Fall Recap: Lady Raider Golf
Nov. 1, 2010
LUBBOCK, Texas - In year No. 2 under head coach JoJo Robertson, the Texas Tech women's golf team returned many of the same faces who led the Lady Raiders to an NCAA Regional appearance a year ago, but added a few new names in a fall season highlighted by individual successes and four challenging tournaments.
With seven of eight players on the roster listed as underclassmen, Tech used the fall as a learning tool for its young squad, competing in the Ptarmigan Ram Classic (Fort Collins, Colo.), the Windy City Collegiate (Highland Park, Ill.), Lady Northern (Glencoe, Ill.), and the Landfall Tradition (Wilmington, N.C.).
After a 13th place finish to start the year at the Ptarmigan Ram Classic, Tech recorded consecutive top-five finishes with a third-place performance at the Windy City Collegiate and fifth-place finish at the Lady Northern.
In likely the toughest field Tech will face this season, Tech closed the year in 16th place at the Landfall Tradition where 16 of the 18 teams participating had previously advanced to the NCAA Regional round a year before.
"I am pleased with the overall team performance this fall," Robertson said. "We showed several times what we are capable of and now need to work towards putting together three good rounds and being consistent. We played against some tougher competition than we've seen in a while. We have a lot of room for improvement but I am excited about what is ahead."
The Lady Raiders open the spring at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic in San Juan, Puerto Rico in February. Tech will participate in six tournaments, along with a dual match with Iowa State, before traveling to Columbia, Mo. for the 2011 Big 12 Championships.
SENIOR Alex Gibson
"Alex is our only senior and we are definitely calling on her to be a leader. She knows what her responsibilities are and has accepted this role. I think Alex needs to go out this spring with a `nothing to lose' attitude and give it everything she has. She's looking to play professionally after graduating and needs to continue to build on what she's done the last year and a half. " - JoJo Robertson
SOPHOMORES Deborah DeVilla, Gabby Dominguez, Kim Kaufman, Beverly Mendoza
Kim Kaufman led the way for the Lady Raiders, posting consecutive top-five performances in Tech's first two tournaments. Kaufman wrapped each tournament in third overall, the highest finish in her Tech career. She added a top-25 finish at the Lady Northern Invitational before ending the fall with a team-leading 74.6 strokes average.
Gabby Dominguez provided Tech's other top-10 finish after tying for sixth at the Windy City Collegiate. Her 75.8 strokes average ranked second on the team, a few points below teammate Deborah DeVilla, who notched two top-25 performances at the Windy City Collegiate and the Lady Northern Invitational. DeVilla finished with a 76.3 strokes average.
Tech's other sophomore, Beverly Mendoza, was among the top-30 competitors twice, once at the Windy City Collegiate and the other at the Lady Northern Invitational. Mendoza finished in a tie for 15th at the Lady Northern and concluded the fall with a 78.0 strokes average through three tournaments.
"Our four sophomores have really matured from last year. We've had great rounds from each of them, and I know their best is yet to come. I think the experience of coming up just short in the NCAA Regional last year will help drive them and motivate them this off-season and spring." - JoJo Robertson
FRESHMEN Hannah Arnold, Katie Grady, Paloma Martinez
Arnold recorded her best two rounds of the fall at the Lady Northern Invitational where the Lufkin, Texas native fired a 4-over 76 in the first and third rounds. Playing as an individual that weekend, Arnold finished the tournament in a tie for 59th overall, 20 spots higher than her collegiate debut at the Ptarmigan Ram Classic.
Like Arnold, finding consistency to card three solid rounds on a weekend was a learning spot for Martinez as well. The Monclova, Mexico native fired her lowest round of the fall at the Windy City Collegiate Championship with a 2-over 74 second round to move Martinez within the field's top 50 players. Martinez posted her lowest three-round score at the Landfall Tradition with an 18-over 234.
Tech's other freshman, Katie Grady, did not compete in a tournament this fall, but did get valuable time on the course as she adjusts to collegiate golf.
"The freshmen are adjusting well. College golf is a big change from high school and junior golf. They stepped right in and traveled to every event and contributed. With a little more tournament experience this spring, I am looking for great things out of them." - JoJo Robertson