WWU seeks fourth straight GNAC title
Sept. 17, 2013
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - While winning the last three Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships, Western Washington University has not qualified for post-season play in each of the past two seasons.
With graduation claiming its top two players of a year ago, it will take some standout performances from less experienced players and newcomers to reverse that trend.
Four letter winners return for seventh-year coach Bo Stephan. Only one of those has earned more than one award, that being junior Anna Bourland (Bainbridge) with two. Bourland placed fourth at the GNAC Championships to earn all-star honors and had an 80.8 stroke average.
Also lettering last year were senior Katya Case (Enumclaw), sophomore Kristen Hansen (Spokane/Mead) and sophomore Emily Koryto (East Lansing, MI). Hansen, who had an 80.8 scoring average, also was a GNAC all-star as she placed sixth at the league meet. Case had an 84.5 scoring average and Koryto 87.6.
WWU opens its season at the Western New Mexico Invitational on Sept. 23-24. The WWU Invitational takes place Oct. 7-8 at the Bellingham Golf and Country Club.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Western Washington Women Hope Winning Ways Continue in 2013-14
PORTLAND, Ore. - The top three career average scoring leaders in the brief history of Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's golf belong to Western Washington, and none will be returning for the Vikings in 2013-14.
In 2013, WWU notched a score of 625 in the GNAC championships to run away with the title, as the team averaged 322.1 strokes over 18 rounds on the season.
Bo Stephan enters his seventh year at the helm of a program that he led to back-to-back fifth place finishes at the NCAA Division II National Championships in 2006 and 2007.
Saint Martin's placed second in the GNAC championships a year ago, finishing with a final score of 671.
Finishing in fifth place in that tournament was Mandy Wittmier (82.9/19), whose performance earned her first-team all-GNAC honors.
Finishing two strokes behind Wittmier at last season's GNAC championships and also returning for the Saints is Sarah Salvatori (82.7/18). As a freshman she notched three top-10 finishes and posted a team-best low round mark of 75 en route to earning second-team all-GNAC recognition.
Bob Grisham, who doubles as the athletic director at SMU, is back at the helm for the Saints in 2013-14.
Montana State Billings' scoring average of 332.1 over 14 rounds was good enough for second in the GNAC,
and the Yellowjackets were edged by just two strokes while finishing third at the GNAC championships in 2013.
Melissa Saken (84.4/14), who currently ranks fourth all-time in career scoring average (82.85) and finished third in the GNAC championship tournament in 2013 with a score of 158, returns for her senior season in 2013-14.
BreAnna Cameron (86.2/14), also a top-10 finisher at last year's GNAC championships is another returner for MSU Billings who brings senior leadership to the squad.
The Fish twins - Cayley and Katie - enjoyed stand out seasons as sophomores in 2012-13 and look to propel MSU Billings up the standings this season.
Cayley Fish (84.3/16) notched a low round of 78 and a top-five finish en route to earning second-team all-GNAC honors for the second consecutive season.
Katie Fish (83.7/16) tied Saken for the team-high with two top-five finishes and was also nominated to the GNAC second team.
In fourth place at last year's GNAC championships was Simon Fraser, which posted a score of 729. Nicky Jordan (83.3/12) finished 11th in the tournament with a score of 173, and was the Clan's top individual on the season with a low round score of 76.
Also returning for Simon Fraser are junior Rochelle Rozensoff (95.3/10) as well as sophomores Kirstin Jorgensen (91.8/10) and Jennifer McTeer (97.7/10).
In its first season with a women's program, Northwest Nazarene had a decent showing at the GNAC championships in 2013.
Craig Stensgaard, who also leads the Crusaders' men's golf program, is equipped with a young roster of seven freshmen and sophomores for the 2013-14 season.
As a freshman in 2013, Haley Gochnour (90.7/18) was Northwest Nazarene's top finisher at the GNAC championships with a score of 184.
Fellow freshman Carleigh Sturm (97.8/17) tied her teammate for 14th with the same score in NNU's inaugural women's golf season.
SCHEDULE: NNU gets the 2013-14 season started with a dual match against the College of Idaho on Sept. 11 in Nampa. MSU Billings hosts the annual Yellowjacket Fall Invitational on Sept. 12-13, WWU heads to Phoenix, Ariz. on Sept. 23-24 for its first tournament, and SFU and SMU get underway at the Saint Martin's invite on Oct. 4-5.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Women's Golf Week 1 Report (Sept. 20, 2013)
PORTLAND, Ore. - Western Washington, the 2012-13 Great Northwest Athletic Conference champion, and Montana State Billings will travel to Goodyear, Ariz. to participate in the Western New Mexico Invitational on Monday and Tuesday.
The tournament will be the first action of the year for WWU, while MSU Billings has already participated in a pair of two-round tournaments this fall. The fall of 2013 also marks the first time the GNAC will be represented in the Western New Mexico Invitational.
Saint Martin's and Simon Fraser will see their first action in October, and Northwest Nazarene, which fell to College of Idaho in a dual match last week, picks up again next month.
EARLY ACTION: NNU took to the course last week to get the season started with a dual match against the College of Idaho.
Haley Gochnour (So., Boise, ID - Cole Valley Christian) shot a 77 for the Crusaders, which fell to their home state rival in their only competition of the month.
MSU Billings rolled to a victory in its first event of 2013-14, winning its own Yellowjacket Fall Invitational tournament with a team score of 616 including a school record single round of 298. Katie Fish (Jr., Great Falls, MT - Charles M. Russell), named GNAC Golfer of the Week on Sept. 16, led the Yellowjackets with a two-round total of 152 and a low round of 73.
MSU Billings had less success at the Black Hills State Invitational earlier this week but still managed a fourth place finish with a team score of 669. Fish was again the Jackets' top finisher, pacing the team with a 164 two-round mark.
"Our women's team started the season great," MSU Billings coach Shawn O'Brien commented with regard to the Yellowjackets' school record round of 298. "Katie has played well, and we are hoping to see her continue her success next week in Arizona."
THREE BACK FROM 2013 TOP 5: Three golfers - all from different schools - who finished in the top five at last year's GNAC Championships return for the 2013-14 season.
Anna Bourland (Jr., Bainbridge, WA - Bainbridge) of WWU and Melissa Saken (Sr., Peers, AB - Parkland Composite) of MSU Billings will both see action on Monday, while Mandy Wittmier (Sr., Ferndale, WA - Ferndale) of SMU awaits the Saint Martin's Invite on Oct. 4 for her debut as a senior.
Saken currently sits fourth in the GNAC all time of players with 40 or more rounds with a career average of 82.85. Wittmier is sixth on the list with an average of 85.06.
FALL SCHEDULE: September - 23-24: WWU & MSUB at Western New Mexico Invitational. 29-30: MSUB at Rocky Mountain College Invitational. October - 2-3: MSUB vs. Rocky Mountain College Match Play. 4-5: WWU, SFU, NNU & SMU at Saint Martin's Invitational. 7-8: SFU, SMU, NNU & WWU at Western Washington Invitational. 14-15: NNU & SFU at Victoria Invitational. 21-22: WWU at Sonoma State Invitational. 28-29: SMU at Dennis Rose Invitational; SFU at Hawaii Hilo Shootout.
NNU vs. College of Idaho Dual Match (Sept. 11, 2013 at Ridgecrest GC, Nampa, ID): Team Scores - 1. College of Idaho 306; 2. Northwest Nazarene 330. Individuals - 1. Baylee Borchers, COI 75; 4. Haley Gochnour, NNU 77; T-5. Sam Miller, NNU 80; 7. Brittney Paterson, NNU 86; 8. Carleigh Sturm, NNU 87; 11. Jessica Knight NNU 92.
Yellowjacket Fall Invitational (Sept. 12-13, 2013 at Pryor Creek GC, Billings, MT): Team Scores - 1. MSU Billings 616 (318-298); 4. MSU Billings - B 665 (349-316). Individuals - 1. Jackie Mee, Carroll 151 (78-73); 2. Katie Fish, MSUB 152 (79-73); 3. Capri Ingram, MSUB 153 (79-74); 5. Mariah Cleveland, MSUB 155 (78-77); T-7. Melissa Saken, MSUB 157 (83-74) T-9. BreAnna Cameron, MSUB-B 158 (83-75); 12. Haley Shackelford, MSUB-B 160 (82-78); 13. Cayley Fish, MSUB 162 (82-80); T-22. Carlan Campbell, MSUB-B 171 (92-79) 30. Carlee Hart, MSUB-B 176 (92-84); 40. Tess Mitchell, MSUB-B 194 (101-93).
Black Hills State Fall Invitational (Sept. 16-17, 2013 at Spearfish Canyon CC, Spearfish, SD): Team Scores - 1. Colorado State - Pueblo 623 (311-312); 4. MSU Billings 669 (335-334). Individuals - 1. Hee-Leina Kim, CSU Pueblo 148 (73-75); T-12. Katie Fish, MSUB 164 (77-87); T-17. Melissa Saken, MSUB 167 (85-82); T-19. Mariah Cleveland, MSUB 168 (88-80); T-26. Capri Ingram, MSUB 171 (86-85); 31. Cayley Fish, MSUB 175 (87-88); T-32. BreAnna Cameron, MSUB 176 (86-90).
2013 GOLFERS OF THE WEEK: Sept. 9-15 - Katie Fish, MSUB.
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