Women’s golf tees off in Olympia
Monday and Tuesday of this week, the Lady Loggers golf team played in their season-opening tournament. The St. Martins Invitational was in Olympia, Washington and featured both NAIA teams as well as Division II and III schools.
For the Logger’s first appearance since last season, Senior Sarah Bicker (Salt Lake City, Utah) commented, “We played well considering how young our team is this year. We now know what areas of our games we need to focus on. We have lots of potential on the team, we just need to keep competing and having fun.”
Bicker had a great outing as she finished top out of the Puget Sound women and took 8th place overall. Her 8th place finish was propelled by her tie for the second lowest score on the second day of play.
The Loggers battled hard against the Division II and NAIA teams. “It is definitely hard going into a tournament knowing you are playing teams that are much stronger, partially due to the fact Division II can offer scholarships. But playing against the D II schools gives us great experiences and we can learn a lot about how they play the game, both physically and mentally,” Bicker said.
Senior Natalie Nakamine (Honolulu, Hawaii.) had a great showing on the first day of play tying Bicker’s score of 84 (+12). Freshmen Melissa Merrigan (Happy Valley, Ore.) and Ev Grier (Port Angeles, Wash.) showed improvement from the first day to the second. Merrigan lost four strokes and Grier shaved off 5 strokes. Another improvement came from Junior Stephanie Hoffee (Sandy, Utah). Hoffee went from a first day score of 95 (+23) to a 90 (+18). Although Western Washington University took first place in the invitational, the Loggers showed great improvement.
After going through a coaching change, the Loggers are starting off this season with a new view and direction. “I think under Coach Robles we will be focused on our individual games more than just practicing because we were told. I think he brings an interesting perspective about a team to golf after being and continuing as a basketball coach. This is going to be a building year for the program, but the future is a bright one for golf,” Bicker said.
Coach Matt Robles took the place of retired coach Richard Ulrich. Ulrich had been with the men’s and women’s golf programs for 13 years. Coach Robles is also the assistant men’s basketball coach.
The Loggers’ next outing will be Oct. 10-11 at the Whitworth Invitational.