The Point Loma women’s golf team may have defeated several Division II and III schools to take fifth place at the PLNU Fall Preview at Torrey Pines Saturday, but they are determined to improve.
“As a home tournament, it’s kind of disappointing,” said senior Alyssa Orito, “We know we are capable of doing better than that.”
PLNU freshman Haley Fuller took first place in the tournament. She posted a 149 for the tournament.
“I was an alternate, so I never actually expected that I would win,” said Fuller.
Fuller has been golfing for most of her life with her sister, Mariah Fuller, who is also on the team, but Head Coach Jacqui McSorley said this first win means more for the team and its future.
“I think Haley’s win sent a message to the team saying we want to win,” said McSorley. “I hoped the team would place top three, so I’m a little disappointed, but I know we can do better in the future.”.
While the women’s golf team was founded four years ago, the coaches and the athletes agree that this year’s team is the best in Sea Lion history.
“There’s more depth this year than we’ve had in the past”, said McSorley, “Before, the top girls knew they had spots on the starting roster, but this year there is more competition. Anyone can make the starting roster.”
The heightened level of competition has only pushed the girls toward more success.
“It can be brutal, but it’s getting the best out of them,” said McSorley. “They are all pushing each other to get better.”
The team maintains a balance of senior leadership and youthful energy and they don’t let the competition come between them.
“Everyone has a lot of experience and we all really encourage each other to get better,” said Fuller.
While the team’s ultimate goal is to get a bid to the NCAA Divison I National Championships, they want to first focus on beating other teams in the conference.
“We just want to win a tournament,” said McSorley. “Only nine teams out of 56 will get bids to nationals, so getting there will be impossible unless we win a couple tournaments. Once we win a tournament, then we can focus on getting to regionals, then nationals.”
It will take a lot of hard work and dedication, but a bid to nationals is certainly in the cards for the team.
“They have the talent to get there, absolutely,” said McSorley.
Senior Alyssa Orito has been a team leader for the past four years. Orito received the McNeilly Award winner for her achievements in golf. She began playing when her father saw an opportunity for college scholarships, and fell in love with the sport.
“If we all play the games we’re capable of, we can definitely win,” said Orito.
The Sea Lion golf team will play their next tournament, the Western New Mexico Invitational today.