Scheduled to compete for the Thunderbirds are juniors Monica Jung and Shantell Spackman, sophomores Rynae Baca and Nicole Thomas and freshmen Taylor Viquelia and Carly Parsons. One of the six will compete as an individual.
The 10-team field is expected to include SUU, Santa Clara, Seattle, UC Riverside, Weber State, Dixie State, Cal State Monterey Bay, Sonoma State and host Cal Poly.
SUU last competed at Wyoming’s Desert Intercollegiate on Oct. 13, where the team finished 13th. SUU finished second at Cal Poly last year.
Last Year at Cal Poly: Sadie Palmer finished second and the Thunderbirds had three players in the top 20 as SUU finished second at the 17-team tournament. Palmer finished one shot back of Northern Arizona’s Savana Bezdicek. Palmer was joined in the top-20 by teammates Monica Jung, who finished 15th at 152, and Kaohi Loo, who finished 19th at 154. Nicole Thomas finished 30th at 159 and Rose Pelletier shot 174 to finish 80th. The Thunderbirds also had three players competing as individuals, with Rynae Baca 63rd at 167, Jamie Millard 88th at 179 and Brittany Edwards 98th at 186. As a team the Thunderbirds followed Monday’s opening-round 308 with a 304 on Tuesday, good enough to move past Cal State San Marcos, UC Riverside and Northern Arizona, but Gonzaga, which opened with a 312, fired a 297 on Tuesday to jump up six spots and claim the team championship at 609, three shots better than the T-Birds.
The Coach: Richard Church (Utah ‘89) is in his 14th season as head golf coach and his 19th on the staff at Southern Utah. Prior to taking over the program from former Coach John Evans, Church spent four seasons as the Thunderbirds’ assistant coach. During his tenure on the SUU staff, Church has coached five academic all-Americans, one Mid-Continent Conference medalist, two Mid-Con runner-ups and the University’s only two NCAA post-season competitors in golf. He is the only women’s golf coach in SUU history.
Last Time Out: Monica Jung tied for fifth to lead SUU to a 13th place finish at Wyoming’s 20-team Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate golf tournament. The tournament was held at the par 72, 6,112-yard Classic Club. Jung, who shot 3-under par 69 to share the opening-round lead, followed with a round of 78 Saturday afternoon and Sunday’s 75 to come in at 6-over par 222 and tied with Colorado State’s Emily Roering. They finished nine shots off the pace of Cal Poly’s Taylor Yoshitake and Cal State Northridge’s Clarice Guce, who tied for first place. Freshman Taylor Viquelia, who also carded a 75 on Sunday, was second among Thunderbirds, in 36th place at 17-over 233, with Nicole Thomas 57th at 238, Rynae Baca 85th at 246 and Carly Parsons 108th at 283. SUU finished 30 shots behind team champion Cal State Fullerton and three shots back of 12th-place Seattle but was the top finisher among the seven Big Sky teams in the field. The Thunderbirds finished two shots ahead of 15th-place Eastern Washington, which was followed by Montana (943), Northern Arizona (949), Weber State (966), Northern Colorado (978) and Montana State (980).