UNLV golfers aim to build momentum

It still is a long way to May, when the postseason for collegiate golf programs gets decided. But UNLV women’s coach Missy Ringler knows this is an important week for her team.

The Rebels are hosting their Spring Invitational beginning today at Boulder Creek Golf Club, and with her team off to a solid start, Ringler wants to keep building her team’s résumé with a win in the 17-team, 54-hole event, which runs through Wednesday.

“We’re developing a winning attitude, and we want to keep building our confidence,” Ringler said. “You always want to win your own tournament, and we played well here in the fall, so I’m optimistic.”

UNLV finished fourth in October in the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown.

The conditions were ideal then at Boulder Creek, but things figure to be different this week. It will be windy and a little chilly when the teams tee off at 7:30 a.m. each day, so Ringler’s team will have to adjust accordingly.

“We’re used to playing in the wind, so it shouldn’t hurt us too much,” she said. “But you still have to account for it.”

UNLV will field two squads this week, which will allow Ringler’s reserves to get much-needed tournament experience.

Her starting group of Therese Koelbaek, Alejandra Guacaneme, Natasha Krishna, Bethany Glassford and Kristen Schilling will try and challenge Georgia, the No. 10 team in the country and the favorite to take the title, which Brigham Young and Washington State shared last year.

“Alejandra and Natasha have been solid so far, which we need from them,” Ringler said. “But the big surprise has been Bethany. She had a back injury, but she played well last week, and she was very steady on the course. She played really good golf, and when she does that, it makes us a stronger team.”

Glassford, a freshman from Coronado High School, finished eighth among individuals last week at the Wave Invitational and helped UNLV finish second to host Pepperdine in the six-team event at Moorpark Country Club.

“I like where we’re at so far,” Ringler said. “We played well in Mexico. We played better at Pepperdine, and now we’re home this week.

”It’s a great opportunity for us to continue moving forward.”

Contact reporter Steve Carp at scarp@ reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2913.

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