TUCSON, Ariz. – Fresh off the program's first tournament win in two seasons, the Northern Arizona women's golf team will return to the course Friday at the MountainView Collegiate hosted by Kansas State and Missouri.
"We have a very short turnaround to this tournament," said Head Coach Brad Bedortha. "The players are little tired from playing two tournaments in a row. The weather is going to be great and our goal is to map out how we are playing the golf course in the practice round and be as prepared as we can."
The Lumberjacks are playing in the MountainView Collegiate for the first time since the 2010 season. NAU has played in the event seven times in school history dating back to 2002.
The field for the tournament includes the College of Charleston, Colorado State, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas State, Missouri, North Texas, NAU, Redlands Community College, San Jose State, Texas State, Texas Tech, North Carolina at Greensboro, Wichita State and Wyoming.
"The field and the quality of play we are going against are improved" said Bedortha. "The competition level is going way up with this event. It is nice we are coming in with some confidence and playing well against some good teams."
The Lumberjacks will play the same lineup for the second consecutive tournament led by freshman Savana Bezdicek, who was selected as the Big Sky Conference Golfer of the Week after claiming medalist honors at the Rio Verde Invitational hosted by Western Michigan. Bezdicek, from Colbert, Wash., shot a 1-under-par 71 in Saturday's first round, and followed with a 1-over-par 73 in Sunday's second round to finish with an even-par 144. She beat teammate Stephanie Kim and Xavier's Shane Crutchfield by one shot.
Bezdicek helped Northern Arizona win the championship at the 17-team tournament. Northern Arizona shot an even-par 288 in the first round at the White Wing Golf Course in Rio Verde, Ariz.
"Last week was a learning experience," said Bedortha. "We did not play bad in the second round but we were able to finish it out and get some pars when we needed them. It definitely was a huge confidence boost. It was great for the momentum for the rest of the spring."
Bezdicek will be joined in the lineup by Kim at No. 2, junior Kaitlen Parsons at No. 3, sophomore Darian Spivey at No. 5 and sophomore Laura Jabczenski at No. 5. Jabczenski will be playing in her hometown after a standout career at Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson.
Sophomore Melissa Olson, who is from nearby Marana and played at Mountain View High School, will play as an individual in the tournament.
NAU will play 36 holes on Friday starting with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. The second round will be contested at 1 p.m.