Paige Lee and Andrea Wong each finished in the top 10 and Betty Chen used a 3-under 69 on Tuesday to tie for 11th as the 37th-ranked UC Davis women’s golf team posted its second runner-up finish of the spring at the Juli Inkster Spartan Invitational.
The Aggies fired an even-par 288 team score in the final round, matching winner and No. 20 Oregon, which began and ended the day two shots in front of UCD. The Aggies held a two-shot lead at various points in Tuesday’s final round, but eventually finished at 14-over, while the Ducks rallied to card a 12-over.
UCD’s top four golfers all placed in the top 27, paced by Lee, who shot 72 on Tuesday and tied for fifth at even-par 216. Wong carded a 71 Tuesday and tied for eighth at 3-over while Chen’s seven-shot improvement in her final round left her at 5-over. Aggie Blair Lewis tied for 27th at 10-over and Jessica Chulya tied for 52nd at 17-over.
“We finished the event on a really solid note,” said UCD coach Anna Temple. “It was a great competition (Tuesday), especially with solid rounds from our sophomores — Andrea and Betty — and a very consistent tournament from Paige.
“We have nearly three weeks before we play again so we will get some good work in to improve each day before we head into the thick of our spring competition.”
The runner-up finish was the second in three tournaments this spring for the Aggies, who took second place in last month’s Peg Barnard Invitational at Stanford.
Lee had her second-highest finish during her freshman season after she was fourth at the Golfweek Conference Challenge in February.
UCD returns to action March 24 in the three-day Anuenue Spring Break Classic, hosted by Hawaii.
Though the Aggies lost the battle on Tuesday — falling 5-0 to Sacramento State at Shea Stadium — they had already won the war, aka the Causeway Cup, which UCD earlier clinched for 2013-14.
The Aggies (7-16) gave up three, third-inning runs to the Hornets (7-6) on Tuesday and couldn’t come back, despite Chandler Wagner reaching base three times, going 2-for-2 with a walk.
But UCD certainly threatened to spoil Sacramento State’s home opener.
In the top of the first inning, Lauryn Saunders hit a bloop single to right that took a friendly bounce into right fielder Paige Martin’s glove, forcing an Aggie runner to hold at third base.
Then in the second, a potential scoring opportunity disappeared when the first base umpire ruled that a UCD runner had left too early from first base. Players are not allowed to take a lead, or steal a base, until the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand, but it is rarely called unless a base runner grossly mistimes the pitch.
Finally, after the Hornets took their 3-0 lead, the Aggies had runners at the corners in the top of the fourth when Kristin Bava’s liner came straight at Sac State pitcher Caitlin Brooks, who raised her glove to protect her head and the ball went straight in.
Eventually, UCD coach Karen Yoder emptied her bench and 16 position players plus four pitchers saw action.
The Aggies now head to the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic, where they will face North Dakota in Saturday’s 4:45 p.m. opener.
Aggie men’s soccer player Brian Ford and women’s tennis standout Megan Heneghan have been named UCD’s winners of the 2013 Big West Male and Female Scholar-Athletes and will be honored at a banquet at the conference’s basketball tournament in Garden Grove next week.
The two are among 18 outstanding student-athletes from the nine Big West institutions to receive the distinguished honor. The Big West will host a breakfast in their honor at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Anaheim on March 13.
Heneghan, from Tustin, leads the Aggies in both singles (10) and doubles wins (11) this season and was ranked 90th in Division I in 2013, the first UCD player ever to earn a ranking in the D-I era.
With a 3.54 GPA, the senior has made the dean’s list four times and ranks in the top 16 percent of her class in the College of Letters and Science. She also spends her summers volunteering at tennis camps.
Ford, a junior defender from Newport Beach, helped his team to its first-ever Big West Championship game in 2012 and scored his first career goal in September of that same season. The backline anchor also has two assists to his name.
Ford has earned an A or an A+ in 10 different classes at UCD and is ranked in the top 18.5 percent of his class. Ford has volunteered with Just4Kicks as a soccer coach, AgAdemics — an elementary school outreach — and has been a performer for Aggie Idol, a student-athlete charity variety show. The exercise biology major plans to volunteer with an overseas medical organization before applying to medical school in the fall to pursue neurology.
UCD men’s water polo
Five Aggies — including juniors Trevor Allen and Teddy Nicholson, who are both Davis High graduates — earned All-Academic awards from the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches on Tuesday. The pair was joined by sophomore Alex Bagdasarian, redshirt freshman Jacob Ley and senior Michael Millstein.
To qualify for ACWPC All-Academic recognition, a student-athlete must have competed in at least 50 percent of the team’s contests and held a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher. The awards program breaks down into three levels: Outstanding (3.71-4.0), Superior (3.41-3.70) and Excellent (3.20-3.40).
Ley, a second-year student in computer engineering, was honored in the Outstanding category, Allen (economics), Bagdasarian (pharmaceutical chemistry) and Millstein (international relations) appeared in the Superior group and Nicholson, a managerial economics major, claimed Excellent honors. This is the second ACWPC All-Academic award for Allen.
Aggie senior Anna Shumaker captured Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the Week honors on Tuesday for the second time in 2014 and the third time in her career.
A team co-captain from Alameda, Shumaker set career highs in winning floor exercise (9.925) and in the all-around (39.725) during Friday’s record-setting dual meet with Seattle Pacific. The floor score was the highest of any MPSF gymnast this season and fourth highest in UCD history, while her all-around total was third in the all-time Aggie record books.
Shumaker’s floor performance helped UCD score a 49.425, tying another school record and representing the No. 2 floor total in MPSF history. Her 9.800 on bars contributed toward a 49.225, setting another Aggie benchmark.
Finally, Shumaker’s huge night led UCD to a team total of 196.425, a school and MPSF record.