Lancers swing past competition

Jessica Bills -- Both the womens and mens golf teams have a history of excellence. 2010-2011 Women team left to right: Nathalie Silva, Samantha Roberts, Samantha Peters, Adriana Niclotti, Kirsten Keyser, Samantha Katz and Kayla Jech.

The first season the California Baptist University golf programs did not participate in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) conference and competed in the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCAA) tournament, both men’s and women’s teams finished in the top three.

The men placed first out of 18 teams while the women placed second. With these top finishes, the Lancers emerging as more formidable opponents in NCAA play in the Pacific West Conference (PacWest).

“We have served notice to the PacWest there’s going to be a new kid on the block,” Lane Pace, head coach, said.

The women’s golf team started the season at their first tournament with a seventh place finish in late September and ended with a second place finish in the National Christian College Association of America (NCCAA) Tournament in Panama City, Fla. on Oct. 24-26, losing to Dallas Baptist University by 10 strokes.

Freshman Nicolette Gino won the tournament with a first round score of 75 and a second round score of 77. Others who participated included junior Nathalie Silva, who shot a 79 and took fifth individually, sophomore Kirsten Keyser, senior Samantha Roberts and sophomore Kayla Jech.

The women competed in the Cal Poly Invitational in Arroyo Grande, Calif. on Nov. 5. The tournament wrapped up their fall season, providing them with a break to gear up for the spring season. The men played a winning round with a lead of 14 strokes, winning the championship out of 18 teams overall.

“This is the biggest tournament we’ve ever won,” Pace said.

Four players finished in the Top 20. Tim Tait finished second individually with 215, sophomore Micah Machado placed 11th with 225 and juniors Fredrik Hansson and Steven Watson both tied for 13th with 226 while sophomore Leonard  Rooney ended the tournament with 234.

“Winning was a huge accomplishment since we competed against all the Christian teams in the league … We’ve been playing really well lately,” Machado said. “I wasn’t even expecting to win one tournament this year.”

“People are starting to fear us,” Tait said.

Pace also came back to California with a win of his own. He was voted NCCAA Men’s Coach of the Year.

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