FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The Lumberjack women's golf team looks ahead to an impressive 2014-15 schedule lined up for them. Looking to strengthen their tournament field experiences, NAU will head to some competitive events where they will face excellent conference and non-conference competition led by head coach Brad Bedortha. Bedortha, who has led NAU to two conference championships, is extremely confident about this year's team and tournament schedule.
"I think the schedule is great because we're going to have a lot of depth on our roster," Bedortha said. "We have three incoming freshmen and a transfer to join our six returners so it's going to be important to get them tournament experience from the get-go. I'm very excited because we have really talented players, so for me as a coach I'm really excited about the schedule. We didn't play consistently last year, but with the talent that we have we'll be much more competitive this year."
The Lumberjacks will hit the road to start their travel for a six-tournament stint across the West Coast in the fall. The women will tee it up in their first event of the season at the Hobble Creek Invitational, co-hosted by BYU and Utah Valley in Springville, Utah on Sept. 8-9. The team will then head over to Corvallis, Ore. to play in the Oregon State Invitational on Sept. 15-16, a pronounced Pac-12 team-hosted tournament. The travel continues over to Palm Desert, Calif., the site of the Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate hosted by Wyoming on Sept. 27-28. Bedortha will then lead the team into colder conditions in Denver, Colo. There the 'Jacks will play in the Ron Moore Women's Intercollegiate hosted by Denver on Oct. 10-12. From there the Lumberjacks will wrap up the fall season heading back over to hit the course with notable Cal Poly in the Firestone Grill Invitational in Arroyo Grande, Calif. on Oct. 25-26.
"For the fall we're playing a variety of tournaments that we haven't played before," Bedortha said. "We haven't played the tournament in Utah and the Denver Tournament before and they were enticing. We wanted to show the team different things and at the same time play against good competition. There are some challenging events and also some events in which I think we can be very competitive as well. The fall has a good balance."
Starting in the spring season of 2015, the 'Jacks will be back on their own home turf, playing all six tournaments in Arizona. While back in the heat, the team will face more conference teams during the spring season to prepare for the Big Sky Championship. The women's golf team will start the spring season at the Grand Canyon Women's Invitational in Litchfield Park, Ariz. on Feb. 23-25. The women look to defend their first place finish from the 2014 spring season and capture back-to-back wins from the Antelopes for a second year in a row. From there the 'Jacks will head back up to Sedona to play in their own home tournament, the Red Rocks Invitational, from Feb. 28-Mar.1. The team continues the season back at home with the Rio Verde Invitational, hosted by Western Michigan on Mar. 13-15 in Rio Verde, Ariz. The tournament includes many Big Sky teams, allowing the 'Jacks to get a good round of golf against their competitors before the conference championship. NAU will then travel down to Tucson, Ariz. for the Mountain View Collegiate, co-hosted by Kansas State and Missouri on Mar. 20-21. Preparing for the last tournament before conference, the team will play the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic on Apr. 6-7 in Maricopa, Ariz. The women will then wrap up the spring with the Big Sky Conference Championship.
"In the spring, we're going to be able to bring everyone to the Grand Canyon tournament and our Red Rocks tournament and with a big roster of 10, it's going to nice to get some people to play," Bedortha said. "It's going to be good to get people opportunities. Mountain View is going to be a great event because there are always teams that are great competition that we don't normally play against."
The Big Sky Championship will once again be hosted by NAU and will be held from Apr. 19-21 in Chandler, Ariz. at Ocotillo Golf Course.
The Lumberjacks will return six players along with adding four incoming players to this season's roster.