JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Sept. 24, 2010) - Coming off a 2009-10 season that resulted in the program's first ever at-large bid to the NCAA regionals, the ETSU women's golf team will open a new campaign Sunday in first round action at the Starmount Forest Fall Classic hosted by UNC Greensboro.
The tournament, which is being moved from the Starmount Forest Country Club to the Bryan Park Golf Club's Players Course due to "course problems," will feature an ETSU team that has undergone some major roster changes since last spring. Opening round play is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, and the tournament will continue through Tuesday, with Golfstat.com providing live scoring throughout the event.
With the departure of graduated seniors and longtime contributors such as Laura Jansone (Jurmala, Latvia), Sinead O'Sullivan (Galway, Ireland) and Kennie Leigh Eisenhower (Newport), head coach Stefanie Shelton will be relying on a different cast of characters this year - including four new faces on a six-player roster.
"Each of the girls on this team has experience winning at certain levels, whether on the amateur scene or in college golf," Shelton said. "We expect to win here at ETSU this year - and achieve new levels of success, such as taking the entire team to Nationals. It is a new batch of talent, but a great mix that can reach even higher goals."
Despite the new faces, there is talent coming back to Johnson City. Senior Nina Muehl (Vienna, Austria) returns after a strong finish a year ago, when she qualified for the NCAA Championships as an individual after finishing fourth at the NCAA regionals. Muehl, whose record 8-under-par 64 in the first round of the regionals made national headlines, will be joined by highly-skilled and talented junior Mayte Vizcarrondo (Cadiz, Spain) as the team's only two returning players.
Newcomers include junior college transfers Pearl Asaka Sim (Santa Barbara, Calif.) and Lauren Smith (Cramlington, England), along with true freshmen Larissa Steinfeldt (Eschweiler, Germany) and Sian Evans (Gillingham, England).
"With four new ladies on team this year, I look to Nina and Mayte for leadership," Shelton said. "They have been a part of our most successful teams, and can use that experience and those expectations to lead us even farther."
The Bucs will play a fall schedule that includes four events, followed by a six-tournament spring slate.
For more on ETSU women's golf throughout the season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the women's golf link.