May 11, 2011
ALLENDALE, Mich. -
Only one player broke 80 as the Western Washington University women's golf team had its worst day of the season in first-day play Wednesday at the NCAA Division II National Championships being held at The Meadows.
The Vikings shot 336 and are last in a 12-team field at the tournament, which runs through Saturday.
"We picked a bad day to have our worst round of the year," said Western coach Bo Stephan (6th year). "We will have to try and claw our way back up."
Nova Southeastern, ranked No.1 nationally, enjoys a 10-stroke lead in its quest for a third national title, firing a 5-under par 283. Rollins is second at 293 and Florida Southern third at 299. All three teams represent the South Region and between them have won the last 11 national championships.
Katie Sharpe (Sr., Bellingham) led the Vikings with a 79 and is tied for 38th in medalist play. Sophie Elstrott (Jr., Eugene, OR/South Eugene) shot 80 and is tied for 45th.
Western's Claire Rachor (So., Bellingham) carded an 87 and is tied for 68th, and Christa Goldie (Sr., Mukilteo/Kamiak) and Kara Zitzman (So., Woodinville/Redmond) each shot 90 and are tied for 71st.
Nova Southeastern's Taylor Collins tops the medalist standings by one stroke after firing a 4-under 68.
This is the fifth trip to nationals for the Vikings, who qualified by placing third at last week's West Super Regional.
The national appearance is Western's first since 2008 when it placed sixth. The Vikings finished fifth at nationals in 2004, 2005 and 2006.