Sunday, May 24, 2015

Former GGGer on Gettysburg Women's Golf Team as Bullets Finish Strong at NCAA Division II Championship

Former GGGer & Red Devil
Nicole Petrocchi (pictured holding sign) celebrate the Bullets' finish at NCAAs

Final Results

Led by freshman Samantha Sessa's (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) three-over 75, the Gettysburg College women's golf team lowered its score for the fourth consecutive day to clinch a 16th-place finish at the NCAA Division III Championship at the El Campeon Golf Course at the Mission Inn Golf and Tennis Resort on Friday.

Despite playing twice as many rounds as any other tournament this season, Gettysburg only seemed to get better as the national event went on. After posting a 364 on the opening day, the Bullets dropped their team score in each round, posting 357, 349, and 343, respectively, to finish with a total score of 1413. Gettysburg was the only team to post a lower score in each successive round of the NCAA Championship.   

Three players saved their best performances for the final day, including an outstanding showing by Sessa. She was one-under through the first half of the course after posting a pair of birdies on the third and seventh holes. The first-year finished four-over on the back nine on the way to the second-lowest final-round score among the 110 players in the field. The first-year jumped nine spots into a tie for 18th with a total score of 321 (82-84-80-75) and finished just three strokes shy of the top 10. Her total was the lowest score ever posted by a Centennial Conference golfer at the national championship, while her final-round tally was one shot off the lowest individual score by a Centennial player posted by McDaniel College's Kelly Cramp in 2004.

With a scoring average of 79.6 this spring, Sessa also broke the conference single-season mark of 79.89 posted by Cramp in 2005, as well as the program average of 81.6 set by Girls GO Golfing & Hunterdon Central Regional high school alumnus Kara McNulty '14 last spring.

Sophomore Sarah Hansen (Cumberland, Maine/Greely) managed Gettysburg's second-best finish, totaling 360 (90-88-91-91) to place 79th. Hansen carded a 91 for the second consecutive day, rebounding from a slow start on the front nine to finish just seven over on the back half of the course. She notched her fourth birdie of the event on the par-5, 448-yard No. 7. Hansen finished with a scoring average of 87.6 this season.

Senior Lauren Sobotka (North Caldwell, N.J./Mount St. Dominic Academy) was a model of consistency in the final round, carding 44s on both the front nine and back nine to tie her low of the tournament with an 88. She picked up her third birdie of the event on the par-3, 129-yard No. 15 hole. Sobotka climbed three spots in the individual standings to finish 83rd with a total score of 365 (95-94-88-88). A four-time All-Centennial Conference selection, Sobotka posted a scoring average of 85.6 this spring and her 87.7 career average ranks third in program history.

Junior Kate Schwartz (Laureldale, Pa./North Warren Regional (N.J.)) also turned in her best round of the event and climbed up the leaderboard. Schwartz opened with her best score on the front nine (42) before closing the day with an 89. The finish pushed her four spots in the standings into 88th with a total of 370 (97-91-93-89). Schwartz finished with a scoring average of 92.4 this season.

Another Girls Go Golfing & Red Devil alumnus Sophomore Nicole Petrocchi (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Hunterdon Central) rounded out the scoring with a 96 on Friday. Petrocchi bested her front-nine score by 10 strokes on the back half the course on the strength of four pars. She finished with a total score of 386 (97-103-90-96) to place 101st. Petrocchi logged a scoring average of 91.4 this spring.

Gettysburg, which claimed top honors in eight events and won its fifth-straight conference title, closed the year with a conference and program record scoring average of 346.7, besting its own record by 3.5 strokes. The team set a single-round record with 329 at the Dickinson College Fall Invitational, while Sessa broke the individual scoring record with a 72 in a dual with McDaniel.

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