Women's spring preview: Pac-12 Conference

Women's spring preview: Pac-12 Conference

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Women's spring preview: Pac-12 Conference

At Oregon State, Rise Alexander’s squad lives by the phrase “be in the moment.” In a conference that includes the top-ranked team in the nation (Washington), and the worst team ranking is No. 84 (Colorado), Oregon State must be in the moment to find success.

In light of that level of competition, Alexander is working with her squad to be physically prepared, nutrionally sound and mentally ready. The Beavers have bought in.

“Last weekend we played 18 holes of qualifying, and the temperature never got above 31 degrees,” Alexander said. “Not one of the 11 players on the team had a complaint. I was struck by the fact that they were having fun and supporting each other in such adverse playing conditions. I believe that speaks volumes to their commitment to accomplish their goals.”

Alexander has made it one of her personal goals to build a strong schedule, and it’s not hard considering the level of competition to which her team has access. Oregon State won’t stick just to the West Coast this spring, however. Included in its seven spring starts, which is far more than most teams in the country, are trips to Florida, Texas and Hawaii.

In building the schedule, Alexander had specific goals in mind. She wanted her team to play more 18-hole competitive days than 36-hole ones, and to travel the most in February when weather in the Northwest generally is cold and wet. Oregon State’s trip to Hawaii for the Avenue Spring Break Classic falls during the school’s spring break, and trips to Florida (UCF Challenge) and Texas (SMU/Dallas Athletic Club Invitational) will expose the Beavers to playing conditions they don’t see back home.

“My intent is to prepare them for postseason and give them a vast array of experiences to build their performance on,” she said.

With a No. 60 ranking by Golfweek, Oregon State could be on the bubble for the postseason. Alexander saw grit in this squad in the fall, most noticeably at the Stanford Intercollegiate, the Beavers’ final fall event, in which they tied for eighth in a loaded Pac-12 field.

“They came back this January ready to play and even through some unseasonably cold weather this month have played and practiced with focus and a like-minded purpose,” Alexander said. “They are motivated by their experience last year at the West Regional and their desire to have another opportunity to play in the NCAA Championship.”

• • •

Where it stands now

Top of the class: Washington

Best player in the fall: SooBin Kim, Washington

• • •

Past champions

2008: USC

2009: Arizona State

2010: Arizona

2011: Arizona

2012: California

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Conference champions

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