Feb. 4, 2000
The Pac-10 captured eight NCAA women's golf titles in the 1990's. This season eight teams in the "Conference of Champions" have made an appearance in the national top 25, including six in the top 10. Cougar head coach Walt Williams knows that he is facing a huge task in rebuilding the Washington State golf program.
"It's really difficult to compete on the women's side but we have made up some ground," Williams said. "We beat Oregon at the Stanford Tournament, which we had never beaten. We have pretty much re-written the record book and I anticipate continued improvement through the spring. Maybe some of those will be re-written again."The leaders of this record-breaking group are senior Jenny Ballou and junior Jennifer Dodd, both natives of Portland, Ore. Ballou toured Asia last summer with the Pac-10 All-Star team and has continued her consistent play this fall. Dodd fired a 221 and placed fourth while Ballou carded a 226 and tied for seventh in the season opening Ptarmigan Classic. They combined for six top 25 appearances in the fall and helped the Cougars to three top five team finishes. Williams makes no attempt to hide his excitement about this twosome.
"I can't say enough good things about Jenny Ballou. She is just an awesome individual and a tremendous asset to this team from a leadership standpoint and from a golf standpoint," Williams said. "Jennifer Dodd is a very talented, very good player and a very good student."
Tarzana, Calif., native Tasha Browner is one of three underclassmen that will provide a solid nucleus for future Cougar squads. "She is a very capable player and is fairly young in the game. She hasn't played for that long but she will be a force to be reckoned with," Williams said. The five-foot-seven-inch sophomore had her best fall performance at the Oregon Invitational, carding a two round 161 and placing 21st.
True freshmen Donna Bell and Shanelle Roberts showed flashes of brilliance during the fall season and appear to be making the jump from high school to the Pac-10 quite well. Roberts had a breakout performance at the Oregon Invitational, firing a two round 155 and placing ninth. Bell, a British Columbia native, made her collegiate debut at the Ptarmigan Classic and shot a season-best 237 and finished 33rd.
Sophomores Becky Greggain, Amy Secker, and Jackie Stevens didn't play in any events during the fall, but could see action this spring. Fellow sophomores Raphael Garstecki and Carmel Sielicki are using this season to fine tune their games and are redshirting.