Better Second Round for NAU Gives them Momentum Heading into Sunday's Final Round

NAU's Kim Cifuentes
NAU's Kim Cifuentes

RIO VERDE, Ariz. – A much better day on the links for the Northern Arizona University golf team (7-over par 296) has the Lumberjacks three strokes back of third-place Northern Illinois and five strokes back of second-place Eastern Michigan heading into the third and final round Sunday from the Rio Verde Invitational.

In total, NAU sits in a tie for fourth-place with a 36-hole team tally of 26-over 602.

A lot of red on the score sheet for the Lumberjacks today, which is a sight for sore eyes. Starting off with Kim Cifuentes scoring out of the No. 2 position, the senior from Gilbert, Ariz., tapped in for birdie four times Saturday en route to a 1-under 71 score. For the tournament now, Cifuentes is at 5-over 149 and tied for 15th place on the individual leaderboard.

Not up to her standards, but Sofia Anokhina still had a good round of action Saturday.  Scoring out of the No. 1 position, the Russian sophomore wrote in birdies on No. 1, 11, 12 to finish her round at 2-over 74 (even-par 144 for the tournament so far). Additionally, Anokhina still has a shot at back-to-back tournament titles as she goes into tomorrow's third round in a tie for fourth and only three strokes back of No. 1.

Sierra Bezdicek continues to play lights-out, as the junior NAU golfer followed up a 2-under 70 with a 1-over 73 today—still good enough for a 1-under 143 tally after two rounds of golf. Even though she is playing as an individual, look for this Lumberjack to battle it out with Anokhina for a run at this tournament championship.

Additional scorers for the 'Jacks today included Emma Reyes and Carly Akine (both 11-over 155 through 36 holes) and Kaitlyn Saum (12-over 156). Freshman Loren Skibba is also turning in scorecards as an individual and has a two-day tally of 13-over 57.

The Lumberjacks will compete in the third and final round of the Rio Verde Invitational tomorrow morning with an 8:30 a.m. MT shotgun start.

Stay up-to-date by following us on Twitter and along with live stats here.