The Sonoma State women’s golf team wrapped up its 2013-14 regular season last Tuesday by taking second place at their own SSU Spring Invitational at the North Course of the Foxtail Golf Club in Rohnert Park.
Sophomore Alexis Hayes led the team for the fourth time this year carding an eight-over-par 152 after rounds of 75 and 77. Sonoma State now waits for word on its postseason fate. The team is hoping to qualify for the NCAA Division II West Super Regional for the sixth straight year. The NCAA selection announcement will be April 28 at noon.
“Our team has had a lot of ups and downs this year, especially because we lost four players at the end of the first semester, but the team chemistry has improved so much. It’s great we all get along so well,” said Hayes. “I couldn’t ask for better teammates.”
Team support wasn’t enough to stop Cal State East Bay from coming out on top with the first place win, smashing the invite record for lowest combined score with a 607 (+31), snagging the win from runner-up SSU (625) by 18 shots.
“For the Spring Invitational I think we did amazing. We trusted in one another to play to the best that we each could,” said senior Kaylee Joaquin. “Of course we wanted to win our own tournament, but what matters is we didn’t give up.”
The Cal State East Bay Pioneers were led by Andrea Castellanos, who fired rounds of 70 and 72 to finish with a two-under-par 142 in the 36 hole event, breaking the tournament record for lowest individual score earning Castellanos an individual medal. Following Castellanos’ lead was Deanna Tyndall from Academy of Art and Newman’s Courtney Ziestman (150; +6) by a mere eight strokes. Pioneer Audra Kepler took fourth at 151 (+7) ahead of Sonoma’s Hayes and three others at 152 (+8) tying for fifth.
Sonoma State senior and captain Nicole Arends finished her final regular season match with a bang shooting her career-best at 157 (+13) to snag her a 14th place tie. Hannah Gregg tied at 17th place with 158 (+14), Haley Whitbeck brought in 160 (+16) to tie for 19th and senior McKayla Kennedy finished with a tie for 22nd with a 161 (+17) in possibly her last collegiate tournament as well.
Joaquin also finished her last regular season tournament with a career best scoring 71 to total a 155 (+11) to keep the Lady Seawolves’ Blue team at a steady pace to a fifth finish. Joaquin’s memorable round helped SSU pull ahead of two strong teams that are nationally ranked and receiving votes in the national poll.
“I am very satisfied with how my last round went for it being my last tournament. It was my lowest round I have ever had so it was the perfect way to end my season,” said Joaquin.
Erin Martens carded a pair of 79s to place her in a tie for 17th with a 158 (+14). Abby Marina scored a 161 (+17) to tie for 22nd, senior Zoei Zbaraschuk also found herself in a tie for 35th with a 166 (+22) and Morgan Allen with a two round total of 172 (+28) placing 46th.
After Cal State East Bay and Sonoma State’s first and second place finishes on the leaderboard was Cal State Monterey Bay and Newman with a third place tie at 632. Trailing behind was the SSU Blue team with 637 in fifth place. Point Loma, who is receiving votes in the national poll, finished 638 taking sixth, Academy of Art placed seventh with 639, 21st ranked Hawaii-Hilo came in eight with 641, Texas Wesleyan placed ninth with 643 and 10th place went to Dominican with 680.
Now that regular season is over, Sonoma State hopes to be heading to the Walnut Creek Golf Course in Mansfield, Texas for the NCAA West Super Regional in early May. Last year, the Lady Seawolves took fifth in the competition in Colorado and hope to make another appearance this year. The team is receiving votes in the most recent NCAA Division II Coaches’ Poll but will have to wait for April 28 at noon for the official announcement.
“Next year, we will have more experience and a whole summers worth of improvement,” said Hayes. “Expect to see the Lady Seawolves at the top of the leaderboard.”