PHILADELPHIA - The Penn women's golf team has reached the highlight of the 2010-11 schedule, as the Quakers attempt to defend their Ivy League Championships team trophy this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Atlantic City (N.J.) Country Club. The Ancient Eight schools will play one round each day, with the low score taking home the title.
Tee times are slated to begin at 8 a.m. on Friday, 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 7:30 a.m. on Sunday.
Last year, of course, Penn came out of nowhere to win the title. The Quakers were not expected to be a major factor, but had the low team score in all three rounds en route to a 22-stroke victory. The bad news for Penn is that three women who were in last year's lineup are gone. The good news? The only two back were the Quakers' low scorers at this event a year ago, as Isabel Han finished second individually and Tiffany Cheung was third.
Han has had a great year for Penn. She is averaging a team-low 74.1 strokes per round, including a school-record 69 in the fall at Yale. She has been the Quakers' low scorer six times in nine events this year, and most recently was second at Columbia's Roar-ee Invitational. Cheung, meanwhile, has been a constant in the middle of the lineup, and her confidence should be high after she shot even par over the final nine holes (low among Penn players) last weekend at Columbia.
They will be joined by a pair of freshmen who have stood out this year, Michelle Lee and Rui Li. Lee has been Penn's low scorer four times this year, including last weekend when she tied for third overall at Columbia's Roar-ee Invitational. Li, meanwhile, was second among Penn players in the last event she played, the Georgetown Hoya Invitational on April 4-5.
The fifth member of Penn's lineup this weekend will be sophomore Elizabeth Kresock, who tied for third among Quaker players last week at Columbia.
"I'm certainly expecting some great things out of them," said third-year Head Coach Mark Anderson. "We've had great individual performances throughout the spring, and I am confident that they are ready to put it all together for this tournament.
"We have a young team, youngest in the Ivies," he continued. "Because of that, we've talked a lot about the mental game, preparing for this -- the first tee, if we're behind, if we're leading, if someone is having a bad day or a good day. We have gone through all the scenarios. They will be ready, because we have been preparing for it."
The players on this year's team know what it's like to play for titles. The Quakers have won three events in 2010-11, and have never finished lower than fourth in any of the nine events they've played this year.