April 20, 2000
Pullman, Wash.--- With their first-ever trip to the NCAA West Regional on the line, Washington State's trip to Eugene next week for the Pac-10 Championship could be the most important tournament since the program's inception in 1983.
The Cougars will head to Oregon for the April 24-26 event ranked 54th in the nation and riding on the Far West District bubble. Thirteen teams from that region go to the West Regional and WSU is currently 12th. Regardless of the outcome at Pac-10s, head coach Walt Williams knows that his young squad has taken a giant leap towards becoming a force in the Pac-10 in the 1999-2000 season.
"I think we've had a tremendous season," Williams said. "We have rewritten the school record books for tournament average, team records and for tournament scores and individual scoring days. And, we are a bubble team for the NCAA Regional."
If Washington State is to solidify a position in post-season play, they may need an encore performance from junior Jennifer Dodd (Portland,Ore.). At the Peg Barnard California Collegiate last week, the Oregon native beat six players ranked in the top-50 enroute to a fourth place finish and moved her own ranking to 109th in the Golfstat.com poll.
"She had an outstanding tournament, the best of her career," Williams said. "She solidified herself last week, if she had not already done that. She has a chance to finish in the top-10 in the Pac-10."
Williams is also looking towards senior Jenny Ballou (Portland,Ore.) for a big performance. Ballou is ranked 219th in the nation and heads to Eugene with a 78.3 stroke average.
"She is a very solid performer who seems to play better in bigger events," Williams said. "I am looking forward to her having a good tournament."
Washington State will be relying on a quartet of young players with only one Pac-10 Championship appearance between them to complement the play of Dodd and Ballou. Sophomore Tasha Browner (Tarzana, Calif.) placed 48th in last year's conference tournament and is carrying a 78.5 average this year. True freshmen Shanelle Roberts (Tacoma, Wash.) and Donna Bell (Prince George, BC) have scoring averages of 80.7 and 82.1, respectively. Both have had flashes of brilliance but have been plagued by inconsistency. Rounding out the roster is sophomore Becky Greggain (Clarkston, Wash.) who has played well late in the spring, including a 34th place finish in the strong field at the Peg Barnard Collegiate.
This year's Pac-10 Championship will be played at the par-72 Eugene Country Club Golf Course. The course has hosted three other conference tournaments. The women's in 1991 and the men's championship in 1987 and 1997. The NCAA Championship was played on this course in 1959 and 1978. Washington State will be part of flight three which includes Arizona, UCLA, and host Oregon.
WSU LINEUP: Senior Jenny Ballou is hoping the Pac-10 Championships won't be her last collegiate event. She heads to Eugene with a 78.4 average and six top-25 performances this season... Freshman Donna Bell has an 82.5 average but has two top-10 appearances this spring. The lone Canadian on the WSU roster, Bell is hoping for a breakthrough performance at the Pac-10s... Sophomore Tasha Browner has been a model of consistency all season for the Cougars. She had five top-25 showings this year, including an impressive 15th place finish at the Utah Dixie Classic where she fired a second round 72 and third round 74... Junior Jennifer Dodd is coming off the best performance of her career at last week's Peg Barnard Collegiate. The Oregon native beat six players ranked in the top-50 nationally and shot a four-over par 148 for the tournament, good for fourth place. Dodd carries a 77 stroke average into Eugene... Sophomore Becky Greggain has only six career tournament under her belt but is performing well this spring. She is fourth on the team with an 80.3 scoring average and has three top-15 finishes this spring... Freshman Shanelle Roberts is one of three Cougar women making their first appearance in the Pac-10 Championship. She has an 80.8 average on the year and placed ninth at the Oregon Invitational in Eugene during the fall season.
ARIZONA ENTERS CHAMPIONSHIP RANKED #2: Arizona's Wildcats lead a list of nine Pac-10 teams ranked in the top-50 in the nation. Arizona has won six consecutive tournaments this season and has placed either first or second at the Pac-10 Championship in each of the past four seasons. The most recent Golfweek/Sagarin poll has all 10 conference teams in the top-54. 2-Arizona 3-Southern California 4-Arizona State 7-Stanford 20-UCLA 23-California 24- Oregon 27- Washington 40-Oregon State 54- Washington State
WILDCAT'S DANIELS LEADS LIST OF 14 TOP-50 PLAYERS: Arizona's Jenna Daniels is the top-ranked player in the nation heading into the Pac-10 Championships. Arizona State's Miriam Nagl, USC's Candie Kung, and Daniel's teammate Cristina Baena are all in the top-10. Washington State's highest-ranked player is junior Jennifer Dodd, who is listed at 109 on the Golfstat.com poll and 166 in the Golfweek/Sagarin poll. 1-Jenna Daniels, Arizona 3-Miriam Nagl, Arizona St. 4-Candie Kung, USC 9- Cristina Baena, Arizona 11- Stephanie Keever, Stanford 12- Jill Gomric, Arizona 14- Amanda Moltke-Leth, UCLA 23- Maikaela Parmlid, USC 31- Hilary Homeyer, Stanford 35- Nicole Dalkas, USC 37-Linda Ishii, USC 40- Leila Chartrand, USC 47- Caroline Laurens, Arizona State 49- Julia Kraschinski