The University of Victoria women’s golf team secured their spot at the upcoming NAIA National Championship after sweeping the three-team A.I.I. Regional Championship hosted Apr. 29-30 at The Republic Golf Club in San Antonio, Texas. Third-year Vike Rhiannon Jones was the lowest individual after two-round scores of 79 and 75.
The Vikes women finished overall in the three-team championship that also included College of the Ozarks and Indiana University Northwest. The Vikes shot a team score of 315 on both days to finish with a 630, while College of the Ozarks finished with 765 and Indiana University Northwest carded 1034.
“Our first round was really tidy with a 315 with all four counting scores in the 70s and that is always great for team scores,” said Vikes head coach Justin Clews, whose women’s team’s performance qualified them for nationals after Day 1. “It was definitely a full team contribution that built a lot of momentum heading into the final round.”
Jones, who shot a two-round score of 154, was followed in the individual standings by fellow Vikes Nicole Gargarella (155), Sukriti Harjai(158), Melanie Murchison (163) and Quinn Fitzgerald (176). Jones and Gargarella were just one stroke a part in their second round as Gargarella shot a 76, behind Jones’ 75.
“Unfortunately, not many schools were able to field women’s teams for this event in our conference but our team still benefitted from the championship and, regardless, we have had a great season heading in to Nationals,” added Clews.
Prior to the championship Fitzgerald was also named to the A.I.I. Circle of Champions list, a program in support of the NAIA’s Circle of Champions program. Fitzgerald was recognized for his service, leadership, sportsmanship and character.
The Vikes will now look ahead to their two upcoming national championships. The first is the May 14-17 NAIA National Championship hosted at Lincoln Park Golf Course in Oklahoma City, Okla. The Canadian University/College National Championship will wrap up the team’s 2018-19 season and that event will be hosted in conjunction with Golf Canada at FireRock Golf Club in Komoka, Ont. from May 27-31.
A.I.I. Regional Conference Championship
1st – Victoria (315 – 315 : 630)
1 – Rhiannon Jones (79 -75 : 154) +12
2 – Nicole Gargarella (79 – 76 : 155) +13
3 – Sukriti Harjai (78 – 80 : 158) + 16
4 – Melanie Murchison (79 – 84 : 163) +21
5 – Quinn Fitzgerald (90 – 86 : 176) +34