ECU Set To Play In 2011 C-USA Championship
April 16, 2011
IRVING, Texas - The field is set for the 2011 Conference USA Women's Golf Championship as the league's 10 teams head to Gulf Shores, Ala., for three days of action at the Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club. Set to begin Sunday at 9 a.m. CT, the championship, hosted by UAB, will run through Tuesday with teams playing the par-72, 6,246-yard Cypress and Marsh tournament course.
The Tulane squad will be in search of its third-consecutive team title and its sixth since the league's inception. The Green Wave, currently ranked as the No. 13 team in the country, would become only the second team in C-USA history to win the tournament in three straight attempts (USF, 1998-2000). Junior Ashley McKenney takes the top spot for the team, fresh off a sixth-place finish at the competitive Rebel Intercollegiate. She's followed by Maribel Lopez Porras, the No. 29 golfer in the nation according to Golfstat.com, and Meghan Chapman, respectively. Rounding out the Tulane five is junior Samantha Troyanovich and senior Janine Fellows. The Green Wave leads the league with a 295.25 scoring average.
Starting the opening-round action will be Memphis and UCF, teeing off at 9 a.m. CT on Sunday. The Tigers will be led by junior Marissa Steen, who has powered her way to a league-best four medalist honors this season and helped the team to take the top spot in each those four events. She'll be backed up by Julia Hodgson and Kathleen Glavin, who combined for five top-five finishes on the year. Ashley Kees and Alex Alang will round out the Memphis team during the Championship. Memphis will be competing for its fourth C-USA title and first since 2007, when the tournament was also held in Alabama.
Sophomore Carolin Pinegger, who owns a 76.41 scoring average, will serve as the No. 1 UCF golfer and will be followed by classmate Jordyn Hage. Valentina Fontaine and Kaitlyn Price combined for seven top-20 finishes during the 2010-11 campaign and claim the Nos. 3 and 4 spots for the Knights. Senior veteran Katie Detlefsen closes up the UCF scorecard and will aim to help land UCF its first team title in program history.
The second pairing to start the Championship will consist of Tulsa and Southern Miss at 9:50 a.m.. The Golden Hurricane, ranking third in the league with a 301.63 average, will look to Kristina Merkle to bring home the program's second league title as the sophomore has claimed three top-five finishes on the year and aims to land her first medalist honors after the three-round tournament. Juniors Sarah Elliot, Kamryn Ruffin and Marita Engzelius follow on the lineup with freshman Charlotte Brooks serving as Tulsa's No. 5 golfer.
Southern Miss will be led by freshman Brandi Rodriguez, who has tallied five top-20 finishes in her debut season. Senior Virginia Espejo and sophomore Vicky Correa immediately follow on the scorecard. Junior Sandra Sohlberg and sophomore Lauren Judson complete the Golden Eagles' team during the Championship.
Joining Tulane in the third group will be host UAB and SMU, teeing off at 10:40 a.m. The Blazers head to Gulf Shores in search of the team's first league title, having finished within the top-three twice. Seniors Carolyn Cochran and Jamie Brabb lead the UAB squad with sophomore Jaime Ritter taking the team's No. 3 spot with four top-10 postings on the season. Lindsay Taylor and Ana Martin close out the Blazer team for the weekend.
SMU brings freshman Maria Elena Villamil to the event as the team's top performer. Classmate Amy Ruengmateekhun will follow closely as the two are separated by less than three-tenths in average. Elizabeth Wells, Felicia Espericueta and Jennifer Hooper round out SMU's competing five, respectively.
The final trio of teams, teeing off at 11:30 a.m., will consist of UTEP, East Carolina and Marshall. The Miners' top three will be Shang-Fan Huang, Rosana Gomez and Teresa Nogues, respectively, as the trio earned a combined 13 top-20 finishes on the year. Ana Pastor and Liz Sobczak will also compete for the UTEP squad.
East Carolina, which earned a trio of team titles in 2010-11, will look to the league's top freshman in Fanny Wolte to lead the Pirates. The team has finished within the top-three in the past five C-USA Championships and took the title in 2006. Wolte earned medalist honors twice during her debut season and will be helped by junior Amy Otteson and senior Amber Littman, the team's Nos. 2 and 3 players on the scorecard. Colleen Estes and Faith Hardison round out the Pirates' team for the week, respectively. Combined, the East Carolina five have posted 25 top-20 finishes during the season.
Marshall will also rely on young talent as freshmen Allison Harper and Rachel Thompson take the top two spots for the Herd, respectively. Senior Molly Ginger, sophomore Samantha DiDomenico and junior Kaci Boyd complete Marshall's team card for the Championship.
Fans that are unable to attend the C-USA Women's Golf Championship, can follow each round of action with live stats, recaps and all other information at the Women's Golf Championship Central page.