, Stephen F. Austin, Stetson, St. John’s, South Dakota, Tennessee Tech, Towson, USC Upstate, UT Arlington, Western Carolina, Western Kentucky and William & Mary

-- UNCG --