Women's Golf Prepares for Mountain View Challenge

March 23, 2004

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Teeing Off: The B-squad will take the course for the Mountain View Collegiate at Mountain View Golf Club in Tucson, Ariz. on March 27-28, 2004. The event will be hosted by the University of Colorado and Colorado State Univerity.

The Course: The 2004 Mountain View Collegiate will be contested at Mountain View Golf Club Par 72, 6,029 yard-layout.

The Field: Colorado, Colorado State, Denver, Boise State, San Diego State, Kansas State, Nebraska, Idaho, Louisville, Northern Arizona, Kansas, Hawaii, Portland State, Washington State, Iowa State, International Pacific College (Australia), ARIZONA (B-SQUAD)

The Rankings: The Wildcats moved to seventh on the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Arizona had been previously ranked as high as second in the poll since the beginning of the fall season, but then took a drop after their ninth place finish at the Wildcat Invitational. Individually, sophomore Erica Blasberg moved up one to second, while sophomore Cassandra Kirkland improved to 47th.

Last Time On The Course: The Arizona women's golf team finished tied ninth with TCU, Tuesday after its final day of competition at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational in Austin, Texas. The Wildcats shot a 102-over-par 966 to finish 31 strokes behind tournament champion Vanderbilt after the Commodores shot a 71-over-par 935. Tournament host Texas (937) and California (938) occupy second and third places, respectively. Southern California shot a 77-over-par 941 to place fourth. UNLV (950) rounded out the top-five. Individually Arizona sophomore Cassandra Kirkland tied for seventh place with Texas' Mariana Salazar after shooting a 231 (+15). This was the second time the Saint-Nom-La-Breteche, France native finished within the top-ten this season. Junior Mar Garcia tied for 29th after shooting 25-over-par 241. Sophomore Lani Elston tied for 34th place after shooting 27-over-par 243 for the tournament. While junior Miriam Kraschinski shot a 38-over-par 254 for 68th place. Freshman Rachel Gavin ended the tournament in 90th after carding a 59-over-par 275.

Wildcat Starting Line-up: Cassandra Kirkland (76.00), Rachel Gavin (86.50), Whitney Welch (78.61), Katie Christy (86.67).

Minus One: Sophomore Erica Blasberg did not make the trip to Austin, Texas for the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational because she will participate in the LPGA's Kraft Nabisco Championship which is being held at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif. on March 25-28, 2004.

Jumpin' In: Sophomore Erica Blasberg made an appearance in the LPGA's Welch's/Fry's Championship in Tucson, Ariz. on March 11-14th. Blasberg along with Joan Pitcock were sponsor exemption participatants in this event. Several former Wildcats joined Blasberg, the list includes; Lorena Ochoa, Marisa Baena, Jenna Daniels, Natalie Gulbis, Chris Johnson, Kathryn Marshall, Laura Myerscough.

The Rankings: The Wildcats stayed in ninth on the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Arizona had been previously ranked as high as second in the poll since the beginning of the fall season, but then took a drop after their ninth place finish at the Wildcat Invitational. Individually, sophomore Erica Blasberg remains in third, while sophomore Cassandra Kirkland dropped one to 51st.

Not Sweet Home: The Wildcats suffered their worst finish of the 2003-04 season at their home tournament, the Wildcat Invitational. Arizona finished ninth out of 15 teams on their home course, Arizona National. At the 2003 Wildcat Invitational the women's golfers placed ninth also.

Drivin' in the Rain: At the Wildcat Invitational on Monday, February 23 rain drenched Arizona National and the women golfers competing. Several player blamed the rain for their woes, while others flurished in the stormy conditions.

Making The Grade: In the Dec. 20-27, 2003 issue of Golfweek the Arizona Women's Golfers recieved a letter grade of A. The Golfweek staff cited 'All four finishes in top-6, including a victory at Washington' as the reason for the A grade.

Sophomore Sensation: Sophomore Erica Blasberg, a pre-season All-American selection, won three individual title during the fall season. Her latest at the Pepsi-Stanford Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. on Oct. 17-19. Blasberg's first season victory came at the Mason Rudolph Invitational on Sept. 26-28, followed by her second victory at the Edean Ihlanfeldt Invitational on Oct. 6-8.

Record Setting Blasberg: The Pepsi-Stanford Invitational was Erica Blasberg's best three-rounds of golf in her career at Arizona. In all three rounds Blasberg shot under par, carding a 209 (-7) to tie her with Duke's Elizabeth Janangelo for first.

Wonderful Welch: Sophomore Whitney Welch shot her collegiate best, by posting 73-75-73-221(+5) at the Pepsi-Stanford Invitational.

Cool Cassandra: Sophomore Cassandra Kirkland stayed in the top five throughout all three rounds at the NCAA Fall Preview. On her first day of competition Kirkland tied with Auburn's Nicole Hage, with both carding 4-under-par 68. On her second day, she stood atop the leader board at the Preview by shooting an even par 72. In her final round Kirkland tied with fellow Wildcat sophomore Erica Blasberg after shooting a 1-under-par.

New to the Greens: The Wildcat Invitational was the first event of the season for freshman Rachel Gavin. Gavin placed tied for 61st after shooting 31-over-par 244.

Superior Sophomores: Head coach Greg Allen took four sophomores to the team's first three events of the fall. Erica Blasberg, Lani Elston, Whitney Welch and Cassandra Kirkland helped the Wildcats place in the top five in the Fall's first three events.

Terrific Transfer: Lani Elston, who transferred from the University of Idaho last year but due to transfer policies red shirted last season, competed heatedly with Blasberg to win the team competition to travel with the Wildcats to the NCAA Fall Preview. Elston was first-team All-Big West selection during her freshman campaign and left the Vandal's with a 76.00 stroke average.

Wildcat Coaching Staff: A six-year college coaching veteran, Greg Allen has led the Arizona Wildcats to nine tournament championships in just four years at the helm of the program. Included in the team's accomplishments under Allen are the 2001 and 2002 Pac-10 Conference Championships, a national runner-up finish and a 20-stroke victory at the 2001 NCAA West Regional. Allen, hired in July 2000, came to the University of Arizona from Texas where he was the assistant coach for the Longhorn's men's golf team. Prior to coaching at Texas, Allen served as Director of Tournament Operations with the American Junior Golf Association. Allen graduated from Murray State University in 1993. Jody Niemann-Dansie, hired in July of 2002, assists him. Niemann-Danise played two years on the LPGA after completing her collegiate eligibility. She is a graduate of Arizona State University and was a member of the 1997 and 1998 NCAA National Championship team in Tempe.

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