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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Hectic flight dooms Cats

    Sleep deprivation and an incomplete practice round proved to be too much to overcome for the No. 13 Arizona women’s golf team.

    On the heels of a hectic, cross-country red eye flight from Las Vegas to Orlando Wednesday night, the Wildcats were eliminated on the first day of the Hooter’s Collegiate Match Play Championship.

    Because of the travel issues the team was only able to get in a partial practice round on Thursday. The result was two losses on Friday and a quick exit from the tournament.

    The Wildcats opened up against No. 18 Michigan State in what proved to be a nail-biter. It came down to the last match, with UA junior Mary Jacobs matched up against Michigan State’s best golfer, junior Sara Brown, a Tucson native.

    Jacobs nipped at Brown’s heels right down to the last hole, but Brown knocked in a short putt on the 18th hole to win the match. If Jacobs would have halved the hole, the Wildcats would have won because they held the tiebreaker edge.

    The Wildcats then faced off against No. 35 Alabama in the consolation bracket. Fatigue was clearly a factor as the team struggled mightily and only managed to win a single match.

    Jacobs won her match against junior Sarah Sturm, while freshman Brittany Benvenuto tied Alabama freshman Rhea Nair.

    Although acknowledging that the myriad of outside factors may have contributed to his team’s poor performance, UA head coach Greg Allen refused to take the easy out.

    “”We’re not going to make excuses,”” he said. “”We just got beat.””

    Despite the strain it put on his team, Allen thinks the tournament was still a good experience for his team.

    He noted that the NCAA Championships will be held in Florida this May, and although it will not be on the same golf course, he said all Florida courses are very similar.

    Though the finish was not what he wanted for his team, Allen remained upbeat about the Wildcats’ total body of work for the fall season, which ended with the conclusion of this match.

    Three top-five finishes and two individual wins, both by junior Alison Walshe, have left the Wildcats in a good position heading into the break.

    Allen said the break comes at a good time for his team, as many players need to get caught up in school after missing the entire past week of classes.

    Although limited by what they can do because of NCAA regulations, Allen said his team will continue to work hard in the weight room and on the golf course so they can come back even stronger in the spring season.

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