Women’s golf team places top 10 at Otter Invitational

Placing sixth of the 18 teams in the Otter Invitational, the Sonoma State women’s golf team had a successful tournament and were able to prove themselves as tough competitors. 

“I was pretty happy with how we played the first day, but the second day we struggled as a team,” said Erin Martens. “However, based on our finishes at Hiddenbrooke and Chico (second and first place finishes) I am really happy with how we are trending.”

Though the women came into the tournament facing teams that would be tough competitors, they were able to fight their way to this milestone and hold their own. 

“The field at the Otter Invitational was stacked,” said Samantha Oliva.“We got to see a few of the top ranked teams in the region that we haven’t seen since preseason, so it was nice to kind of get a closer look of our competition as we start to move towards postseason.”

Even with their competition being stacked they were able to have multiple players respectively place. 

Sabrina Virtusio led the team by tying for 17th place out of the 99 other participants. Virtusio had rounds with scores of 79 and 77, with a 36-hole total of 12 over par 156.

Erin Martens had scores of 82 and 77, giving her an overall total of 159 (+15) which made it possible for her to tie for 27th place in the tournament. 

The team held a total score of 633 (+57) which was only 27 shots being Dallas Baptist, the winning team. Chico State was able to place fifth, only one spot ahead of the Seawolves.

“We came into the Otter tournament pretty confident since we had just won first at Chico’s event. We played pretty solid throughout the event, but I personally had a few mishaps the second day and ended up not shooting as well as I wanted to,” said Oliva. 

After changing how she gripps her putter, Oliva is excited to see the change and progress. “It’s the first time I have changed something in my stroke in my 10 years of playing this sport. I am determined to get used to this change and I am really excited to see how it will work at our next event.”

With the team being ranked 21st nationally, the women have been seeing many victories along the way. They are performing well and is hoping to continue this throughout the remainder of the season. 

“This year we are more established as a powerhouse and a lot of teams look to try to beat us,” said Oliva. “We are not necessarily number one, but we are definitely a tough team to beat and I think a lot of teams we compete against realize that more this year.”

“We host this coming week and then will hopefully be moving into post season and I feel very confident with where all the girls are at. Our goal is to play our absolute best at regionals and hopefully nationals,” said Marten.

With the Sonoma State Spring invitational being the last regular season tournament coming up quickly on April 3rd and 4th, Martens, a senior on the team, is looking forward to bittersweet event. 

“You never really think about playing your last home tournament. I am so lucky to have been able to play four years at Sonoma State with amazing coaches and teammates,” said Martens. “Without them I would not be the athlete I am or the person I am, without the people I call my team and family.”