Nevada has been on a roll in Mountain West women’s golf. This weekend, the UNLV Rebels took first place in the Mountain West golf championships, their leading lady won MW Player of the Year, while their coach took Coach of the Year, and newcomers to the conference, Nevada Reno took fourth place.
While the CSU women’s golf team did not perform quite as admirably, taking seventh, junior Emily Roering finished in the top-20 for individuals. She shot 73-82-79 on the 54-hole course for a total score of 234, despite the blistery weather in California over the weekend.
“The week before the tournament, we had a lot of snow, it limited our practices which I think hurt us,” CSU coach Susan Jennings said. “But Emily’s top-20 finish was great. She played really well the first day, especially in the wind.”
Junior Betsy Kelly closed the tournament two strokes behind Roering, ending up 22 overall.
“This wasn’t a great season for me,” Kelly says. “But I hung in there, and I hit the ball much better than I have all season. I know what I need to work on in the summer though.”
UNLV, whose championship is their fourth since they began in 2000, is ranked No. 50 in the nation, and only seems to be improving. UNLV assistant media relations director, Sage Sammons attributes their continued success to excellent coaching.
“Our first coach was a winner right off the bat,” he said. “When Amy Bush came in, she recruited the type of girls she knew it would take to win a MW championship, and they were able to go out and do that this weekend.”
They were able to do that largely as a result of sophomore Dana Finkelstein’s outstanding performance, which led her to be awarded MW Player of the Year on Saturday.
“It’s definitely a very tough conference,” Sammons said. “Everyone was hopeful that Dana would win Player of the Year, but it wasn’t a clear victory throughout the season. That’s a testament to how strong the conference is, both individually and as a team.”
Even though they are competitors, Kelly has observed Finkelstein’s talent all season, and is in admiration of her prowess at such a young stage in her career.
“We have great competition in the Mountain West Conference,” she said. “Dana had some great finishes this year. Her earning player of the year is well deserved.”
Finkelstein and the Rebels will head into regionals and then nationals over the coming weeks, which CSU will miss out on, as they did not qualify.
However, Jennings is optimistic about the fall season, and is confident in her teams abilities.
“This season, the team learned a great deal about each other, and everyone on the roster is returning next year,” she says. “We have two good recruits coming in the Fall, and I am excited for Roering. I look forward to seeing what she can do next year.”
Women’s Golf Beat Reporter Cali Rastrelli can be reached at email@example.com.