|Mortellaro recovers to tie for first|
PULLMAN, Wash. - University of Idaho junior golfer Kayla Mortellaro recovered from an opening-round 80 with back-to-back 70s to tie for first at the WSU Cougar Cup at Palouse Ridge Golf Club.
Mortellaro's back-to-back 70s were the low rounds for the tournament and enabled the young Vandals to pull into fourth on the tournament's third day. Teo Poplawski, also a junior, added a 225 to Mortellaro's 220 in enabling Idaho to claim fourth behind host Washington State (917), Washington (918) and Gonzaga (920). The Vandals collaborated for a 924.
"I was happy with how we played better each day," coach Lisa Johnson said. "We played better than last week, too.
"We definitely felt more comfortable (in tournament action). We managed the golf course better than last week and better each day."
Two freshmen and one sophomore rounded out the Idaho lineup with freshman Rachel Choi tying for 26th at 238, freshman Allyssa Nilsson tying for 35th at 241 and sophomore Gracie Schory tying for 55th at 254. All three had the best rounds during the final day.
Johnson said Mortellaro's ability to play one shot at a time demonstrates her mental toughness.
"It's impressive to see how strong Kayla's mental game is - and it continues to improve," Johnson said.