Photo by R.Stevens
Photo by R.Stevens
Stevens: Lobos Get Tough MW Tuneup at Silverado
Courtesy: New Mexico Athletics  
Release:  04/13/2014

New Mexico Lobos Women’s Golf – Silverado Showdown – Napa, Calif.

When/Where: Monday-Tuesday – Silverado Resort North (6,196 yards)

The Field: : New Mexico (69), Arizona (9), California (34), Colorado (51), Fresno State (103), Oregon (30), Oregon State (73), Northwestern (23), San Diego State (42), San Jose State (73), Southern California (1), UNLV (45), Washington (11), Washington State (77), Wisconsin (46)

The Lobos: Sammi Stevens, Manon De Roey, Manon Molle, Eva Saulnier, Dea Mahendra

By Richard Stevens – Senior Writer/GoLobos.com

 It’s Mountain West vs. Pac-12 vs. Big 10, but the best inside glance provided at the Silverado Showdown heading into the upcoming league championships belongs to the Mountain.

The top MW teams will be battling in Napa, Calif., as New Mexico, UNLV, San Diego State, San Jose State and Fresno State get one final look at each other prior to the Mountain West wars set for April 24-26 in Rancho Mirage, Calif.

“We are trying not to make it the end-all, be-all, but it is a really important tournament,” said Lobo Coach Jill Trujillo. “We have No. 1 USC there.  We have four other conference teams there.

“It’s going to be a very competitive event. There is going to be a big mix there. You also have to realize that both UNLV and San Diego State are there so I think it’s a big precursor to our conference championship.”

USC, ranked No. 1 nationally,  will carry the favorite’s role into the Silverado and likely into NCAA postseason.   UNLV and San Diego State are pretty much co-favorites to grab the 2014 Mountain West title with New Mexico and San Jose State nipping at their heels. 

You also have five of the top golfers in the MW isolated in Napa:  UNM’s Sammi Stevens and Manon De Roey, UNLV’s Dana Finkelstein, and SDSU’s Sirene Blair and Emma Henrikson. 

San Jose State’s Regan De Guzman could use a good Silverado finish to toss her name into the hat along with UNLV’s Mayko Chwen Wang, Fresno’s Madchen Ly and UNM freshman Manon Molle.

There will be a battle within a battle within a battle. It begins with 36 holes on Monday and ends with 18 holes on Tuesday.

“On the course, it’s different because I’m more stressed because I want to do well for the team and for myself, too,” said Molle'  “But my game has been pretty good this year. I’m pretty happy with it.”

Said UNM’s Stevens: “The tougher the field the better just to see how you can stack up against the best. I like it. It’s nice to go head to head with them (top MW golfers).”

The Lobos have gotten steady play out of Stevens and De Roey throughout the season, but the 3-to-5 scorecards have been up and down.  Molle' has been the steadiest player after the two seniors. 

Trujillo is juggling her lineup for the Silverado looking at a fresh combination that includes senior Dea Mahendra and freshman Eva Saulnier, who joined the UNM lineup in January. 

“I don’t want to make it do or die, but the pressure needs to be there because they are going to feel it even more at the conference championships,” said Trujillo. “You want to see who is up on their game; who is peaking and who is not peaking. 

“Most of it is getting everybody’s state of mind good and making sure they have that competitive edge. That way we can make sure in the final few days of practice that we can work on certain things.”

Consistency is one thing Trujillo is looking for at the Silverado, especially the lineup that doesn’t include Stevens, De Roey and even Molle, who is tossing out a solid freshman season. 

“It’s a big tournament before we go to conference,” said De Roey, the Mountain West’s defending champion.  “The field is really strong. We definitely will have good competition and that will be good for us.

“We are all good players.  We just have to pull it together.”

Stevens said the team is looking to post some low scores up and down the lineup to boost confidence for the MW finale

“It’s a tough field and we need this to boost our rankings,” she said.  “You can only control yourself and just go out there and do the best you can.  I think we are on the right track.  We are getting there.”

GolfStat.com's Mountain West's Top 10 Rankings 

Name Yr. School Avg. Score vs. Par
Dana Finkelstein Jr. UNLV 71.86 -0.18
Sammi Stevens Sr. UNM 72.20 0.05
Emma Henrikson So. SDSU 73.79 1.74
Sirene Blair Fr. SDSU 73.79 1.74
Madchen Ly Jr. Fresno 74.09 2.05
Manon De Roey Sr. UNM 74.25 2.10
Mayko Chwen Wang Jr. UNLV 74.74 2.68
Regan De Guzman So.  SJS 74.64 2.91
Samantha Martin So. Boise 74.88 3.00
Manon Molle Fr. UNM 76.00 3.85