Cheney, Wash. – With practices underway, the Eastern Washington University golf team is primed for the new season, and Coach Brenda Howe is looking forward to what the Eagles can accomplish. The team's first taste of competition is the Hobble Creek Invitational on Sept. 14-15 in Springville, Utah.
"I'm really excited to get the season going. A few of the ladies have had stellar summers competing and I look forward to bringing in a few new faces", said Howe. "We have some new events on the schedule, as well as a new venue for our conference tournament. It'll be great to see some new courses."
Last season EWU finished the year tying for eighth in the Big Sky Conference Championship with a total of 932 strokes in the three rounds. They ended the tournament with a top 20 finisher, senior Marissa Borja. She shot for a mark of 229 with round by round totals of 72-74-83 respectively.
With a new season rapidly approaching; four seniors headline the returning players, providing the roster with some valuable experience. The seniors include Borja, Taylor Anderson, who played in only one spring tournament this past season, Maddie Dodge, a top 20 finisher in the WSU Cougar Cup last fall, and Brooklyn Kraakman.
New players looking to make a name for themselves in the college environment are freshman Kirsten Ishikawa, from Makawao, Hawaii, and Mercedes Khumnark, from Las Vegas, Nevada. Sophomore Neydeen Martinez is the other newcomer, transferring over from Columbia Basin Community College.
While many players have returned the team certainly has a new look. "I feel this team will have quite a different dynamic than the past. I go back and forth on whether or not we're a 'young' team or a 'veteran' team. With four seniors, one junior, and four players listed as freshmen or sophomores, our line up each week could possibly be considered one or the other", said Coach Howe.
The Eagles will be participating in nine tournaments for the 2015-16 season, including the Big Sky Championship. Four will take place in the fall, with such tournaments as the WSU Cougar Cup and the Rose City Collegiate in Aurora, Oregon. Spring consists of five contests. A couple of these tournaments are the Thunderbird Invitational to open fall play March 10-11 in St. George, Utah, and the Cowgirl Classic in Maricopa, Ariz., April 4-5. The conference tournament takes place April 18-20 in Boulder City, Nev., to finish the year.
Paving the way for the upcoming year will be a solid mix of new talent and veteran experience, as well as a strong presence in seventh year coach and leader, Brenda Howe. This should all build into an exciting season, and hopefully a top finish.