Feb. 15, 2013
Laramie, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming women's golf team will get a jump start on the 2012-13 spring season when the Cowgirls travel to Industry Hills, Calif., for the Folino Invitational on Sunday through Tuesday. Competition at Industry Hills Golf Club begins at 8:30 a.m. MT the first two days and 9 a.m. MT on the final day. Fans can follow live results through GolfStat.com.
The tournament, hosted by Cal State Fullerton, is a month earlier than UW's first event last spring and kicks off what will be a challenging conclusion to the 2012-13 season for the Cowgirls. Wyoming will travel to several prestigious tournaments and courses, before hosting the Cowgirl Classic on April 8-10 in Chandler, Ariz., and concluding the season at the Mountain West Championship on April 25-27 in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
"From a scheduling perspective and who we are going to compete against week in and week out, this is the most competitive spring season in my eight seasons here," UW head coach Josey Stender said. "When we play on these courses and against the top-ranked teams in the nation, it will show our team they aren't any different than those players and they are just as competitive. It will only give them confidence and, as a plus, it allows us to see fellow MW schools more."
Stender said the early start to the spring season will help the Cowgirls build on their back-to-back top-10 team finishes that ended the fall season last October.
"The team came back from break refreshed and automatically got back into the routine of practice and focusing on the process of getting better," she said. "We usually take another month off, but this has helped them get right back into the golf mindset and stay there. We've been having great workouts and mentally that will help us a lot. The early start has been great from a preparation standpoint."
The quick jump on the spring season, combined with a mild winter, have allowed the Cowgirls to get out on the course more, but they have also been working on the mental aspect of their game during the offseason.
"I've really been harping on the team to go into the spring with a chip on our shoulder," Stender said. "We have some unfinished business from the fall. We had a great last tournament and that gave us a little taste of where we know we can be. At that event we were consistent and got contributions from everyone on the team. We've talked a lot about that process of getting there."
Stender specifically mentioned she is eager to see the mental progress of the team after sessions with volunteer assistant coach Tucker Readdy during the offseason.
"We broke down different parts of the mental game, including pre-shot routine, visualization, relaxation and positive self-talk, and had Tucker work with the girls to make each more practical for them on the golf course," she said. "I'm excited to see how our discipline on the golf course has grown and how much we've improved in the mental aspect of the game."
Wyoming's probable lineup for the Folino includes senior Dana Zamprelli, juniors Emily Wood and Stacey Blunt, sophomore Samantha Stancato and true freshman Kathleen Kershisnik. Sophomore Kristen Jensen and redshirt freshman Emily Woodard will compete as individuals.
Zamprelli was UW's top Cowgirl at two events in the fall and could be in consideration for All-MW honors with a solid spring, while Wood was UW's most consistent performer in the fall with a 77.7 stroke average. Stancato took UW's top spot at the other two tournaments in the fall and Blunt will look to regain her form during her standout sophomore campaign. Kershisnik played her way into the starting lineup last fall and competed in two events.
"From top to bottom, every single player has not only done what I've asked, but also put in the extra time during the offseason," Stender said. "Whether it is driving to Colorado to play on their own or calling me on a Sunday to get into our practice facility, they have done the work and are ready for the spring season to start."