UNC-Charlotte, West Virginia nab weekend victories
November 15, 2016 by Baker Helton in Recap with 0 comments
The Oregon Ducks just keep winning.
After beating Augusta University in the Dean’s Cup Invitational and winning the first two weekends of the Oregon Collegiate Disc Golf League, the Ducks were primed for an event that would net them a berth to the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships. They found it in the last weekend’s West Coast College Open in Monterey, California, where they called on their depth to dominate the tournament’s match play format and take home the title. Humboldt State University took second place, while the home squad, California State University-Monterey Bay, took third place.
All three of the top teams punched their tickets to the NCDGC, which takes place in April in South Carolina.
Oregon team captain Nathan Ryan said his team’s total composition, rather than its reliance on one or two top players, was a strength on the weekend.
“We went into the tournament knowing we had a really good team and a great shot at winning,” Ryan said. “We are very deep one through six, which is perfect for the team match play format at the WCCO, which prioritizes team depth over top player skill level, like at Nationals. It was a great all-around team effort and keeps us undefeated on the season.”
The Ducks, though, are not looking to the NCDGC just yet, with business still to take care of on the West Coast before heading to South Carolina in April.
“That’s a long ways down the road,” Ryan said. “Right now we’re focused on taking back the state championship and winning our national qualifier, the Northwest Collegiate Invitational.”
On the women’s side, CSUMB showed well, with players from their two-time champion unit taking three of the top four spots. Jenn Schopfer took first place, while Oregon’s Reilly Warren finished in second place. Mikaela Bogden and Bayli Miller, both of CSUMB, rounded out the top four.
Now in her final year at CSUMB, Schopfer reflected on how far both she, and women’s disc golf in general, have come.
“My first WCCO was three years ago, and at that point we were struggling just to fill spots for women to play,” Schopfer said. “I didn’t play my personal best during the individual play on Saturday, but heading into Sunday, I felt that I needed to keep a clear head, and just focus. I have a really hard time with staying present on the disc golf course, and this tournament everything seemed to just be working as one between my mental game and physical game.”
Schopfer also said her team is poised for a third straight title run.
“We have our whole entire team from 2016 returning for 2017,” Schopfer said. “We have been working hard, and most of our women have been playing tournaments non-stop. We are looking forward to another year at NCDGC, I am hoping that this year NCDGC has more women competing than it ever has before.”
On the East Coast, the University of North Carolina-Charlotte continued their winning ways by taking their hometown 49 Hole Showdown, their second major victory after last month’s Southeast Collegiate Open title.
Led by individual champion Grady Shue, UNCC posted a total score of 363 to top the 14-team field and hold off the likes of North Carolina State (370), Gardner Webb (373), and Virgina Tech (376). With UNCC and N.C. State already having bids to the NCDGC, Gardner Webb and Virgina Tech were awarded berths to the event.
With two strong wins on the season, Shue said he likes his team’s outlook for the NCDGC.
“There’s nothing like the Nationals experience,” Shue said. “I think that we know that if we play up to our expectations, we can have a really good chance. It’s exciting that we’ve managed to do so well this year, and we just hope to keep up the momentum going into next year and future collegiate events.”
In the Western Pennsylvania College Championships, West Virginia took home the top four singles scores, led by Trey Shrewsbury’s round of 58, to earn the win and a berth to the NCDGC
College disc golf’s fall slate wraps up next weekend in Jonesboro, Arkansas, where two NCDGC berths will be given out at the Midsouth Collegiate Open.