Led by sophomore Nathalie Mansson’s first-team selection, three Lady Vols captured All-SEC honors as the conference announced its 2009-10 women’s golf awards on Tuesday.
Mansson, who becomes the ninth Lady Vol ever to earn All-SEC First Team accolades, was joined by senior Diana Cantú, an All-SEC Second Team pick, and freshman Erica Popson, an All-Freshman Team selection, in being honored for their achievements this season.
A native of Stockholm, Sweden, Mansson has put together one of the finest seasons in Tennessee history. Her stroke average of 72.85 has her on pace to break Young-A Yang’s nine-year-old UT record (73.06), and her 13 rounds of par or better are tied for the second-most in a season by a Lady Vol.
Mansson also has seven top-10 finishes and two tournament victories in 2009-10. She helped lead the Big Orange to team and individual sweeps at the Mercedes-Benz Women’s Collegiate Championships and Alamo Invitational, nabbing medalist honors in consecutive weeks to cap the fall season in October.
She ranks fifth in the conference in average and is the No. 16-rated player in the Golfstat Cup individual standings. An All-Freshman and All-SEC Second Team honoree as a rookie in 2008-09, Mansson also snagged SEC Women’s Golfer of the Week honors on April 13 after finishing runner-up at the Bryan National Collegiate tournament.
Cantú earned her first-ever All-SEC accolade with her Second Team selection. This season, the Monterrey, Mexico, native is second on the Lady Vols with a 75.04 stroke average and has six rounds of par or better.
She has six top-25 finishes in 2009-10, led by back-to-back top-10 placements that helped lead to team titles at the Mercedes-Benz and Alamo tournaments. For her career, Cantú has played 123 rounds — tied for fourth-most in Lady Vol history — and has a four-year stroke average of 76.28, which ranks ninth on the UT career chart.
Popson was named to the All-Freshman squad after nearly winning individual medalist honors at the SEC Championship from April 16-18 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Davenport, Fla., native broke the UT record for total score in a tournament (208) and was tied with Vanderbilt’s Marina Alex after 54 holes before falling on the second hole of a playoff to capture SEC Runner-up honors. Her score in relation to par of 5-under also tied for the third-best in Tennessee history.
In eight tournaments this season, she has a 75.33 stroke average, six rounds of par or better and four top-25 finishes.
On the heels of nabbing the SEC Championship, Alex was named the SEC Golfer of the Year, while 2010 SEC team champion Alabama collected three other individual awards.
Crimson Tide head coach Mic Potter was voted SEC Coach of the Year after leading his squad to its first-ever conference title, while sophomore Brooke Pancake nabbed the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award and Jennifer Kirby was named the SEC Freshman of the Year.