In the third and final round from Kuna, Idaho and the Bronco Fall Invitational Tuesday, sophomore Marissa Borja lit up her first nine holes, making the turn in three under par, en route to a 1-over 73 and a tie for 11th place to lead Eastern Washington to a seventh place team finish.
"I'm thrilled with the finish Marissa had today," said EWU head coach Brenda Howe. "She positioned herself to go really low, turning at 3-under, so I know there's a little disappointment on her end even though it was a great score. But overall I'm extremely happy with how she started out this season along with the entire team."
As a team, Eastern finished with a score of 921 over three rounds, capping the tournament with a respectable 309 that included a pair of 78s from freshman Hannah Kim and junior Caitilin Rice and an 80 from Taylor Anderson to go with Borja's 73.
The 2013 Eagles are off to a phenomenal start. The team's scoring average through one tournament (307) is already 11 strokes better than their average through all of 2012. Additionally, EWU improved exactly 60 shots from their season opening performance at the Oregon State Invitational last year.
"Now that we have some new faces, including three sophomores and a freshman, it's really exciting to already see the drastic drop in the team scores," Howe said. "Each round this weekend we had a couple players struggle, but it'll be exciting when they all start clicking. I see this continuing throughout the season."
Maddie Dodge rounded out the Eagle fivesome with an 81 to close her tournament.
After Borja's near top-10 finish, Rice ended the weekend tied for 24th at 15-over and Dodge was 32nd at 19-over. Anderson was right behind in a tie for 33rd (+20). Kim (+26) and Sara Callagy (+27), who played as an individual in the tourney, finished in 45th and a tie for 46th, respectively.
Borja was the third lowest Big Sky Conference competitor in the tournament as well, behind Portland State's A Ram Choi and Riley Leming.
The Eagles are on the road once again next weekend in Pullman, Wash., where they will compete in the Cougar Cup at Palouse Ridge Golf Club, hosted by Washington State.