Vikings Finish Strong, End Season At NCAA West Regional
Western Washington's Elise Sumner was named the GNAC Player of the Year after she led the conference with a 79.5 stroke average. Photo by Ron Smith.
Western Washington's Elise Sumner was named the GNAC Player of the Year after she led the conference with a 79.5 stroke average. Photo by Ron Smith.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

DENTON, Texas – Western Washington didn’t climb the leaderboard in the final round of the NCAA Division II Women’s Golf West Regional, but the Vikings finished strong anyway at the Wildhorse Golf Club at Robson Ranch in Denton, Texas.

The Vikings’ third round was their best of the tournament. They finished the round with a score of 308 to place ninth with a final score of 958.

Freshman Elise Sumner led the Vikings in a tie for 37th place at 238. She had three birdies in the third round to shoot 5-over-par 77, which was her best round of the tournament. Sumner ends the season as a two-time First Team All-GNAC selection and the 2020-21 GNAC Player of the Year.

Fellow freshman Dani Bailey bounced back from a rough first two rounds to close the tournament with a 4-over-par 76 on Wednesday. She tied for 39th place at 239, one stroke back of Sumner. Bailey’s day was highlighted by an eagle on the par-five 17th hole.

Sophomore Sarah Shea matched her 7-over-par 79 from Monday’s opening round with another 79 in the final round. She started her day with a birdie on the 10th hole and then added two more birdies later in the round. Shea tied for 41st place with a score of 240.

Junior Kolby Heggenes had three birdies of her own in the third round. She carded a 4-over-par 76 to finish the tournament in a four-way tie for 43rd place at 241. Freshman Sophia Schmidt rounded out the Vikings with a 48th-place finish at 255 after shooting a 10-over-par 82 on Wednesday.

Western Washington advanced to the Divison II Championships for the 11th time in program history. Sumner, Bailey, Shea and Schmidt were all named First Team All-GNAC selections this season while Heggenes was named the GNAC Newcomer of the Year. Bailey was also named the GNAC Freshman of the Year while Luke Bennett earned GNAC Coach of the Year honors after leading the Vikings to their first conference title in six years.

Sofia Ruescas of St. Mary’s (Texas) was the individual champion, winning with a score of 6-under-par 210 after carding a 3-under-par 69 in the final round. Ruescas finished four strokes ahead of second-place Camilla Jarvela of Oklahoma Christian. Jarvela, West Texas A&M’s Loukyee Songprasert and Academy of Art’s Anahi Servin will advance to the finals as individuals.

Led by Ruescas, St. Mary’s ran away with the team title at the West Regional with a 16-stroke lead at 874. Dallas Baptist placed second at 890 while Texas A&M-Commerce finished in third place at 896. Those three teams will advance to the NCAA Division II National Championships on May 11-15 at TPC Michigan in Dearborn, Michigan.

Copyright ©2021 Great Northwest Athletic Conference. All Rights Reserved.