Lady Raiders Ready To Take On Big 12

April 23, 2014

AUSTIN -- The last thing any coach will ever tell someone is that they are OK with having a poor performance heading into the next week of a game or tournament.

Not one coach - or player for that matter - will ever go on record saying that losing or not performing to the highest expectations is acceptable.

But the Texas Tech women's golf team wants to use its last performance as motivation heading into Friday's first round of the Big 12 Championship at UT Golf Club.

Tech finished in the top 10 for the fifth time this season but felt like it could have placed higher if the team had kept its scores out of the 80s during the three rounds in the Lady Buckeye Invitational at The Scarlet Course at Ohio State.

It's no mystery on why the team's expectations are higher after winning two tournament team titles already this season.

"Coming off of Ohio State, it wasn't our best golf and we've just got to bounce back and try to figure things out the next couple of days," head coach JoJo Robertson said. "It's mostly just some belief and managing the golf course. We've talked about that all year. When we do that well, we beat teams like Clemson, who's No. 11 in the country, and we win tournaments. So it's just a matter of figuring out how to put that all together for three rounds."

Sophomore Kimmy Hill and junior Elin Arvidsson have been the two most consistent players this season for Tech and are separated by just seven-tenths of a point in their scoring average - 74.2 (Hill) and 74.9 (Arvidsson).

Arvidsson won her first individual crown in the fall while leading Tech to the team title at The Challenge at Onion Creek. Hill placed second at Onion Creek and then fifth at the Briar's Creek Invitational to lead Tech to its second team title this season while tying a course record with a final round, 5-under par 67.

"We've had a couple of team meetings (since Ohio State) and we talked about what our team goal is, so we know what we need to do in order to do good in conference," Hill said. "We definitely want to be one of those teams in the Big 12 that can come out and surprise everyone because we are a little bit of an underdog right now."

Junior Stephanie Bertelsen, senior Hannah Arnold and redshirt freshman Victoria Uresti will round out the starting five for Tech once again. All five have played in each tournament together this season. Bertelsen, who transferred from Western Texas College, and Uresti will be playing in their first Big 12 Championship. Arnold and Arvidsson have played in the last two while Hill made her first appearance last season.

Hill admits the team has a different feel to it without former All-Americans Kim Kaufman and Gabby Dominguez, but likes the feeling around the clubhouse as the team preps for Austin.

"I think we all have our heads straight now," she said. "And if all five of us can go out there and perform the best we can - we'll definitely be one of the top teams there."

Tech (No. 56 in GolfStat Rankings) has finished in the top half of the conference tournament field in three of the last four seasons. Another performance like that this week could be the showing it needs to lock up its fifth consecutive NCAA Regional berth.

The Lady Raiders also like their chances in a warmer climate this year after spending the last two Big 12 tournaments in Lawrence, Kansas and Ames, Iowa - both of which served up 50 and below weather, rain and snow.

"That's the one thing about the Big 12 is you never know what is going to happen," Robertson said. "The weather can change in an instant, the competition is great and it's a good golf course. But I think having good weather will hopefully bring out the best in our players."

Tech will tee off in the first round beginning at 9:40 a.m. CST on Friday alongside TCU and Kansas State. Fans can follow live results from the course at www.golfstat.com and on Twitter @TechGameday.




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