The Wolfpacker

March 2012

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 74 of 95

W BY RYAN TICE hen NC State head women's golf coach Page Marsh talks about the players on her team, she uses many adjec- tives to describe the athletes. One common thread, though, runs through all the Wolfpack golfers. ■ PREVIEW WOMEN'S GOLF "You hear me say they're all hard workers, but that is what's really happening — this group works hard and loves the game," the 12th-year coach said. "It's just amazing, when I show up to practice, there are often people already there. When I leave practice, there are people that stay after. It makes for wonderful energy and they are just so driven. I'm proud of what they have done and the possibilities ahead of them because they are so young." Marsh's squad boasts four players who call Canada home and another that hails from Mexico. The American players also have an array of hometowns — two in-state players are joined by one from Colorado and another from South Carolina. "Our team is very diverse, and I think that brings an advantage to us because we've all had different experiences," said junior Amanda Baker, the oldest player on the team. "We've all had a lot of experience — [soph- omore] Brittany Machand and [freshman] Augusta James are on the Canadian National Team, so they have a lot of experience play- ing in tournaments across the world. There's [sophomore] Ana Menendez, who is from Mexico, and I think that really gives her an advantage because she gets to practice in the winter a lot." Another valuable asset is that competition is very high in qualifying rounds for the five starting spots. That brings tournament-like intensity to the practice course, and no matter which five athletes the Wolfpack sends out in competition, all are capable of leading the team. State had a different low scorer at each of its four fall tournaments, and all six golfers that logged official action in the first half of the season notched at least one top-20 finish. "It's tremendously important to have diver- sity in your lineup, and we know that anybody can be the low scorer, everybody on our team has the potential to win," Marsh said. "We have not been a one-hit wonder because we are so diverse. It's also a result of what the whole team has been doing at home on the practice course. second tournament title in the past four years. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE MEDIA RELATIONS Junior Amanda Baker, the oldest player on this year's squad, helped lead the team to a win at the Cardinal Cup in September — the program's "What happens in practice is that all nine people contribute to make us the team that we are — they are all pushing each other. I'm proud of all nine of them, that's what is mak- ing us a great team and program." The coach said that from top to bottom, based on stroke average, this is the deepest team she has ever coached in Raleigh. The results certainly showed that this fall when the Pack got off to the best start in program history, shattered several school records and recorded a win at the Cardinal Cup in Septem- ber — the program's second tournament title in the past four years. The fall season resulted in the Pack's first-ever appearance in the Golf World coaches' poll, and the team wrapped up the fall at No. 16 in the rankings. The Pack placed among the top five teams have the potential to win every tournament, and it's always good to go into tournaments with confidence. Last year, it was kind of hard to have a whole lot of confidence because we weren't playing well as a team. This year, I think we've already had the best team scoring average ever. You need confidence to play well, it helps you play better, and we know everybody on the team is good enough to contribute." Although the Pack enjoyed a true team ef- Diverse And DRIVEN The Hard-Working Wolfpack Is Off To A Historic Start in three of its four fall tournaments and was tabbed as Golf World's Surprise Team of the Mid-Season. "Each of them saw that they have the ability to win this fall, and I think that's im- portant," Marsh said. "Seeing is believing sometimes. To accomplish the type of goals that this group can accomplish, they need to continue to further their skills so they can all shoot a red number every day." "It was really special to win the Cardinal Cup," Baker said. "That was one of our goals at the beginning of the year — to win a tour- nament and we accomplished that really early so I feel like, this spring, we're going to keep accomplishing more of our goals. "It was a big confidence builder because we started two freshmen and all of us contributed to the win. It let us know that, this year, we missing the cut last year. Although James and Tsui receive many of the first-year headlines, classmate Lindsay McGetrick won medalist honors in her first collegiate event, the Patsy Rendleman Invitational hosted by Catawba College. "It was obvious we got three good recruits in the fall with Lindsay, Vivian and Augusta," Baker said. "They really helped us out, and the whole team dynamic has changed be- cause we've got two new assistants — Sally Austin, who used to coach Carolina, and Todd Selders. Both of them have been great and it has given us a fresh start, which I think we needed. "I'm really excited for the spring because I know how much we've improved during the fall. I really feel like we can only get better from here." ■ Heel Invitational in October, when she claimed runner-up honors, finished ahead of the nation's top four ranked individuals and broke the school record for a three-round score with an 8-under-par 208. Freshman Vivian Tsui — The Pack's other standout rookie from Canada is Tsui, who finished right behind Freshman Augusta James — The rookie had one of the most remarkable individual performances at the Tar Three To Watch James with a 74.1 stroke average per 18 holes in the fall. She has finished every tournament in college among the field's top 30 and placed seventh at the Royale Cup Canadian Junior Girls' Championship. Junior Amanda Baker — Although she is just a junior, the British Columbia native is the elder stateswoman on a young team that earned its first-ever national ranking in the Golf World coaches' poll last September. Baker paced the squad with a tie for second place at the Cardinal Cup, which the team won. MARCH 2012 ■ 75 fort while reaching its record heights this fall, a pair of freshmen led the way. James (73.9) and fellow rookie Vivian Tsui (74.1) posted the squad's lowest average scores per 18 holes in the fall. The freshmen have provided a shot in the arm for the Pack, which had quali- fied for nine straight NCAA regionals before

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