WILLIAMSTOWN, MA – Williams College women's golf coach Erika DeSanty has now guided the Ephs to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances in her first three years at the Eph helm.
DeSanty's Ephs posted a 10-shot victory over the field this past weekend at the Eph home Spring Invite to lock up a bid to the 2012 NCAA Division III Tournament to be played in Angola, Indiana, May 8-11 at Zollner Golf Course. The Zollner Golf Course is on the campus of host Trine University. Zollner Golf Course is a 6,384-yard layout with a par of 71.
This marks the fifth time that the Ephs have qualified for the NC AA Tournament in the program's 8-year Varsity history. In the four previous NCAA tournaments the Ephs have placed in the top 10 each year -- 2007 (10), 2008 (8), 2010 (7) and 2011 (8).
In Angola the Ephs will be in a 19-team field that is headlined by Division III powerhouse Methodist College (NC), which has won 24 of the 26 NCAA Tournaments held and is the defending champion. Methodist currently owns a streak of 14 consecutive NCAA titles.
Williams and Allegheny College (Meadville, PA) are the only teams from the Northeast competing in this year's NCAA tournament. Middlebury standout Flora Weeks has been invited to compete as an individual.
The Ephs won six of the eight tournaments they played in this academic year, including capturing all five events last fall. This spring Williams was 3rd at Vassar, 2nd at Amherst/Mount Holyoke and won their lone home event this past weekend.
Playing under challenging conditions last Saturday and Sunday that featured lightening fast greens, cool temperatures, and lots of wind, with occasional gusts reaching 35 mph, the Ephs showed depth and focus.
All five Ephs battled through the conditions and shot 171 or better for the two days. Sophomore Georgi Salant led the Ephs shooting a two-day 161 (78 – 83), followed by classmate Emily Wickstrom's 163 that featured an impressive 77 on Sunday under the toughest conditions. Wickstrom's 163 (86 – 77) was mirrored by freshman Shelby Shote who shot a day one low of 74 and then shot 89 on Sunday. Junior Victoria Student totaled 169 (83 – 86) and classmate Becky Miller shot 86 and 85 for 171.
At last year's NCAA Tournament Salant, Wickstrom, Miller, and Student competed along with the graduated Dale Markey.
"Since the start of our season, our practices and overall effort have been focused on playing with greater confidence and being ready mentally for the most challenging competition," noted Eph coach Erika DeSanty. "We're more prepared to compete against the best and this year our experience in the NCAAs will be one of our strengths."