September 10, 2010

2010 Northridge Women's Golf Preview

Sept. 10, 2010

Cal State Northridge women's golf tees off the 2010-11 season Sept. 13 at the Circling Raven Invitational in Spokane, Wash. Matador head coach Bonnie Murphy shares her thoughts on the upcoming season.

The Matadors welcome back six letterwinners in 2010-11 including 2009 All-Big West players Ashlee Nagamine (Aiea, Hawai'i) and Margo Dionisio (Whittier, Calif.). The roster will include a pair of seniors, Nagamine and Maurissa Medina (Fresno, Calif.), five juniors in returners Kendall Patten (Quartz Hill, Calif.) and Lady Samson (Valencia, Calif.) and newcomers Kylie Kimura (Covina, Calif.), Jennel Alexander (Gardena, Calif.) and Ellen Krausse (Bakersfield, Calif.) and three sophomores, Dionisio, Nicole Duong (Monterey Park, Calif.) and Clariss Guce (Artesia, Calif.).

"Overall I'm happy with the makeup of the roster," said Murphy who enters her 10th season coaching the Matadors. "I'm expecting big things out of my two seniors this season. I think it's going to be really competitive this year just based on the first two weeks of practice and the qualifier. I've got 10 girls on the team and it's not going to be easy to get into that top-five."

Dionisio and Nagamine finished 1-2 in 2009-10 in stroke average with Dionisio averaging 77.7 and Nagamine right behind at 77.8. Guce also had a solid freshman season averaging 78.9 strokes per round. Medina had her best season as a Matador in 2009-10 averaging 78.9 strokes and she posted her best tournament finish with a third-place showing at the Firestone Grill Invitational last October.

"Margo had a great freshman year," said Murphy. "She had our lowest scoring average last year so we're looking to her for low scores this tournament and all season. I'm also expecting big things from Ashlee, Maurissa and Clariss. All three are phenomenal ball strikers and each is coming off an excellent season in 2009-10."

Patten also returns after averaging a career-best 82.0 strokes during her sophomore season in 2009-10.

"Kendall is a steady player who keeps her composure," said Murphy. She's a great tournament player for us."

Kimura, who sat out the 2009-10 season after transferring from Long Beach State, should add a veteran presence to the team in 2010-11.

"I'm very excited that Kylie finally gets to play for us," said Murphy. "I know last year was tough for her but she's come in strong and is coming off a great summer tournament. She has really proven herself that she deserves to be on this team."

Krausse is a transfer from Bakersfield College after prepping at Garces Memorial High School in Bakersfield.

"Ellen is a long hitter and I call her my little grinder," said Murphy. "She does not give up and finds a way to make par out of any situation. She'll be a great asset to the team and will lead by example."

Alexander prepped at Torrance High School before playing two seasons at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.

"Jennel has got a beautiful swing and has a great ball flight," said Murphy. "She hits the ball really long and straight. I'm expecting some great things out of our two new players."

The Matadors open at Gonzaga's Circling Raven Invitational (Sept. 13-14) before heading to Nipomo to defend their Firestone Grill Cal Poly Invitational title (Oct. 4-5). A first time trip to New Mexico to compete in the Price's "Give em Five" Invitational (Oct. 11-13) and a return trip to Cal Poly's Lamkin Grip Invitational wraps up the fall season,

The spring opens Feb. 14-15 at Long Beach State's Gold Rush at Yorba Linda C.C. The Bruin Wave Invitational follows on Feb. 28-Mar. 2 at Robinson Ranch G.C. Northridge returns to Hawai'i for the Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational (Mar. 13-14) before Fullerton's Paul Folino Invitational in Irvine on Mar. 21-22. The regular season winds down with the Anteater Invitational (Mar. 28-29) and the Big West Championship on Apr. 17-19.

"We have the best tournament schedule we've ever had this season," said Murphy. "We're hoping to defend our titles at both Cal Poly tournaments and we're going to New Mexico State's tournament for the first time. That will be a great event with a strong field."

Last year's team won three consecutive tournaments in the fall (Firestone Grill Invitational, Aztec Fall Classic, Lamkin Grip Invitational) but finished no higher than third in the spring before taking fifth at the Big West Championship. The Matadors hope to turn that around so they peak around the conference championship this year.

"That's the hard part of my job," said Murphy. "I've implemented some new strategies this year to insure the team chemistry and make sure we're not taking it easy during our six-week winter break. I'm going to encourage the girls to play in amateur events so come February we're tournament ready. With the 10 players we have they're going to have to stay competitive if they want to travel."

- GO MATADORS -