Sept. 9, 2011
Laramie, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming women's golf team will begin the fall portion of its 2011-12 schedule by traveling to Fort Collins, Colo., for the CSU Ptarmigan Ram Fall Classic on Monday and Tuesday. Competition at the Ptarmigan Golf Course starts at 8:30 a.m. each day, with two rounds on Monday and one on Tuesday. Live results are available through GolfStat.com.
With six teams at the event ranked in the top 47 of Golf World's preseason poll, the CSU tournament will provide a good measuring stick for the Cowgirls right out of the gate. Wyoming head coach Josey Stender's seventh year at the helm will feature a balance squad with two seniors, two juniors, two sophomores and one redshirt freshman. She returns four of last year's top five competitors, but also has seen the rest of her squad show significant improvement in the offseason.
"I feel like the schedule we have set up, with a lot of qualifying rounds and a lot of playing time, the top five for us will distinguish themselves," Stender said. "It's going to be super close between all nine of our women, where in year's past we might have had a big gap between one and five. We're going to use that to our advantage this season, because we know that competitiveness will help make all of them reach for their potential."
Stender's returners are highlighted by seniors Juanita Rico and Jenna Zamprelli. Rico has been on the cusp of All-Mountain West honors the past two seasons, while Zamprelli enters her five year in the program.
"One of our strengths is that we have a mature group of women," Stender said. "Our upperclassmen have come to the point where they are comfortable in their own skin and confident with their own abilities. Now we need to continue that by teaching the younger players.
Juniors Taylor Smalley and Dana Zamprelli appear to be on the verge of break-out campaigns, after showing progress during the summer months. Sophomores Stacey Blunt and Emily Wood look to even out their play this year. Both showed glimpses of greatness last spring.
"Our expectation for this year is that we have to find more consistency as a team," Stender said. "Last year we couldn't get everyone to click at the same time. If each person focuses on what they individually need to do, then we can reach that team goal.
Redshirt freshman Kristen Jensen and freshmen Samantha Stancato and Emily Woodard enter their first year of competing for the Cowgirls with hopes of immediately contributing to a team that has shown progress under Stender.
"We have hit some really high notes as a program, as far as setting some records and starting to win tournaments, but then we kind of hit a rebuilding period." Stender said. "We didn't necessarily have young players, but we had to get healthy and have people start to meet their potential. This is a year that we could start an upswing again."