published Sunday, May 13th, 2012

Maria Juliana Loza, UTC women 19th in regional

Tears were inevitable for University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's golf coach Colette Murray.

Either she would witness one of the greatest rounds in school history from senior Maria Juliana Loza or she would witness Loza's final round of golf as a member of the Mocs.

Loza shot a 4-over 76 that left her in a tie for 19th place at 5 over for the NCAA East Regional at the Penn State Blue Course in State College, Pa.

If she had played three strokes better, Loza would have been in a playoff to advance to the NCAA championship tournament as an individual.

"I played for my team, and only today I thought of me as having a chance to go," said Loza, a native of Colombia. "It was a great week. Today was just a rough day."

As a team, the Mocs finished in 19th place at 55-over 919 for the three-day tournament.

The top eight teams -- South Carolina at 9 over, followed by Texas A&M, Texas, Alabama, Florida, Arizona State, Michigan State and Duke -- advanced.

"I'm a little disappointed because we didn't play as well as we should have or could have," Murray said via cell phone. "Going to nationals would have been a huge achievement for us. But this week we didn't give ourselves a chance."

UTC sophomore Jordan Britt, who prepped at GPS and Signal Mountain, tied for 46th place after a final-round 70.

Marion Duvernay shot 230, Sophie Weilguni shot 246 and Mette Kryger shot 250 for the tournament. They are sophomores also.

"Maju didn't go out without a fight," Murray said. "She's always been my little fighter. She did that again for us."

Alabama senior Brooke Pancake, who prepped at Baylor School, shot a final-round 76 and tied for 35th at 7 over for the tournament.

about David Uchiyama...

David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...

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