Bears Picked Third in MVC Women's Golf Pre-Tournament Poll
Missouri State has been picked to finish third at the 2009 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Women's Golf Championship in a pre-meet poll of the league's coaches. Illinois State is the favorite to capture its second straight title, garnering eight of a possible 10 first-place votes and 98 total points, with Drake picking up the other two first-place votes and 91 points. The Bears are next with 77 points, followed by Bradley with 72 and Southern Illinois rounding out the top half with 53. UNI is tabbed for sixth (47), followed by Wichita State (40), Indiana State (37), Creighton (19) and Evansville (16).
Drake and Lake Panorama National Resort in Panora, Iowa, will host this year's championship Friday-Sunday, April 17-19. Teams will play 18 holes each day, beginning at 8 a.m. each day, and fans may follow the action through live scoring at the link listed below.
The Bears are led by the trio of Catherine Dolan, Kelsey Welber and Amy Phalajivin. Dolan is the top-rated freshman in the Valley and ranks fourth overall with a 77.9 scoring average while Welber, also a freshman, ranks 11th in the league with a 79.1 mark and Phalajivin 13th with 79.4. Welber has been the team's best player this spring, averaging 78.1 in five tournaments and posting a runnerup finish at least week's Hotels at Grand Prairie Classic in Peoria, Ill. Dolan leads the team with three top-10 finishes and seven finishes in the top 20. Phalajivin was runnerup at the MVC Preview in the fall on the same Lake Panorama course. She was an all-conference performer as a sophomore and finished seventh at the conference tournament a year ago as a junior.
MSU enters the tournament trying to erase the memory of a year ago, when it entered the Valley meet as a co-favorite and stumbled to a sixth-place finish. The Bears placed third at the 2007 Championship in Peoria. They'll be looking to pick up their second MVC title, having won their only previous tournament in 2001.
The complete poll results are as follows: