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Mortellaro, Poplawski return to regionals
Courtesy: Idaho Athletic Media Relations
          Release: 04/25/2011
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University of Idaho juniors Kayla Mortellaro and Teo Poplawski qualified for the NCAA West Regional, which tees off May 5-7 at Washington National Golf Course at Auburn, Wash.

"I'm excited for them," coach Lisa Johnson said. "The key for them is to learn the golf course as quickly as possible; to stay in the present, and just compete."

It is Mortellaro's third regional appearance and the second for Poplawski. Mortellaro, ranked 10th among world amateurs this week and the Western Athletic Conference Golfer of the Year for the second time in a row, played in the regional event after qualifying as a freshman in 2009 and as part of the Vandal team that advanced in 2010. She was 14-over each time and finished in a tie for 27th in 2009 and in a tie for 38th in 2010.

Mortellaro, who on the WAC championship last week, averages 71.59 per round.

Poplawski was a member of the Idaho team that qualified for the 2010 regional and was the low Vandal finisher in a tie for 17th at nine-over par.

Johnson said that experience propelled Poplawski, who cut more than two strokes off her scoring to average 74.59 per round this year, to strive for another appearance.

"Last year inspired her and gave her the confidence that she can play at this level," Johnson said.

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